It’s been 4 months since lockdown was announced. 4 long months of uncertainty and homeschooling. And things are moving towards the ‘new normal’ we’re hearing so much about. With that in mind I’m reflecting on where we are as a family at the minute and what I’ve learnt from the whole experience.
What our new normal looks like
Spike has started the summer holidays. I have returned to the office and T continues to work from our bedroom each day. With the first week being looked after by my sister, Spike hadn’t yet gone to kids club but she did on Monday. She is in a bubble with ‘little group’ – the group she was in pre-lockdown. But I don’t know yet how many that will be. So far it hasn’t been many each day, around 6 or so. I go to work and there are glass screens between me and my workmates. We can’t sit opposite each other in the board room. There are no brew runs. It’s a strange time, but I am glad to be back.
The first week back to normal
Last week was our first week in this new normal. And it didn’t go well. I was stressed and under a lot of pressure as soon as I returned to work. Spike missed me, a lot. Every night she was happy to see me and on Thursday she asked Aunty K to come to my work half way through the day. Me and T went to a restaurant for our first child-free evening in months, and Spike cried when we left. She tried to stay up to wait for us, even though Aunty K told her time and time again that we’d be back sooner if she slept. She eventually did but then Friday she was so clingy that T didn’t get a minute of peace.
Quality time together
It was to be expected really. That she would miss us as things return to how they were before. We had a lot of quality time together. And though T was working the entire lockdown, she knew he was there in the house with her. She knew where I was 24/7. That time, without stress is what I’m going to miss the most too. She helped with chores as it didn’t matter if they took twice as long. I got my course done and blog posts written because I did it while she unwound from her homeschooling.
Me and Spike haven’t had any real 1:1 time since she was a baby. She gets bank holidays with her dad. They often go on days out etc. But with me, we’re always going to meet my mummy friends for a day out, or visiting my family. The only 1:1 she gets is when we’re in the car on the way to these places. We don’t ‘do’ anything together. I think prior to lockdown the only day we did something alone was last December when I picked her up from school and we went to the Christmas displays at Barton Grange because I had a half day off work. The 1:1 time we got in lockdown was nice, really nice. And I am already sad about the fact that I know if everything goes back to how it was before, I won’t get that again.
There was a much slower pace during lockdown. There was nowhere to be, nothing that had strict deadlines. I loved that and we’ll be implementing that a bit more. We used to fill our weekends with two days out, plus the chores. There wasn’t time to relax. We want to change this. We will try to only plan one thing in each weekend and leave the other day as a free day to use how we please. it might mean two days out, but it doesn’t have to. I’m going to find ways to combines chores and get them over with quicker so they don’t interfere with other things. Lets hope it helps maintain that slower pace.
Time as a valuable asset
A lot of what lockdown taught me was to do with the time we spend doing things. It showed me how valuable time is. It is an asset and not one I want to waste. I saw before my very eyes how much Spike changed in that 4 months and I loved seeing it. Her attitude sometimes gets in the way of me appreciating her. But I do appreciate her. And a lot of time pre-lockdown was spent doing things that didn’t actually matter. I would work late, or work extra hours at home. I would put my job before time spent with her. And lockdown has taught me how much I have missed by doing that. From now on family comes first. And while I love my job and I want to work and have a career, I shouldn’t have to choose one over the other.