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Covid-19- Changes Afoot

Ironically when lockdown is completely lifted, I think we are going to spend more time at home????!

When Borris announced the first phase of coming out of lockdown, I wasn’t as excited as I thought I would/ should be??? Is that weird? We had become quite content in our little isolation bubble I didn’t feel ready to leave (also not ready to shave my legs, wash my hair, parallel park). I realised I was scared to lose some of the life we had acquired during this lockdown time.

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So, it got me thinking about things I might change when re- emerging back into the real world. I’m not going to build a mud shack on the middle of Dartmoor and live-off-the-land whilst wearing nothing but dock leaves to cover my modesty (my boys would love doing this). But I have had some realisations. Oh, I’ve become so deep.

Lounge Wear

I have decided to give away every item of clothing and just live in lounge wear for the rest of my life.

OUT OUT

I’ve never been a homebody. I’ve always preferred to get out there, see the world, do anything and everything I can to fill my days. I felt this was living my life to the max. My diary is always jam packed and I always felt guilty if I wasted time “just at home”. Oh how the tables have turned. I’ve realised staying at home is actually alright and we are so bloody lucky to have a home. Especially as this time last year we were living in a hotel room. Staying at home is not something to be feared. Don’t get me wrong, we will still do lots of adventuring/traveling but I think we will also have more time chilling out watching TV at home and not feel bad about it!

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Less Use Of Car

We have got so used to jumping in the car to go anywhere. During lockdown without this luxury, we have actually discovered amazing places right on our doorstep. And, we CAN walk to the beach with the boys. It’s all too easy with kids to opt for the least stressful way of getting to places. But we have underestimated the boys and they can in fact walk*

*whinge, stop for snacks 689565 times, wind too windy, sky too blue, trees to rustley, carry 2x kids plus bikes plus suitcase of snacks home in heat wave.

Underwear

I might go all Charlie Dimmock and not wear a bra anymore??? I’m just so free now

Spend Less Money

I was a VERY good person and helped out some small businesses and bought some things from Instagram shops (!!!!), but now I have done my bit, I am seriously going to cut back on spending. Not having the option to nip into shops has definitely made me less impulsive. And healthier?! And the option of going anywhere less *fashion conscious

*all about loungewear chic these days

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Look At Things Differently

I’m very aware that I don’t want this to make me or my family super paranoid and scared to do anything. But inevitably, I have already found myself looking differently at things. For example, any movie/ TV when people are hugging and close together makes me think “oooo they aren’t socially distancing”. Seeing people on a walk, instead of feeling uplifted to see them, I’m just thinking how I can best navigate my kids and myself to not get too close. If someone sneezes in public (I know not Corona symptom), instead of saying “bless you” I think “oh my god its bloody Rona”. People handing me something, and thinking I need to anti bac the item and my hands immediately. I really don’t want to live like this forever and my boys growing up being scared of the world. I’m 100% behind the “rules” to keep everyone safe, but eventually I want to get back to normal. I want my kids to eat stuff off the floor again (5 second rule??!!)

Home Gym

NEVER thought I would have the motivation to work-out at home. I thought the temptation of having the sofa right there would be too much. But actually, when there is no other option and I don’t want to look like Mr Blobby after too many pies, I have found I’m pretty driven. Plus, as you are in your living room, it’s totally acceptable wo work out in your bra and pants whilst watching Friends. Save on clothes, gym fees and have a bloody good time.

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Running Career

As much as I still absolutely HATE running and it’s SO bad for my knees, I think I might carry on with it?? The main drive behind this is I get to escape from the kids and listen to music that isn’t off a kid’s program. I also don’t piss myself nearly as much since I started running.

Slowing Down

I’ve always done lots of clubs and activities for the boys. Felt they needed it? When actually, I have spent the last 5 years rushing around to all of these things and not actually spending proper time with them? I think they have really enjoyed not being carted around everywhere when really, they seem quite happy playing with Mummy the Dinosaur in the living room. Although, Kitt is going to be an Olympic Gymnast and Arlo and Olympic Snowboarder so we will see……

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Free Fun

Also realised that we don’t need all these places that cost a bomb to get it and are full of glitz and glamour (well, loud primary colours and music that’s gives you migraines). All of the best times we have had have been totally free.

