It must be 9 weeks (or is it 10?) since we, as a family, have been ‘in’, and by ‘in’ I of course mean lockdown, something that every single person in the whole of the UK (unless you’re an amazing key worker of course), has been enduring. We’ve now had weeks of homeschooling, and whilst some children’s year groups have the option to return to school on 1st June, ours won’t be for what seems like some time yet.
Overall our family has been doing okay. The children are adapting, albeit missing their friends, school and activities. We of course miss our families and friends, and Adam and I discussed frequently how weird it is that we haven’t done so many of the things we normally do, for several weeks now. No one will ever think the 6 week summer holidays are too long ever again! We know that in the grand scheme of things this will only really a very short period of time, but in many ways feels like a lifetime. I’ve discovered (well, I really already knew) that us Freemans work better with some kind of routine. Homeschooling in general has actually been okay overall, with a loose schedule that has now been tweaked a few times along the way, a long family walk/run each day, with more family time together than we’ve ever had before. We’ve been lucky to get the food that we need, we also had a good stock of batch cooked meals in the freezer, and (touch wood) have been pretty happy and healthy. Adam worked by day, although his role means he can be fairly flexible, freeing myself up to do some work mid-afternoon until dinner, or in the evening. So all-in-all we’re doing okay.
Obviously there have been low moments when we’ve driven each other mad, or I’ve got frustrated with trying to teach some tricky maths (my god year 4 maths is HARD), or we’ve all just wanted some space, but there have actually been some things that have been great, and many positives of the current situation.
Here are some of them:
- Not being a constant taxi driver for all and sundry. I feel a bit guilty kicking off with this one as I know the older children really miss their sports and other activities, BUT… it’s been quite nice not having to chivvy everyone along most days and rushing from A to B. In the first couple of weeks of lockdown, this really was a novelty, just not having to be anywhere, and simply just ‘be’.
- Exercising more. Okay, so we may not be moving as much throughout the day (an app on my phone will tell me this unfortunately), but I’ve really got a buzz out of doing Joe Wickes often, so much so that it could be a time game-changer, and I’m really considering whether or not to keep my gym membership going. I love the fact that I can do half an hour from my living room pretty much anytime I like (although morning is my preference), that it saves so much time during my usually busy day, and puts me in a great mood early doors. I’ve also taken up running again, which I’ve really been enjoying as it’s great ‘me time’ for clearing the head. Ad bought me a Garmin watch so I can track my progress and it’s been a great motivator!
- Realising what my children’s strengths and weaknesses are with regards to learning. I’m in a privileged position in that my job is flexible and I can work anytime, meaning that I fit it in on a weekend, late afternoon or in the evening, and therefore really focus on the children’s homeschooling. It hasn’t been plain sailing every day, but it’s really interesting to be privy to what Freddie and Sasha are learning, and also see what they fly at and what they could do with a bit more time on. I feel very lucky to be able to dedicate the time to any areas of weakness and get them up to speed.
- Arlo is thriving! Not that he wasn’t before, but he loves having Adam around all the time, as well as his brother and sister, as there is always someone to hang out with. The big two love involving him in their role-play games now, so he gets plenty of interaction and social skills development from them, so we are very lucky on this front.
- Being able to spend more time on DIY! Again, Ad and I are fortunate that are jobs are fairly flexible, meaning we have half an hour here, or an hour there, to put some paint on a wall, or sand something down when needed. We’ve been upcycling our kitchen in our spare moments, and I’ve got a growing list of other decorating and projects to get cracking with- I feel we simply won’t get this much time at home again so want to make then most of it.
- Enjoying the chance to try new things, and pursue other interests and passions. The older two children are lucky that we’ve hired a French tutor to do Zoom calls with which they’re really enjoying, we’ve done a few Brownie and Cubs badges that interest them, and Freddie especially has picked up photography which has been a lovely surprise. It’s nice to have the time to try new things, play board games that we don’t ever seem to get time to play usually, and read more books than ever.
- Loving where we live. We’re so lucky to live so close to central London, but obviously whilst we can’t hop on the train there at the moment, so we’re enjoying the beautiful countryside and woods that are only a short stroll from our house. It makes such a difference getting out and about and nowhere near us seems to be that hectic.
- The weather! This one is out of our control (and I’ve probably jinxed it now), but being in lockdown has been made so much easier with the glorious weather we’ve had, so I’m praying this continues.
- Connecting with friends in a different way. I feel ZOOM could’ve changed the way in which myself and some of my friends who live in different parts of the country (or even different countries) socialise long term- it’s been great to grab a drink or a cuppa, log on and chat together!
- Appreciating our home. We moved almost exactly a year ago (more on that in another post), and this situation has honestly made me love our home even more- we totally did the right thing for our family by moving, and I feel so lucky to have the space and the garden (long live artificial grass for paddling pools!).
How have you found lockdown so far? Are you coping? I’d love to hear if you’ve discovered any positives when it comes to this strange situation!
See some more gratitude posts here