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“Just Keep Swimming”…With A Face Mask- Covid-19 Blog

Been Feeling Odd….

I’ve been feeling a little weird(er). Like I went into hibernation (lockdown) in winter, now I am re-emerging and going right back into winter? I know I’ve had a summer as I can tell by the flip flop tan (guaranteed “mum tan”). But definitely feel like we have missed out on summer and it shouldn’t be winter yet?

I also feel like all of a sudden, I have just got back onto that “momlife” hamster wheel at full speed. Went from *nothing to…….me back to work, 5-year-old back to school, 3 year old starting nursery, swimming lessons, karate lessons (they said it would give focus and discipline?), gymnastic lessons, pack lunch’s, school bags, PE kits etc etc. My head is spinning. Maybe I got used to the *nothing.

** by nothing I obviously still mean feeding, caring for, wiping, clothing, education, exercising, cleaning 2 kids, re-clothing, re-feeding (100% easier being at work).

I also feel a little cross at myself. I felt like I learned so much in lockdown, changed for the better. I wasn’t using the car as much, not spending as much money, appreciating what we had, cherishing (sometimes) the family time, enjoying nature and even marvelling how beautiful the green grass was?! Then BOOM, I’ve just gone back to normal again. I’m sad I seem to have lost all of this stuff. I promised myself I wouldn’t get too “busy” again, slow down, live in mud hut, look at more trees…. but low and behold, I don’t sit down until 9pm and feel like I’ve run a marathon each day. Why do I do it??!

I have also realised I haven’t actually left Devon since December?! Surely not?? No wonder I’m feeling odd. Adventures are my oxygen, and I’ve not even manged to set a foot in neighbouring Somerset. Boys managed a little holiday to sunny Stoke….I stayed home and shaved my legs.

Its Feeling Ominous….

I really feel like ITS HAPPENING AGAIN…….and please dear god don’t take me back there. And life is odd now. It’s like kinda normal, but always with a massive elephant in the room. Like we are titering on the edge of something. Everyone is happy to get some normality back, enjoying life again, but almost feels like people are going full pelt, savouring every minute “just in case”. Feels like we are waiting for shit to hit the fan, but then pretending all is ok.

It was all fun a games in the summer, a novelty, but I think a second lockdown during the winter months will be a different story. And now we are wise to what its’ like. We have realised that we are NOT teachers and baking banana bread makes you fat.

Although sort of ready to have just a little break from things such as swimming lessons, packing school bags, making pack lunches and filling out reading logs.

Masks

I am 100% up for wearing a mask if it keeps us from another lockdown (ie: being a teacher again)…..but I’m still not quite getting to grips with the “new normal”. Here are some things I have learnt about mask wearing:

-When you laugh really hard the mask sucks in and out really weirdly and puts you off

-I just can’t seem to communicate like a normal person in a mask? Its bloody hard to talk to people without feeling like a twat

-They accentuated your eyes but also crow’s feet

-You don’t need to wear lipstick/lip gloss anymore

-Don’t eat garlic

-Even though I know they can’t see it, I still smile at people

-Hard to read emotions

-I will continue to forget and try and drink/eat through my mask for the foreseeable future

-The most used phrase in August/ September 2020 is “oh shit, I forgot my mask”

-Makes people and the world more insular/ introverted/ isolated? You can hide

-Don’t be a wise guy and think tying your mask onto your car keys is a good idea. You may end up nearly having to also “wear” your car keys.

-Started to want to get masks to go with outfits? No Katie

-Don’t bother buying your kids cute masks. They will never wear them, (only for one Instagram photo) and they seem to make them very angry.

-Wondering why your masks have stretched? Your kids have been using them as underpants

-Don’t go for a run and then immediately go somewhere that you have to wear a mask. You will look like a raging weirdo

-If you have sunnies, hair down, mask on, hat on….its too much going on

-I don’t like kissing my boy’s goodbye through a mask for school

-Masks on school pick ups make me flustered. Especially when both boys also have “beautiful abstract art work” to bring back and its 27’c and they have had swimming that day

-Now would be a really good time to get braces if you were paranoid about them (although probs can’t get a dentist appointment)

-Make-up rubs off on masks and makes it look like your kids have wiped their bums with it…..hmmmm maybe they did?

-How good is it taking the mask off when you are allowed?! It’s like some kinda blind date when you take the blind fold off to reveal what’s underneath. I flick my hair and pretend I’m with Cilia Black (RIP) on TV. Anyone else????

-Word on the street is that people are getting asked for ID more in masks….I’m still waiting/ hoping

“Mask wearing” when you don’t have to have them on is almost like a trend in itself…what are you……..

