One thing I have learnt during lockdown is… You are not a lone!
I have been working with the incredible Phil Tottman, Book of Beasties and other amazing heroes to bring together our stories of lockdown.
A couple of weeks ago I was asked to talk about my experiences during Lockdown, at the time I was working non-stop and sometimes till 10 pm at night to finish my work. Why? Because working with a two-year-old and having a husband who is a key worker was incredibly challenging.
Phil asked four amazing ladies to share their stories and I was one of them.
Kavita Trevena – The Unlikely Mummy Blogger – Mum of one
My story is below
Current situation: Sitting next to a toddler eating his grapes, blueberries and strawberries while watching Peter Rabbit and it is only 8.36am on a Thursday.
The new normal
We haven’t changed much in terms of our routine, apart from everything. We used to have a normal 6.30 am wake up, playtime, maybe some telly then it was nursery or in-laws. Now, we wake up any time from 5 am, playtime telly and then us! What do you do with a toddler all day? Breakfast times, nap times have all changed. The only thing that has stayed the same is that I am his mum. We have tried new activities which last for 10 minutes maximum, all that effort for 10 minutes, that is incredibly soul-destroying.
What does this even mean? Everyone will just be economical with the truth on social media, so they don’t come across weak or a failure during this time. Let’s face it, we have all thought about it, but lets just say not every day has been easy. Yesterday I gave him a biscuit for breakfast because that is what he wanted, the way I see it is it’s one day and it won’t hurt him. Don’t get me wrong, if it was every day then I will need to do some serious reflection on my parenting skills.
What have I done differently?
Well for starters, the little man doesn’t want to nap in his bed, so we have been taking him in the pushchair (I know, gasps at that terrible habit) however, it works for me and because of that, I will continue it and for these following reasons:
- We are able to get out of the house and get freedom, exercise, fresh air and see what is happening in the world.
- I can exercise
- Little man can see there is more to life than the four walls and Bing!
- A talking opportunity and to explore our surroundings
- Speak to neighbours that you never see
- Spend that time just focusing on my child.
To me this time is something I know I will never ever get back, so I don’t want to waste it fighting him to nap somewhere he doesn’t want.
What I tend to say to my husband “pick our fights, this isn’t one of them”.
What will I keep and what will I change?
That is a tough one, as I have enjoyed so many elements of lockdown. Having my husband home more and my son enjoying daddy time. Being able to cook more and more from ingredients, rather then a takeaway or quick meals. Having fewer headaches and having better mental health.
What I would like to change is the limited interaction, I feel my son is missing on social interaction and experiences. As a result, I will really look to do more and more activities to make memories and be mindful that not everything has to cost a lot of money. The simplest thing is quite often the most effective.
Working with a toddler
At first, I found it really hard to find a balance and have the flexibility to work and be a mum. I wasn’t able to work in the evening instead of weekends, which I understand, but that added additional pressures and as a consequence affected my home life and my relationship with my son. I felt like I was abandoning him because I had to get a piece of work done, which as a result made him grumpy, upset and reliant on TV. Now on reflection, I spend more time with him within my working day and if the work doesn’t get done, then that is what has to happen. I need to place my family as a priority and at the start, I wasn’t doing that. I was nervous that I would lose my job or risk being ‘told off’. However, when I had an honest conversation with my manager, I quickly realised that this is a strange time and there were options for me. Since then working with a toddler has become much more enjoyable.
It doesn’t mean I am a genius and cracked everything, we still struggle with every meal time and he hardly eats the food I put in front of him, but we are all here, healthy and (mostly) happy.