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Family

When everything in your life is stripped back, and the things that defined you are gone, you realise what is really important in life. Family and that everyone is healthy. So we have decided to have 20 more kids………..joking, can barely cope with 2! So, from now on I’m going to prioritise my family more. Not just my little family but my parents too. This is why I have now promised my 73-year-old dad that I’m going to be his new mountain bike buddy!!! As long as he gets me a pink bike and we stop for cake. I feel a bit helpless with my brother and expectant wife all the way in NZ though:(

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Shopping Without Kids

This is something I hope will never change. It’s been a great shame (!!!) that I have had to do the food shopping ALONE without any children.

Appreciation

I tell you, I’m just going to appreciate everything SO much more after this: hanging out with friends and chatting “lovingly “about our husbands, H&M, wearing Tena Ladies to Adult Gymnastics, going to work with adults, hugging people and accidently inhaling their hair, petting crazy dogs that then try to hump you, accidently eating fish whilst wakeboarding, talking to random people about the weather, standing in EasyJet check-in queues, hairdressers, teachers (bloody deserve medals), Clubbersize and glow sticks, licking my mates and the holy grail of childcare (god bless). And of course, snowboarding. I’d take that in a whiteout right now.

Cleaning

Huge realisation that its actually pointless cleaning my house again until the kids have left home. Me off the hook for the next 15 years.

*Disclaimer

All of these life changes will probably all go tits-up and when lockdown is fully lifted you will find me finally out of loungewear, wearing a bra, at an expensive event that I have driven 5 hours to get to.

The reality of how different our world is going to be is really hitting me at the moment, especially the school thing. It’s all just so sad. But I guess we just take each step as it comes and focus on the positive things.

This also got me thinking…what’s the first thing you’re going to do once lockdown is fully lifted??????

ps. This evening I watched my son eat grated cheese off his penis (long story), I actually think its now time to get out more

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Groundhog Day- COVID-19

Groundhog Day

Anyone else feeling like this yet??? A few days ago, we did our walk  THE OTHER WAY ROUND!!! Totally crazy and mind-blowing!!!! My pre-Corona-life also felt ground-hoggy (word?) as I KNEW what was coming (gym Monday, work Tuesday, Forest School Wednesdays, Baby Gym Thursday, Swimming Friday, work Saturday, school run every day….dinner every day, high chair cleaning everyday…), but now it’s like the ultimate kind of Groundhogs. Although weirdly, the feeling that we really don’t know what’s coming next keeps me going?? I am working towards an end??? Or a new beginning maybe? For me this is keeping the mundane fresh (mostly) and the novelty of this temporary way of life ticking over (most days). I know this isn’t forever. I won’t get this time again.

We Are Not All In The Same Boat

I’ve seen this a lot recently and I’m becoming acutely aware of is how different this situation is for everyone. No two lockdowns are the same. I was stood in the queue for Tesco’s the other day and I was studying everyone (through my dark sunnies): silent, not talking, not making eye contact, distancing from others in their own worlds. I just thought, each one of these people has a their own COVID-19 story and facing their own set of battles. The spectrum of difficulty is huge, and I feel bad to say anything bad about my situation as many are SO much more worse off.  A lockdown with young kids does present its own set of challenges however, but I’m thankful each day for chocolate, locks on bathrooms, TV, wipes, bribes and my (chaotic) family.

Slob Days

I’ve been having these days, like once a week?? Where I just wake up with zero motivation to do anything at all and I just feel a bit glum? So, I wear odd socks and joggers, eat peanut butter straight from the jar, do oven fish and chips for my kids, snacks all day on the sofa, and let them watch a lot TV. I feel mega mum guilt but have told myself that the kids need a rest day???!! I would win no parenting awards AT ALL and if they want to eat tomato ketchup from the bottle and run around naked, so be it. Generally, if I just go with it and try not to fight it I wake up feeling so much better the next day.

I’m Scared For It To End??!

