Happy new year to you all!
And just like that it’s 2021. We couldn’t wait to see the back of 2020 and what’s changed exactly? Well not much, in fact we are in a worse state than we were last year – but! There might just be light at the end of the tunnel.
A typical start to any January for me, would be spent making resolutions about losing weight, eating healthier, spending more quality time with the kids and do more exercise. Basic stuff, right? This year, however, I’ve decided to scrap the resolutions altogether and just focus on getting through another different, tough and strange year. If that means having a Dairy Milk while locked in the bathroom because I need a five minute time out, then so be it.
I’m not going to give myself a hard time about the silly stuff at the moment because if I had the choice, I would most definitely trade the 2020 and 2021 shit show for all the mummy tummy I can handle! And yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel with the roll out of vaccines, but we still have to come to terms with the fact that no matter what happens now, life will be different. Not necessarily in a bad way.
Chances are if you’re reading this then you’ve been through something last year, if not a lot of things. Some of us have lost jobs, some of us are worried how we are going to put food on the table never mind pay a bill. Some of us have been sick. Some of us have lost loved ones. Some of us have had operations and medical appointments put on hold. Some of us are working on the front line and worried sick about their own health and their families. Some of us are going through pregnancy during the lockdowns and having to go to scans and appointments by ourselves. Some of us are trying to home school our kids. Some of us are trying to do all of the above. And some of us are simply trying to just get out of bed. I’m fairly certain that the weight loss you had planned for last year’s resolution seems pretty trivial now. The point is, Covid has had an effect on everyone, we are all in the same storm, just paddling different canoes. The stuff that seemed to matter before, doesn’t matter as much now does it?
The first lockdown was like living in a Resident Evil film (apart from the scary human eating zombies of course) but everything was closing down around us. The shops, restaurants, pubs, schools, parks, cinemas, travel, seeing friends or family, everything just ground to a halt all of a sudden. The change was suddenly thrust upon us and it was scary. The constant Government rules, regulations, tiers and changes didn’t help matters as they seemed to confuse us even more.
But we adapted. We got through it.
The second lockdown didn’t seem as restrictive with the schools etc still being allowed to remain open. Although for me personally, I found this tougher. I was forced into having to decide on whether or not to send my child to play school or keep him home. Was it safe? Do I keep him away from his friends again? It was a complete lotto and I am lucky that I was in a position to make a decision either way. Some people have no choice. We had to come up with new daily routines. We had to find other ways of staying in touch and thank goodness for Skype and social media in this respect.
But we adapted. We got through it.
So how has it affected me? Well if I’m being honest, I’ve curbed worrying about what anyone else thinks about me in general. For the last 10 months, I’ve probably spent at least two out of seven days of the week in my pyjamas. My hair has pretty much looked like it’s been dip dyed blonde (other than the six weeks in between my two whole visits to the hairdressers last year!). I’ve never really been a big fan of change and things are constantly changing outside my control all of the time. But I have totally amazed myself at what we have achieved and how we are coping with all of this. It has all been trial and error, some of the days we are plane sailing and others have been a total nightmare. But surprisingly, the days and weeks have flown in.
This time it’s different, as it’s winter. The stats are bad but we have the vaccine on the horizon. Normality seems like a long time ago and who knows when normal will happen again, but this time there is hope. I know that I will never again take advantage of being able to visit my friends and family, to travel without a second thought, to book a table at our favourite restaurant on a Saturday night, to spend a day wandering out at the shops or to simply give someone a hug or shake hands.
Kids are amazing. When you look at how much their routines have changed and what they have had to understand and accept. I think they’ve dealt with this situation better than us adults! Lily has been only too happy to have Jamie at home every morning and she’s too young to understand what is happening. Jamie on the other hand has had his whole wee world turned upside down.
“Can I go to play school mummy?”
“Can we go swimming next week?”
“Can I see my friends?”
“Can we go and visit Granny?”
My answer is always, “Yes, we’ll go soon. As soon as we can.”
And my worry is, when is he going to start not believing me? But he hasn’t and he just nods and says, “Okay mummy.” Whenever I ask Jamie what his best day is, he says it was the day he made apple sponge with me and Lily and then built Lego with daddy later. Not once was play school mentioned or the day trips out. What I have noticed is how my behaviour affects them. If I’m anxious or stressed, the kids tend to play up big time. Usually when I’m calm and relaxed, the kids are the same. This isn’t always the case by the way, but it still helps to be in the calm and relaxed frame of mind when they are acting up!
So, here we are. Lockdown 3.0 and as parents, we don’t have the luxury of just having ourselves to worry about. We’re not even a priority. Don’t get bogged down with housework, school work, rules and routines or whatever everyone else is doing. Do the stuff that needs to be done and enjoy playing games, watching films, baking buns, playing outside, going for walks or just doing absolutely nothing. Because when this is all over, and it will be over, you will be looking forward to these rare moments.
We’ve got this!
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