Since lockdown, many of us have had to change our lifestyles completely. Has your routine with your children changed?
To a certain extent yes - my eldest two were at nursery every day so having all three at home is at times hectic but my girls have always loved having a routine so we stick to the same nap times, meal times, bath time and bed time every day. You find your new normal and I feel like we are now in the groove.
Do you feel more pressure as a parent in the current situation? For example, keeping routine, home schooling or explaining why we can’t go outside.
My girls are so little so I don't feel too much pressure because I don't need to worry about homeschooling. I think its important for everyone to lower their standards a little though and to be ok with the fact that we can't do it all. For me it's more important that my girls are happy than that we try to set ourselves too high standards. In terms of not going outside again my girls are so young so they don't really ask. We explained the situation to my eldest who is 3 we wanted to be really open with her and she understands. Of course she misses her friends and nursery but its not forever.
Has the lockdown impacted your mental health? How are you trying to stay positive?
I am the eternal optimist trying to always see good in a situation. I definitely have my ups and downs at the moment but what else can we do other than try to be positive. I feel lucky that we are healthy and safe at home and I have my girls keeping me so busy that I don't have too much time to think about whats going on. I think its really important for anyone struggling to reach out though - I feel like the sense of togetherness this situation has created is one positive and hopefully no-one should feel too alone.
What would your advice be to parents who may be struggling with their mental health during the lockdown?
I think as I mentioned before to lower their standards. I am definitely not good at this I can tell you but I am trying to be kind to myself. What matters the most is that we are being good parents rather than perfect parents (there is no such thing as a perfect parent anyways!) Also to take a bit of time for themselves when they can. During the week my husband works non stop but on the weekend he is hands on and I can take a few moments for myself.
Are there any ‘pros’ to staying at home?
The fact that we have all slowed down. Of course this is really hard for some who have lost jobs or been unwell but for me personally it has been incredibly bonding to be at home with my girls. It also allows you to look at your life and think about whats really important. I have also loved cooking - I was never that into it before but now has become one of my favourite parts of my day.
Are you finding time for self-care? If so, how?
A little. I try to do a bit of exercise every day - there are many great workouts that are 30 mins. I also try to meditate or listen to relaxation recordings before bedtime.
What is your go-to activity when you have ‘me time’?
Work on my blog! I really love my job and that for me is relaxing. Especially at the moment when I am with the girls 24/7 - when I get a moment alone I love catching up on emails and social media.
How are you keeping your children entertained?
They spend lots of time in the garden (typical - now that we are in lockdown the weather has been so beautiful haha!), they paint, they cook with me and help with other activities around the house - they basically just want to do everything that I do!
Finally, what do you wish to remember when looking back at this time? Is there anything you feel you have learnt so far?
I hope we can all learn to slow down. My girls are growing up so quickly and sometimes you can get so busy in day to day life that you don't even realise how fast time is flying by - I will forever remember this slower pace of life and hope I can appreciate more the simple things.