The Beard: still hooked onto ears but stretched down underneath your chin

The One-Eared-Pirate: just hanging-free off one ear

The Wrist Band: hooked around your wrist like a Pandora Bracelet

The Nose Peaker:  Just down enough to get your little nose out into the fresh air

The Jungle Headband: just slip it up to your forehead, yep I’ve seen you Rambo

The Improvisor: when you have forgotten your mask all together and you “fashion” something together with what you have.

The Imposter: wearing your kids mask as you’ve forgotton yours…actually this makes you look 10 years younger??!

Christmas!

So, to round up, let’s just call it a day and get Christmas started?? I’m actually feeling rather festive and I’m sure it’s because we just need some really good happy jolly times, and mince pies. I’ve always thought if it was just me and my husband in this pandemic we would just roll with the punches more. But I get so upset about how it’s affecting kids lives. They are missing out on so much and don’t deserve this. It’s just not fair on them. So, Father Christmas will probably be extra generous this year………

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The New Normal- Covid19 Blog

Party Time?

Now the “unlocking of lockdown” has begun (thanks Kyrie!) we should all be feeling elated? But for some reason, it feels like a massive anti- climax. Previously I had been thinking and asking people… “what’s the first thing that you are going to do when lockdown is over?”. I imagined everyone coming out into the streets and cheering, hugging each other, maybe even licking each other. There would be fireworks, maybe even a trumpet, but most definitely glow sticks. Then the next day I would eagerly hand over my kids to grandparents as we jet set off for some *wild weekend away.…But it’s not been like that at all. Its not be like a massive party with fanfares and celebrations. It’s been a very gradual, diluted affair.  For me I feel like I’m slowly and very timidly dipping my toes back into reality and life again, but feeling guilty and scared by doing so?

*full night’s sleep, a tidy house and bath without toy frog going up bum.

What Are The Rules? Anyone?

I’m also feeling rather confused?! Like when you accidently try to make a phone call with your TV remote or spray air freshener in the garden? Just me? I think my confusion is partially down to not really watching the news anymore (kids next level crazy atm and can’t do anything remotely adult). Lockdown was lockdown, you stayed in, didn’t do ANYTHING. Simple. Almost easier? But now, we aren’t back to normal as we knew it, but we aren’t in full lockdown. Just in some weird world in-between universe. Its feels sort of “normal” but then not normal at all??? Maybe this is why I went out in odd flip flops the other day.

Routine

It doesn’t stick around long enough to get used to it??? For me…..husband away, me solo parenting; everyone on lockdown 24/7; me working, husband looking after kids 2 days a week (bliss); furloughed; 5 year old at school, husband back at work full time; soon me to be back at work, kids summer holiday……I used to look after both boys by myself all the time but must admit these last 3 weeks have been HARD getting used to that again!!!! Out-of-practice.

The End Of A Horror Movie?

It’s scary. When were in the midst of it, it was a novelty. Everyone was in it together. But I think now the reality of what this crazy pandemic has left us with is starting to hit. The uncertainty, the re-building, the new etiquette, the furious anti-bacing, the job losses, the one-way systems, the queuing, the deserted shops, the loss of human touch/ face to face interaction, the unruly lockdown hair. The life as we knew it has gone. Honestly, the only thing I can liken it too is some sort of film where the actors have to hide underground from some kind of apocalypse. Then once it’s over, they reimage to discover what’s left of the world. Obvs not as dramatic but I definitely have a “28 days later” feel recently.

School

I have not really talked about the school thing on here because I was worried of being judged. Not sure why really but maybe because I wasn’t sure myself and questioned the decision to send my 5-year-old son back to school. I must admit, when BJ first announced that reception kids could go back, my husband and I jumped off the sofa cheering and high fiving!! But then it sunk it. It wasn’t going to be the same for my son. I was so sad for him and worried if he would be ok with it. So many emotions and thoughts like most parents must have had. Won’t bore you with our reasons (could do a whole other blog post on this!) but we stuck to our original decision, we did what we felt was right for HIM. And we struck gold, honestly. And I can’t tell you what a joy it is to retire as his teacher. I once had an inkling to be a teacher. That is now gone.

Questions. So many questions.

Is this it then? The new normal? Are things ever going to be like they were before? Or is there always going to be this massive elephant in the room. Am I always going to have to queue up to get some peanut M&Ms from Tesco’s 2 meters apart?! Is anyone ever going to be able to cough in public again without getting death stares? Drink Corona beer without making a corona related joke? Walking backwards down the one-way-system in a shop to make it ok (anyone else do this?), open air hugs, workout without a child using you as a Stegasaurus, hold breath when go passed people, feel guilty for enjoying yourself, feel like it’s just going to happen again and the urge to buy that extra pack of loo roll????!!!

