Here is a blog I never thought I would write. Forced to stay at home. With two young children, if you had told me this would happen 6 months ago, I probably would have laughed and said there was no way it was possible to do it. But here we are. And we are doing exactly that. We are doing it. With young children and older children. We are surviving at home. You are doing it too. So here are some of the highs and lows that we are experiencing during our life between four walls.
Then there are 'the symptoms'. My throat is feeling scratchy...do I have it? One of the children coughed...do they have it? Even knowing you haven't left the house at all in the last 3 weeks, you still doubt it. Anyone else feeling that? And between Paul and I both feeling this at alternate times, it feels like we are battling anxiety throughout every day. Mentally, we are drained. It is hard work looking after children normally, but at least you can get out to the beach or go somewhere which will entertain them. Not only are you drained from having no break until bedtime, but it is also mentally draining worrying about the situation. However, I think this is the only negative.
There are so many positive things that we are experiencing during this lock down. Family time. That thing that we normally try and have on a weekend for an hour or so. We are getting this all the time. Yes, Paul is working and I am running my classes online, with lots of preparation going on in the background, but we are spending much more time together as a family.
We are playing better. When you get into a work and life routine, I find I get slack at playing. The TV will come on and that's it. We can be lost in it for ages. But, knowing that we are stuck at home, I am finding we are watching TV much less than normal because we are making more of an effort to play and vary the day.
We are eating better and having far less waste. We are making the most of every single thing in our kitchen cupboards. We have run out of chocolate (which is unheard of in our house), but instead of reaching for the snacks, we are reaching for the fruit that is starting to go off. We are baking more and inventing things. We are eating everything that is being delivered to our door and it feels great not to be wasting a thing.
We are shopping local. We always go to the supermarket. It is close. It is easy. It is convenient. But at the moment, trying to get a delivery slot from a supermarket is like winning the jackpot on the lottery. So we switched to a local dairy. Not only are we supporting local, but everything we are buying is supporting farms in the UK. Everything is fresh and delicious. Not everything in the fruit and veg boxes we have been given are things we would normally buy, but we are eating it and finding ways to cook it that we like it. And we have already discussed that when all this is over, we would rather to continue to support local. We only end up spending a ridiculous amount on snacks that we don't really need at the supermarkets anyway.
We are singing and dancing more. We are reading more books and we are talking more. We are appreciating our children and their cheekiness. I have a new hobby making clothes for the kids. We have watched Netflix series we have been trying to watch for months. I have tried Yoga for the first time (it's bloody hard!).
Yes there are more tantrums and a few more disagreements, and panic sets in every now and then but in the grand scheme of things, there isn't anywhere else in the world I would rather be right now.
So yes, life between four walls can suck. But only if you let it.