Obviously, I want this all to be over, and life to return to normal, families to be reunited, jobs to be safe again and people to be healthy. BUT, I’m nervous to get back on that hamster wheel of life again. I’m nervous to be away from my kids for longer than my food shop (although Grandparents, please feel free to take them away for like a week when this is over so I can sleep and just sit there in peace), nervous to drive again, parallel park, nervous for the overload of life admin, work deadlines, making pack lunches, getting somewhere at certain times……Plus, I think I’m going to be like really weird in social situations now??? I think I’m scared of people!!! I’ve strangely become accustomed to this slower pace of life. Who’d have thought! But I’m also scared for how our new world is going to be after this. I’m not sure it will ever be the same again. Staying in this bubble for a while feels safer.

 

Fear Of Missing Out

My whole life I have really bad FOMO! But for the first time like EVERRRRR, I don’t have it!!! Because EVERYONE is in the same situation- no one can travel, no one can snowboard, no one can go to gymnastics, no one can hang out with mates, no one can go on adventures. I’m not drooling over what others are doing for once. Apart from those obviously quarantining in like Hawaii.

The Tables Have Turned

Obviously not in every situation (some are worse off now as Dads are away full time and mums doing it totally on their own) but in some situations are husbands getting a taste of full-time parenting???!!! If you are in this situation, is it giving you justice in some way??? Like they will finally understand what it’s like??? I’ve now been furloughed, but for a sweet month, I worked more than my husband. I felt slightly smug that maybe my husband might see what it’s been like for the last 5 years. I’ve done A LOT of solo parenting and even though he farts too much and is well annoying, I’m so grateful I’m not on my own right now. Shout out to all you bloody amazing hardcore mums/ dads doing it on you’re own.

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I Think I’m Becoming Lazy??

As the days go on, I can feel my motivation dwindling. I went in strong with the kid’s activities, daily walks, home exercising, DIY, now I feel like I’m just totally running out of steam?! And ideas of “fun things to do with kids”- I’m all out. I hate feeling lazy, like the less I do, the more sluggish and lazier I feel, so the less I do??? Vicious circle. I think this would be worse without kids, as they definitely don’t allow you to sit around like everrrrrr.

My Running Career!

Exercise has definitely been my saving grace in life. Any bad times it’s what I turn too. Helps me mentally and means I can eat more cake. So, with no more of my normal exercise outlets, I have turned to running!!! I HATE it (until it’s over then I like it!). No idea how people do it? I’ve zero stamina, run like a chicken and sound like a wheezy donkey? I trained for over 2 weeks to get up to 5k for that challenge (blisters, cow poo, wee, faulty running gear falling down, shoes that look like moon boots) but now I’ve run my 5k, I’m please to say I’ve retired!!! To be fair I will probably carry on* as it’s my only escape out the house kid free.

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*go out in running gear, hide around the corner, throw water over me to look like sweat just before I come home.

 

Getting Out Of The House

When I first had a baby it honestly took me like 3 hours to leave the house?? I then (somehow) got it down to a fine art and could get ready and out with 2 kids by 8am (ish). But now, for our daily exercise, it takes half the day to get ready to go out?? I don’t understand, there’s 2 parents to help!!! We are done with “home schooling” by 9.30/ 10 but often don’t get out for our walk until 12/1?? No idea what happens in those 3 hours.

Time To Do Things

Actually, I haven’t achieved much at all on my to-do list. I seriously underestimated (forgot) how full on it is just surviving each day with kids. Thought I would have oodles of time to write this blog but tbh, I don’t think I’ve even brushed my teeth today??! I haven’t learnt a language, I haven’t got an online qualification, I haven’t learnt an instrument, I haven’t built a new bathroom, I haven’t planted veg, I haven’t birthed baby chicks, I haven’t learnt yoga, I haven’t got a 6-pack, I haven’t painted beautiful pictures of nature, I haven’t become a domestic goddess (I did bake a banana bread once), I haven’t home-schooled a little Einstein. BUT, I have managed to do some little things that I am pleased with:

Started moisturising my feet

Watched ALL the seasons of Friends

Sorted out my sock draw and paired socks (that was a fun half hour with kids??!)

Made baby album for Kitt (age 18….ha only joking he’s nearly 3)

Put lemon in my hair to see if it will make it go blonder

Clean Forest School mud off my boots from 2019.

Put “does hair self-wash over a certain time” to the test…..its doesn’t seem to.

 

Trying to celebrate the little things!

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….home Clubbersize!!

