Thanks to Rachel from the West Midlands for getting in touch with her thoughts on 2 weeks of Lockdown!
I love my family – I am fortunate to be in a good relationship and that makes a huge difference (I know many that aren’t in that position and that makes all this so much harder). However, much as I love my husband and two children, this is tough on all of us. Every member of the family has taken their turn to have a meltdown (including my placid 4-year-old and chilled out husband) and when there isn’t anywhere to escape to, that’s hard. I then take a moment to remember all those mums and dads who are sacrificing time with their families to serve others and remember it could be so much worse…
Adapting is key!
We have tried, like everyone I know, to forge some sort of a routine during the lockdown. However, we then quickly realised that although routine is key, just like when they were babies, flexibility is vital and responding to the needs of the children helps prevent chaotic strops! We have insisted on some sort of learning taking place each day (and this can be loosely interpreted!) and have also insisted that everyone spends some time alone each day too. Banishing the children to their rooms was initially resisted as this is seen as a punishment, however, we have all quickly realised that time out of the way of others, alone, even if just for 10 minutes, helps the day go that little bit more smoothly.
It isn’t a holiday!
Not a sunshine and sangria type holiday, because we know it is absolutely not one of those, but a ‘not in the normal bedtime routine’ sort of holiday…We worked out at the end of week two that the combination of losing an hour (why does that impact on the kids so much?) plus relaxed ‘holiday style’ parenting at bedtime left the kids lying in (and us letting then so we could get up and work in peace for a couple of hours early morning) and therefore not going to bed when we wanted them to at night…we are attempting to put a stop to that to save our sanity!
Not only that, I feel guilty for not being more frugal in the past…everything gets carefully used up, nothing is going out of date (as my new obsession is ‘fridge re-organisation’) because we are eating every meal at home and I remember to check the dates on things before they go past their use-by date. I know I should have lived like this before but working very long hours and with two little ones, I often grab things out the fridge and fail to check what needs using up first. I’m hoping this is a habit that sticks post-lockdown.
My kids are fussier than I thought (but are learning!)
I didn’t think I had kids that were that food-fussy but turns out, I have! The fact we can’t get ‘that’ cereal they normally have, the wraps are brown not white and that we have red milk not green is suddenly a discussion point (maybe they are also taking time to notice things!) but it’s tough! Snacks that have been uneaten in favour of better snacks (i.e. the raisin boxes!) are suddenly being eaten because I am not rushing to the shops to top up the supplies, the answer of ‘that is all we have today’ is beginning to settle and the kids are starting to realise, in a small way, that things, for now, are a little bit different…
Things don’t always go the way you planned…and you accept them.
We had grand plans for this Summer and we all knew about them! From a holiday to Italy at Easter to celebrate our 40th to concert tickets we had purchased as presents, to races we were planning to run. We had them all booked in and even had a family planner to mark these events so we could count down to them. Not anymore…The 4 year old is used to asking each night ‘what’s tomorrow?’ and being told what to expect, be it school or a day out. He’s stopped now. After two weeks of being told the same thing, he has accepted that, for now, this is it. We are living a simpler existence built around crafts, baking, school work and yes, watching lots of films! But when there isn’t an option, you quickly learn to not get frustrated and to live with it. Again, this could be so much worse, given the circumstances…
The community has come together like never before
It’s quite nice to realise that the street, village, town and even whole country can actually work together. We have clapped and sung for our NHS, walked round looking for rainbows (and made our own for others to see!), been on bear hunts and chatted to everyone we pass on our daily ‘Boris walk’ from a distance. It isn’t that we haven’t done this before, it just seems to matter more.
The pace of life seems slower, the little things matter and unbelievably, there is a dinosaur roaming the estate every couple of nights bringing a smile to those on the estate. Lockdown life isn’t what I thought it would be like, it isn’t easy and I do find myself envying those without children, however, it’s necessary, needed and for a clear reason. Right now, that is the only thing that matters…