The ‘New Normal’

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So, I am sat at my desk today struggling with the fact that it is a Wednesday (I was convinced all of yesterday that it was Sunday) wondering how long I will be suffering with this new case of ‘baby brain’…

The girls are back at nursery now four days a week, Isabel is in the last stretch before she starts school and Florence turns three this Friday and I think it is making me feel a little reflective on how things have changed over these last seventeen weeks and what we are taking with us into the ‘new normal’.

Key for us girls over the four months was definitely routine. As tempting as it was to let the three of us treat this time like a holiday it would not have worked with my control freak nature! We had a structure to our day which helped the weeks to pass quite quickly- get up, breakfast, get dressed, walk (with the bribery ice lolly), home for lunch, activity, chill with a film before dinner, bath and bed. Juggling snoozzzy around this and the general pulls of everyday life is probably the thing that kept me sane.

I suppose one of the main things I have discovered is that my two girls will walk… and I mean walk! Currently being in an apartment with no garden meant that we got very good at exploring our local area, we made friends with two ponies that we didn’t even know lived at the end of our road and found a flock of chickens on the other side. On our record day we clocked 5miles, although I think I was fibbing that I could see an ice cream van for the last 3.5 miles to keep them plodding on.

I used to find it very easy to spend a small fortune every weekend trying to find somewhere exciting to take the girls, and not having the luxury of this is probably what panicked me the most about lockdown. I have learnt that we can appreciate the small things a lot more and the enjoy the area we live in instead of driving for miles to explore somewhere else (although we might see a few more real ice cream vans these days!).

One of the biggest shocks to my systems was probably learning to put my phone down, turn my PC off and actually allow myself to enjoy some downtime with my children and also myself! Although I was by no stretch of the imagination an ‘insta’ mum we did some crafts, I did some yoga, I even let the girls get the playdough out and didn’t freak when it was on the living room carpet!

In 17 weeks we cracked potty training with Florence and Isabel learnt how to make her own den, and I am ok with that. For me it was most important that they didn’t get upset at the changes and the things they were no longer allowed to do. I want them to look back and remember this period as an ok time.

Overall though I think we should all take a moment to take a step back and realise that however we did it, we did it! We aren’t out of it yet but things are slowly returning to some form of normal and we survived 17 weeks of weird. Whether it took 12 hours of screen time, learning a new skill or just waking up and seeing what you feel like doing every day we made it through, hopefully, a once in a lifetime event.

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