Being at home with kids whether it be full time or on the weekend after work – it’s hard. Let alone 24 hours without the luxury of heading out to playdates, kindy, day care, playgrounds. How is your lockdown going? We have had to learn to slow down, to respect each other, to drop expectations – this is not everyday life as we know it. So far though, we are doing ok. Our toddler is losing his little mind being stuck at home as he is a very social little being but we are doing our best to keep him occupied and to give him a little more lee-way with things we would usually be firmer on e.g. screen time, behaviour, mess… how is there so. much. mess…
Without distraction of normal weekly outings, we have found ourselves in some interesting situations when boredom creeps in e.g. Yesterday our 2yo one wanted a rainbow – we had distracted him from an outburst earlier in the week by showing him a rainbow that had appeared, now he wants one on demand which proves interesting. Chocolate for breakfast – this Easter was the first our toddler really enjoyed – he knew the ‘Easter bunny’ was coming, hunted for the eggs and ate chocolate first thing. It was so exciting for us to see the joy on his face BUT he then expected it the next day. He was less than impressed when we told him that wasn’t happening and a lovely tantrum ensued, needless to say next year we will be setting better expectations. The hardest thing has definitely been trying to explain to him why he can’t go to the playground, kindy, to see a Grandparent or to the supermarket (yep he ranks the supermarket up there with going to the playground (probably because he gets the chips he wants so I get some peace while I push him around). He just doesn’t understand and I am left feeling like I’m punishing him – so we relax the rules on a couple of other things to make sure he feels supported and loved.
One thing we haven’t allowed to slip though is sleep routine – the desire to sleep in is real but if we do it means one of two things – naps will be later which will lead to very late bedtimes or naps will not happen which will lead to over tiredness and tantrums. So, we get up bright an early as a family every day, we go for a walk, the little one naps at his usual time which means we have a happy toddler in the afternoon and bedtimes are nice and early leaving us some much needed adult time.
We have done some exciting things we haven’t done before which we will try to continue in the future – made a fort in the back yard, had a picnic for dinner on the deck, we’ve cleaned and tidied things that we never had time to get to, we have slowed down and walk as a family every day and, in general, spend more quality time together. Yes, we are stressed with the all the adult things – bills, jobs etc. but you have to focus on the small things that have changed for the better and try to make the most of this very odd situation we find ourselves in. There will be some great positives that will come out of this and I’d like to think our little one will be left with memories of a good time in lockdown, a time when we spent more time than ever together, played and baked and snuggled, laughed and felt the love of his family.
Be kind to yourself, reach out if you need help – you are doing your best and that is all that can be asked x