Family lockdown in Devon.
Being a stay at home Mummy to Mabel (22months) and Margot (6months) I have, over the past 2 years, become used to making up our own relaxed routine. I decide when we all eat, when we get dressed for the day, when we play games and get out and about.
A large amount of my decision making for the three of us was based on what my husband (Nick) was doing. What time he would be home for dinner and if he was working over the weekend. I also worked around the girls naps, moods and when different clubs and baby groups were on locally.
Since the lockdown we have been together 24/7 and its lovely but it can be tough.
The reality of this situation is scary and whenever I watch the news I worry. So we now try not to watch the news everyday. We know we can’t leave the house unless it’s essential and we are grateful to be safe and together.
That said my whole relaxed routine has disappeared. No longer can we have a lazy afternoon at home because we have been busy all morning at the park or at a toddler group.
A few things that I find make the days in lockdown with two children under two years old are:
- Always get outside, if it’s for a long walk, a quick game of hide and seek or a splash in the paddling pool. Fresh air and open space makes us all feel calmer and happier.
- Keep nap times and bedtime the same if possible. Our children love routine and this is something we can keep to, so we do.
- Ensuring each of us has some time alone or time to wind down independently.
Living in Devon, we are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by countryside and animals. We go and see the lambs in the morning, watch the calves play on the hills and listen to the chickens clucking. We have been spending lots of time outside, pulling weeds from flowerbeds and having bbq lunches and really trying to make the most of family time.
The girls naps give them the ability to enjoy their day. When they don’t have enough sleep, they are just grumpy. So rather than treating this time like a holiday with late nights and an erratic nap pattern we are trying to keep as much normality as possible for them.
Nick used to have some time to himself driving to and from work, I used to find time while he bathed the girls in the evening, Mabel would busy herself with her toys while I cooked dinner and Margot used to have some quiet time on our car journeys. Now we have to consciously take time to be alone. While the girls nap one of us will go and do something (like mow the lawn, clear up from lunch, tidy out the garage) while the other one has a cup of tea and a biscuit and listens out for the sleeping babies to wake. Trying to get Mabel and Margot to have some quiet time without being in the car or asleep is quite difficult. Mabel doesn’t really play alone much at the moment because one of us is always there to play.
Despite this strange time, I would say we are making the best out of a scary situation. We have been able to do things together more than we ever could before. Nick is seeing so much more of the girls and I am getting someone else to help decide what to make for lunch and what fun new activity we should try that day. Some activities we have really enjoyed:
- Freezing flowers and water in plastic eggs
- Playing hide and seek with toys round the house and in the garden,
- Baking bread, biscuits, cakes and pies
- Spending time in the paddling pool
- Washing the car (baby bikes and scooters too)
- Playing eye spy on our walks
- Making our own play dough
- Planting seeds and watching things grow.
- being creative and making a bug hotel and wildlife area in our garden.
- sewing some clothes for Mabel’s dolls.
While this is an extraordinary situation, we hope to be making happy memories for our girls. If you would like to see all the things we do each day, find us on Instagram at living.the.harris.life and watch our daily stories.