I’ve never been much of a planner. Organised, yes, (you should see my wardrobe and bathroom cabinet) but when it comes to life, I’ve found it has generally run more smoothly when I am carefree, open to surprises and to events taking a different turn.

As far as mantra’s to live life by, I can confidently say I am in the “what’s meant for you will not go by you” camp. For the most part, such a mindset might have served me well on a personal level, but it’s not always been received so well with others.

The people who fill up their diaries weeks in advance often meet my relaxed attitude with some resistance, or give me a look of complete confusion when I’m mentally and physically incapable of committing to lunch or dinner months down the line.

But that kind of planning does not come natural to me; it’s just not in my psyche. I’ve been told it’s an Irish thing, and there’s undoubtedly some truth to that.

Culturally, perhaps romantically, we have a reputation for being relaxed and amiable with an easygoing, laid-back outlook on life. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and pride ourselves on having time for people. What’s not to love about that?

As I prepare to have my second child in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and the immense uncertainty that has brought to each and every one of our lives, I’m relieved I’m not much of a planner. I’m not being self-righteous as, on this particular occasion, it was not for the want of trying.

For possibly the first time in my life, I did make a plan. For the few weeks after the baby’s birth, or what I began referring to as the babymoon, I, rather shamelessly, felt content that I had prepared so well and as a result gained a fair amount of control over what that period would look like for my new family. I’d bought books that set out a recipe for a postnatal period that would see me stay in my cosy pyjamas, getting plenty of rest while I concentrated on my main role of nourishing and caring for our newborn.

I’d prepped my kitchen cupboards with ingredients for a range of home-cooked meals including lovingly prepared chicken broth and fresh produce to get me back on my feet again after the ordeal of birth.

And without any family nearby to rely on, I’d sought the help and expertise of a postnatal doula, who was to come into our home for a couple of days in the weeks after the birth to support us by cooking, tidying up or just holding the baby while I stole a nap or a shower. I’ll admit I was looking forward to all of it; the chance to cocoon with my family and this new little member of it, with enough support to ensure we would get the rest and food we all needed in what would likely be a rather chaotic and sleep-deprived few weeks. It felt like a chance to put right all of the mistakes we made with the birth of my daughter almost five years ago of too many plans and too many visitors leaving us wrecked and frazzled.

But like hundreds of thousands of people’s best-laid plans, everything I’d imagined has been completely thrown out the window.

We are all facing a very different reality to the lives we imagined for ourselves a month ago. Many are feeling isolated, vulnerable and alone, cut off from their family, friends and social lives. Others have lost their jobs while those working on the frontline are dealing with the reality that they, in all likelihood, will catch this virus and may pass it on to other family members. People we love are filled with anxiety about the future.

As a sign off from my column for the last time, I sincerely hope the world will be in a better place when the time comes for me to return.

In the meantime, there will undoubtedly be heartache and times of despair. There’s not much in life that we can plan for or control, but we can control our own behaviour.

We are responsible for our own actions and every one of us, young an old, must take this pandemic seriously if we have any hope of life returning to a some kind of normality any time soon.