Freya and Bertie playing in the trampoline

Some of the things I’ve learned during social distancing and some tips for you

It’s been a while since I’ve written a parenting and personal post like this, but I felt like now was the right time to do it and share it with you. I’m sure that a lot of you feel the same about the impact that Covid-19 is having on us all.

I understand that everyone’s situation is different and that the virus is impacting people in different ways. But if I’m honest it is a shit. I don’t normally swear on this platform, sorry to anyone or brands reading this post, but that is the reality of it.

The week before last when they announced the school closures was when the nature of this horrible virus actually hit me. I think I must have wandered around in a daze that evening feeling sad for Freya that she probably would not finish her reception year and also sad for me. I had all of these thoughts running around my head; how was I going to cope with the kids being at home for the foreseeable future, would my house ever be tidy again and how would I get anything done that I wanted to get done during the day.

Gah! I’m freelance so most of my work has fallen by the wayside anyway, and I know that my husband’s work takes priority, yet I also knew I needed the time to continue with this blog and also to carry on working so that what I’ve built up doesn’t just disappear. I’ve touched on it already but I felt sad and angry for myself, that sounds selfish to write, as there are plenty of people who are in a worse situation or suffering from this virus itself, but that’s the truth of the situation and quite frankly I was a little afraid of stepping back into a full-time Mum role again.

Here goes…..

So I braced myself for carnage on Day 1 of no school for Freya and no nursery for Bertie and to be honest it wasn’t so bad. There have definitely been some moments of madness and times when I’ve just longed to sit at this desk of mine. But one of things that I am slowly getting used to is to just ride it out and to let some things to go. Hard when I like to be in control of everything, and I can’t control what is happening in the world right now. But what’s important is that we are safe and that we are happy.

I am really grateful for the house and the garden, and the gorgeous sunny weather we enjoyed last week. Just being able to get outside has made a huge difference to the children, and it’s nice to have a chat with our neighbours over the fence. I’ve also been overwhelmed by the sense of community, the feeling of coming together especially during the Clap for Carers last Thursday. It was lovely and slightly emotional to see everyone on their doorsteps that evening, and made me realise that we are all still here, even when we’re hiding away behind our closed front doors.

Having this time at home has also opened my eyes to be far more organised and plan what we are going to do that day and what we are going to eat. Freya’s school are uploading on their website a daily curriculum that we attempt to work through. It’s mostly creating something that’s on topic, phonics and reading, but it’s made me realise just how amazing all the teachers are. Thank you! PE with Joe Wicks, The Body Coach at 9am each morning is a brilliant way to start the day, and helps us to create a routine in the morning. All of these additional resources along with Twinkl worksheets are helping to create a structured day for us all.

Myself and the kids doing PE with Joe Wicks, The Body Coach

Freya and Bertie playing in the garden

But what’s also good about this time at home is that the bond between Freya and Bertie is growing. They are their own playmates now. Bertie’s speech has come on a lot as has his cheekiness. It certainly makes life easier for me when they are playing happily together. Don’t get me wrong I do have to spend a lot of time fielding them apart and stopping Bertie from trashing something that Freya is working on, but that’s normal.

The other thing which is hugely beneficial during this time, is technology, where on earth would we be without it and it definitely helps to make social distancing easier. We are never really alone. I think the number of What’s App groups that I am part of has now doubled, and Zoom is now my new friend for staying in touch with friends and family. All I can say is thank god for technology and the smartphone.

Freya having her Saturday morning dance class using Zoom

It is a challenging time for everyone at the moment, it’s not easy, but for now we just need to sit tight and try to make the most of this time. Before we prepare ourselves for next week, here are a few things I’ve learned this week that I’m taking into Week 2 of social distancing…..

Lowering my expectations

I started last week trying to keep on top of everything which simply isn’t possible, and I’m slowly starting to accept that everything is not going to be perfect and the house isn’t going to be spotless until the children return to school and nursery. But that doesn’t matter, who is going to see it, apart from us.

Trying not to stress too much about home schooling

One of my biggest bug bears is reading, I can’t get Freya to read anything at the minute. Instead I’m not going to worry too much about it, she’s only 4.5 years old and is more likely to turn to a book when there is no pressure. I also keep reminding myself that ALL children are out of school and no one else is getting an educuation at the moment.

Home schooling in the garden

Drawing the dinosaur shadows

Making time for myself

This is so important, and I know that I’ve not had enough of this in the last week. I’ve felt that I’m on a constant hamster wheel of cooking, cleaning, tidying, home schooling, breaking up fights, saying no to snacks, bathtime and bedtime. I am knackered at the end of the day. But it’s made me realise that even though we are cooped up at home I need time to step away from it all to find that headspace. So next week I’m going to be doing a little more for me. Hopefully.

Trying to enjoy it

I am seeing and hearing things from Freya and Bertie that I’ve never seen before, the amount of things that Freya knows is amazing and I love all the random little conversations we have. We are also sitting around the table to eat dinner so much more as a family. I guess it’s learning to love the little things.

Excitement of receiving our meat and veg delivery. Just look at the size of that sweet potato.

Accepting that life is a bit different for now

It’s taken me all week to do, but I feel like I’ve finally accepted that life will be a bit different for the time being. No longer can we just pop out, do the school run, drink a coffee in a local coffee shop or pop to the park to the kids. I know that these things that we love doing will return, but for now we need to wait it out.

Remembering that it will be ok (I hope)

The one thing that slightly terrifies me about this is not knowing how long it will go for on. It is uplifting to see the restrictions being lifted in Wuhan, but they are a long way from life returning to normal again. So right now I am taking each day at a time and trying not to look ahead too much, as we have no idea what is going to happen. We’ve all done a week (or maybe longer) and we can keep going.

Anyway that’s enough rambling from me, I hope that you have found this useful or even to feel like you are not alone. This isn’t a woe is me post but more to share my experience and to help others.

Brace yourself for week 2.

Claire x


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