This time of year is, for many, a time to forego sweet treats and indulgences and give something up for Lent. Whether an act of spiritual discipline, or simply a renewed attempt at a better diet after the new year pledges drowned in a sea of hot chocolate and marshmallows, this is often a time to hold off and get fitter.
However, this has been anything but a normal year and for parents of young children, the chances to sit back and relax with a sweet drink and a tasty treat have been few and far between, with plenty of young and eager mouths ready to devour anything containing sugar.
As a result, many adults will have been forced into healthier mealtimes to ensure their kids are doing likewise while being homeschooled. Instead of sweets and cakes, you may have been going for fruit and yoghurts instead. But now they have returned to the classroom, the situation is rather different.
If ever there was a time to reward yourself for your hard work in being a great teacher, disciplinarian, lunchtime assistant and much else, now is it. With the youngsters back in uniform, you can head online and get some cheap cakes.
Of course, you may not necessarily be able to sit back and relax all day, unless you are also on furlough; it could be you have been trying to frantically juggle work and homeschooling, which has been a huge struggle for many. But even if you have to be back at your temporary desk to earn your keep, you can still treat yourself a few times a day.
Indeed, if earning a living and trying to be a teacher at the same time has proved to be a huge strain, you will have even more excuse for a few indulgences. There’s no cause for guilt here.
So, if you want to take a break and sit back with a huge cup of something creamy and frothy accompanied by a slice of cream cake the size of Wakefield, who can blame you? You’ve definitely earned it.
The best thing about all this is that the kids need never know. For over two months they will have known exactly what was in the fridge and the cupboard all the time, even if you have tried telling them to stay out. Hiding chocolate biscuits or a cake from them will have been almost impossible. After all, even if you could conceal it out of sight, when could you eat it unobserved?
Now, however, you can make the most of the situation. Of course, you might feel you don’t want to overdo it - after all, everyone will be diving into the chocolate eggs a few weeks from now - but in the circumstances, perhaps the thing to give up this Lent is the diet. It’s not like you haven’t had to forego a lot of other things.
After all, if things do reach the point where society can open up, there will be plenty of time after Easter to take advantage of the warmer weather and get active outdoors. The kids need never know what you’ve been devouring in the meantime.