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Mountain Biking

Was loving (and still am) appreciating the simple things in life (the sound of the birds, the greenness of the trees, the smell of the flowers etc), but It was when I said to my husband the other day with earnest in my eyes and genuine excitement in my voice “oh, I think I might be able to fit another wash load on here”, I realised I seriously needed to start getting “back out there”. I needed to get some of ME back.

Introducing Mountain Biking!

My dad (age 73) is like this crazy downhill, off-road mountain biker. Honestly, he’s gnarly. He has been trying to get me into it for years, but it really had zero appeal to me. He kept saying I would love it, it was just like snowboarding, but I couldn’t see it. But when him and my mum were both poorly with suspected Covid19, it really put things into perspective. Having not had a bike since I was maybe 10, I have really had to start at the beginning. I mean, I didn’t even know what the different gears were for or that you actually had 2x breaks! Also had to go for a specialist “undercarriage” saddle fit as clearly birthing 2 boys has broken me.

I’ve been 6 times now and I am LOVING it!!! And IT IS just like snowboarding, picking lines, carving, trying to “ollie” your bike. I look like a complete kook in my gear and my lack of skills, but I actually don’t care. Gives me that “oh my god I’m going to die” adrenaline rush I love. I’m weird. It has become a family affair now, bikes all round.

I have also spent more time drinking gin with my mum on park benches! Life’s about balance!

Felt Mobiles

Quite contradictorily to my adrenaline seeking extreme sport type things, I really enjoy sewing (*cough granny). I have finally got around to semi putting into production my range of Felt Mobiles. It’s something I can do whilst watching TV/ sunbathing/ socialising. Keep trying to do it with my kids there but have 100% confirmed that this isn’t as feasible (my youngest dismantled the felt unicorn and rubbed the unicorn’s horn around his ball bag……don’t worry Millie, I made another!). Working on some more designs over the summer. Had a brainwave for the name…..Mega Felts. See what I did there?!

Life Is Going To Be Better

However, I think this whole thing could do some good changes to our world for the better? We are going to be even more super polite queuing and being very British and polite AND hopefully be healthier and get less bugs over winter as we are all going to be cleaner! I’m also going to save money on perfume as people can’t get close enough to smell it, AND I can eat garlic and onion with no concerns people also won’t be close enough to smell the effects of that. I have also learnt how to make semi edible cheese straws during this time.

 

 

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Lockdown Update: Bittersweet

After nearly 2 weeks of LOCKDOWN, emotions are settling down, we are adjusting to our new way of life, and we are eating way more snacks than necessary. Here are some things I’ve realised in our Corona bubble in the last few days:

 

  • Went in too strong during the first week of “kid’s activities” and set the bar waaaaaayyyyy too high. Doing more now with them than I ever have??? Now one of the most asked questions is “what are we doing next Mummy”. Should’ve gone in low.

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  • I Have let myself go….already. Shaving is unshaved (you know when your toddler calls your armpit hair “grass” and tries to eat it, its BAD), plucking is un plucked, make-up is not made-up, hair is just outright bushy AND I’m not even bothering to speak as much, just grunt in a primitive type way. And If I’m showing my midriff and side boob before midday…WHO CARES!!!! Unless you nip out to put bins out and your’e spotted by postman (sorry and I really appreciate the work you are doing).

 

  • I have forgotten how to dress. My comfy house clothes game is TOP-NOTCH, however, on the occasion that I re-enter into civilisation, I actually can’t remember how to dress? How did I dress before all this? What goes with what? What is socially acceptable? Can I go out in slippers? How do I wear jeans? What are jeans? I am now finding that I am planning my weekly food-shop-outfit like it’s a red-carpet premier. Little things.

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  • I have become really adept to social distancing from my husband. Days are FULL ON, so once the kids go to bed I feel social distancing should be enforced to keep one’s sanity and marriage alive. I believe it is at least 12.5 meters from the living room to bedroom. Gold star. And god bless the garage. Not quite sure what goes on in there but god bless it anyway.

 

  • Don’t quote me on this, but I think DIY is a chance to escape from the kids??!

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  • I believe the weekly food shop outing has become a pleasure and almost a “chore” to fight over? Chance to break the cycle. Even though this is such a bazar experience in itself and a reality check outside of your isolation bubble.

 

  • Working from home is a massive juggle BUT (if the kids don’t find you) a lovely break.