Turned to Drink

So, I don’t drink (a story for another time), apart from a Baileys at Christmas and a very odd special occasion where I will have 1 and that’s it. However, I have started to enjoy an afternoon (after 12pm??) tipple. And I swear it makes me a better mum??!! I’m so fun! Last week I was riding around on our brush pretending to be a witch. Kids loved it. I was a HOOT!!!

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Changes to My Life

Once lockdown is over, I think I’m going to make some changes to my life……..More of that in the next blog!

 

  1. Has anyone else’s food shop doubled since lockdown and “pile for the tip” taken over a large portion of house??!

 

 

 

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Justifying Mum Guilt

When you become a mum you start feeling really guilty…..all the time. Not the “I got really drunk last night, tied my maxi skirt up to make a mini skirt, puked in glass and woke up with kebab stuck to my face” kind of guilty (not me??!!), but a really powerful ” you’re shaping someones life/personality/future” kind of guilty.

I’ve been thinking about “Mum Guilt” recently (mainly because I’ve been feeling so guilty). Its something I hear mums talk a bout a lot. Surely it just makes us good mums that we are worried about things?? Or bad mums because we are doing things wrong??

And then it came to me (as I was rocking/shushing/nippling/ online shopping at 3am), every cloud has a silver lining. So in fact, all of these things that we have been feeling so horrendously guilty about are totally fine. If anything, they could actually be viewed as GOOD things. It’s all about turning negatives into positives.

1) Feeding Child Snacks To Keep Quite
Children love snacks, snacks are food, food is good to help growing children, child is quiet whilst eating. WIN WIN. If child has filled up on snacks and wont eat
“proper” food…..saves cooking/ money/ time.

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2) Too Much TV
On “Go Jestters” the other morning (go go, go go, goo jesters…..song in head all day long), they were talking about wind power and windmills. My 2 year suddenly chirped up “wind power”. I mean wow, how advanced to know all about how power is generated, child genius right there (!!!!). So, I really feel that TV is actually very educational. Kids programs these days are so informative, covering so many different topics that it can only be a good thing?! I was poorly when I was a kid, I had a very long time off school and just lay on the sofa and watched TV everyday, and I’m fine??!! Even TV programs like Hollyoaks (if they happen to be on) for example, your child can learn about emotions, relationships, life lessons etc. Then you can switch over to the news (ok Loose Women, basically news) for more political debates. You then have problem solving in programs like Broadchurch. Also environmental subjects covered in programs such as Love Island (travel) and talent inspiring TV such as X-Factor. So you see, TV is actually a GOOD thing. Its like being at school.

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3) Too Much Time On MY Phone
I feel guilty about my children, even my 12 week old baby, seeing me on my phone. I even go and hide in the toilet to check Instagram, or cover my phone with a blanket “den” so I can check FB. BUT if you just say “Mummy’s working” then they will see just how hard you work and how you can multi task your “work” with mothering. In this day and age (unfortunately) it’s the way our world is going (back in my day……..) so I guess it’s a good way of them getting used to it. They don’t want to be behind their peers at school. PLUS I find Instagram/ FB and just taking a million photos/ videos in general on my phone is a brilliant way to capture moments. YOU ARE RECORDING MEMORIES, so well done you. Your children will love looking through them all when they are older.

4) Too Much Cake
Me/ children?? Both! Now, my son is really really fussy (to do with all the snacks??!), but doesn’t seem to be too fussy when it comes to cake?? Its got to a point when I feel that any sort of food I can get into him is a bonus. So I do make a lot of cakes. But I always make ones with fruit/veg in to make it “healthy” (Banana Bread, Carrot Cake, Apple Crumble, Flapjack with raisens?), therefore he’s getting one of his five a day…and you don’t have to feel bad anymore. Plus cakes have eggs in too.

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5) Eating Food Off The Floor
All I can say is….”good for the immune system”. Sometimes I rub my childs food on the floor to help protect my child against colds.