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  • Using social media waaaaay too much. Maybe it’s because we can’t see REAL LIFE people, so we have to get our fix. Reassurance? But I am disgusted at myself how much I’m on it at the moment. I actually thought there was smoke coming out of my Instagram account the other day.

 

  • My tea drinking has become EXCESSIVE. It really breaks up the day, and it has become exciting to vary it between normal tea, mint tea, lemon tea and ginger tea. I fear that I may actually need a life. And how will I EVER go back to normality and acceptable tea drinking levels.

 

  • Carnage but calm, all at the same time. I can only liken it to the days when I had 1x baby and 1x toddler on maternity leave and not a single second everrrrr to myself. The days are just total carnage, so much noise and chaos constantly. But at the same time, I’m starting to feel quite calm??? No schedules, no plans, no routines, no clubs, no school run, no social commitments, no deadlines, no…….no nothing. Apart from the obvious elephant in the room (starts with C), I’m not worrying and stressing about life in general. Kinda like a long-extended Christmas holiday (festively plump) but without the tree? Hell, I might actually get a tree.

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  • YOU TIME-nope. zero. Although, I’m grateful to the kids for not giving me time to think too much. Evenings (apart from social distancing from husband) become the time to work out, wash, clean, eat, sit down, reply to messages, work, shave/pluck (maybe) DIY etc. I’m very aware that isolation must be totally different for everyone. On the other end of the spectrum, people doing this by themselves must be really tough in other ways.

 

  • Home-schooling isn’t for us. The first week I found really stressful as live stream school stuff we had to keep to, worksheets to get through, educational games to play, phonics to learn, writing to do. An overload of things to do and different options and I felt like I needed to do it ALL to be a good mum. But actually my 4-year-old was not interested or compliant and my 2-year-old was intent on putting a stop to anything remotely productive. So, the second week (technically Easter holidays so anything we do is a bonus), after reading lots of inspirational quotes floating around on social media, I relaxed the “rules”. I’m trying to go-with-the-flow-man (matches my hippy hair and hairy legs) and taking my 4-year-olds lead with learning. If he’s up for it, we seize the moment, if he isn’t, we do something else! But I can honestly say I think all teachers should be given an MBE from the Queen.

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  • Not lacking ideas, lacking time???! Seem busier now than ever, working my way through list of “fun lockdown activities to do with kids” and “stuff to get done in the house during isolation”….alternated with 3x meals a day, daily exercise, work, keeping house semi liveable and just generally keeping the status quo. Ironic, as technically I should have all the time in the world now.

 

  • Forgotten how to socially act. I don’t know how to talk to real people anymore. On the odd occasion I bump into someone in Tescos/ on walk/ leaning out of window, I can’t remember how to talk like a normal person? I stutter, high pitched, no banter, talk about the weather too much and nervous giggle (or was this me anyway???). I’m going to emerge from this a very strange person.

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  • Daily exercise is weird. You become nervous to bump into people (how can you get kids to social distance?), but then excited at the same time but restraining from big hugs and licking them all over (oh no, I AM weird). You become an expert at pavement swerving (2 meters), but then you don’t know whether to say “good morning” or avoid eye contact?? You feel like you’re being watched (probs are….is this your second exercise for the day??), people don’t trust you (have we got it), you don’t trust people (have they got it). I feel like when this is all over we are all going to have social anxiety and be mega odd and twitchy. Main thing is you can’t pet lovely happy dogs anymore! If they bound up to you, you just hold your hands in the air and sorta pet them with your legs? Just me??

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  • What’s the etiquette now? When you drop food to friends/ relatives? Do you just drop and run? Can you stop for a chat? When you walk passed a friend’s house do you try and catch them at the window or do you just scuttle passed quickly and avert eyes? Can you stop and have a snack? Can you sit on a bench? Can you talk to the postman? Can you accept food made by other people? Can you go around to pick stuff up from people’s front gates?

 

  • Feeling guilty about online shopping?? On one hand, supporting small businesses and helping people keep their jobs etc. On the other hand, I’m making people sacrifice time with THEIR family and exposing them to germs just because I want some new cosy house clothes?

 

  • Every little cough, every little sniff, feeling hot (just ran up the stairs), I think is Corona.

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  • Neighbourhood watch. They might as well sign me up. Curtain twitcher??? Often the highlight of my day when the bin men come.

 

  • Kids are having a WHALE of a time, its only us that worry.

  • Really feeling content by the little things these days. Loving discovering beautiful hidden spots moments away from our house that we would have never discovered otherwise. Saw some Daffodils the other day and cried.

 

Really Hope everyone is ok out there x