6) Talking To Friends And Ignoring Child
I love a good chat. But I’m very aware then when I meet up with other mums and kids that I talk too much and don’t pay enough attention to my child. They are called mothers meetings for a reason I guess. However, It’s good for your child to venture out on their own without you having to hold their hand, makes them confident?! Anyone that knows my mum will know she talks A LOT (sorry mum if you’re reading this), and I feel, as an adult, I am pretty patient person. Maybe this is because my mum talked so much I had to learn to wait. BUT, you know when another mum comes up to you and says “is that your son in the Lama pen”, that you maybe haven’t been paying enough attention and to tone down the chatting.

7) Not Playing Enough
This follows on nicely to this point. How much should you actually play with your child? If you play with them all the time then they will never learn to play on their own, but if you never play with them then they become neglected? I always feel that I don’t play enough with my 2 year old. I’ve discovered I’m rubbish at playing, I thought I would be a lot more fun but I’ve turned out pretty boring. BUT, I do let my son play on his own (quite a bit) telling myself that this is called “baby led play” (??????) and is VERY good for them to learn how to be by themselves and entertain themselves. By doing this I’m shaping their independence and helping them develop their imagination. Well done me??

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8) Not Enjoying Diggers/ Tractors/ Cars/ Trains/ Aeroplanes
Again, this leads nicely onto this point. I’m quite a girly girl (but like extreme sports and wearing Vans)……but always feel hugely guilty that I really don’t like playing with all the ‘boy” stuff AT ALL ie: diggers/ Tractors/ Cars/ Lego (although I know girls can be really into this too). I feel bad that I find it boring and my son finds it AMAZING but I just don’t really know how to make a fun game out of a digger…day after day after day. I really need to get stuck into boy stuff now as I’ve just had boy number 2, this will be my life. Soccer Mum. BUT by playing with dolls, putting hair clips in his hair, dressing up, going shopping….(all whilst dad is out of course) I feel I am broadening his horizons and showing him its ok to be whoever he wants to be. The whole “not being gender specific” is quite popular these days so I’m bang on trend.

9) Bribing/ Incentives
Only recently (would have started way sooner if my son had understood)) I have started using bribes. Honestly, it has opened up a whole new world for me!! You can get toddlers to do pretty much anything. I did feel bad using bribery to get him to do things, until a friend pointed out another way to look at it. They are INCENTIVES not bribes. In life its good to be able to set oneself goals and aims and rewards when you achieve them. So therefore I am basically giving my toddler drive and focus and teaching him the value of commitment and results of actions etc.

10) Too Much Time In Car
I’ve always used my car as a tool to get my toddler to sleep, then doing “the transfer” (heart in mouth, blood pumping, sweating, could kill the noisy car that drives passed just as I’m getting him out of the car and into the house). Sometimes I’d drive around (for hours) to get my son off to sleep, then park up somewhere nice and leave the engine running to keep him asleep. Now I have a baby, I use the car/ car seat to contain my toddler whilst I feed the baby. (plus feed toddler snacks to keep quiet, see point 1). So all in all we spend A LOT of time in the car (also why car is so skanky). BUT, my toddler looks out the window and sees lots of different places (we cover some miles!), people, animals…diggers, tractors, cars. This gives him experience of the outside world and see lots of different places and gives him a zest for travel. I just wouldn’t be able to cover these sort of miles of foot everyday. Also my toddler is so full of energy, that I think being contained in the car seat forces him to have some down time, which he needs.

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11) So much time feeding
Since having baby number 2, I feel so bad on my toddler that I have to spend so much time feeding him. A lovely lady at work suggested having a special bag with special toys to bring out for him whilst I feed, but then when he was feeding every 45 mins or more, the novelty soon wore off. I try and play with toddler whilst feeding but this is difficult to juggle as you are trying to dig in the sand with a digger (good at digger games??) and keep your wriggly baby on the boob with the other hand…….all whilst containing your modesty. So as a result, my toddler has to fend for himself once again. But I feel this teaches him all about mothers and milk and feeding/ babies. There was teething problems at the start where he got a bit confused and tried to latch onto my husbands nipple in the shower. But now he has really got the idea of it and likes to breast feed his own Teddy?! Also I guess this teaches him lessons on sharing ie; he has to share his mum…and share his breast milk with his teddy?!

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These are just a few of the million things I feel guilty about on a daily basis. I actually feel guilty about writing this when I should be tidying bombsite/ interacting with baby on play gym/ cooking some sort of nutritious dinner/ preparing an education game for my toddler etc………..