I was tagged by Charlotte and her gorgeous family over at Team Stein Blog to share my personal lockdown silver linings.
It’s taken me a little while (alright, it’s been over a month) since I was tagged to actually start to write this post as we have been on a complete rollercoaster of a ride since lockdown began, and there was a life changing event thrown in for good measure and I’m not even talking about the virus! We’re finally getting to grips with it all, but there have been tears, arguments, anxiety, and lots of cuddles along the way and I expect that will continue for me for some time yet. But, more on that later because for the purpose of this post I’m going to focus just on the positives! It goes without saying that I wish it hadn’t taken a global pandemic for me to recognise them.
So, here are my 3 C’s:
You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone…and this has never felt so true! We soon realised just how lucky we are to live in an area that usually has plenty to offer. We aren’t really a stay at home kind of family, of course any regular readers of my blog will already know this and we often relied on local attractions for entertainment and activities. Then boom! we were locked down with three children under 6 to entertain 24/7, and the expectation for us to help Stanley with his education in some way, shape or form!
My creativity took this opportunity to dust itself off and come to the forefront for our time in lockdown. I feel really proud of what we’ve achieved with very little expense (using household items for the most part). I will never look at an empty toilet roll in the same way again! I will be writing a post about our favourite projects soon, as a way of remembering them in the years to come.
Looking at things from a child’s perspective has really enabled me to find the fun and happiness in each day, I hope my boys have enjoyed it as much as I have, and will reflect on this time in a positive way. Firstly, I’m not a teacher and just working through printouts sent from school was never really going to be an option for us as that wasn’t what he was doing at school either. School is so much more than that! Stanley is only in reception and a lot of his learning is play based and, I also needed to add in the fact that whatever we did, James and Eli would be involved too.
So, I’ve tried to be creative and build a fun element into the learning we’ve been doing, whether that be making our own costumes and dressing up, or joining an online world record attempt.
Don’t get me wrong I’ve sneaked in some writing, maths and spellings too but he’s been that engaged with what we’re doing he’s either not really noticed, or hasn’t minded – winner!
I’ve also done things just for fun, just pure silliness for big belly laughs and why not? It’s not like we had anywhere to be, and I think that has been the true blessing of lockdown – time just to be us with no interruptions or other commitments (and if that ‘us’ is all dressed in red with every red item from the house pulled into the back yard, then so be it!).
Again, I’m singing the praises of our local town and I’m still completely in love with where we live. There has been a wonderful sense of community here, with volunteer groups set up to help those who are vulnerable, interaction with the schools and online market days.
We have received kids activity packs, flowers, shopping, and care packages. We have joined in with the organised window walks so that local children can spot rainbows, teddy bears and flowers on their daily exercise. And, we had our doorstep portrait taken to capture life in lockdown in exchange for a donation to support University Hospitals of North Midlands Charity.
We’ve even gone for the full on ‘good life’ and traded our fresh eggs for jars of honey, and wild garlic. For a few weeks when all but key workers were at home it felt like we’d all been transported back in time to good old fashioned family values, and I think it was much needed. Society moves at 100mph and we all needed to slow down, I do hope at least some of these values stay prominent when the world reopens!
Obviously our little town centre took a big hit, but it’s been amazing to see local businesses pivot (pivot, PIVOT!!) and adapt overnight. We have ordered online and received doorstep deliveries of fruit and veg, bakery items, and even plants for our backyard project to name but a few.
A local restaurant has been offering community meals delivered to the doorstep for the vulnerable and to a wider audience at the weekend in exchange for a small donation and allocated collection time. We have enjoyed two of these meals now and have another coming on Friday, I can’t wait! This in particular has been a highlight for us as we usually struggle to get out for nice meals as a couple so this service has meant we’ve had the chance to sample some delicious restaurant food from somewhere we’ve wanted to try for ages! I really hope all this continues – the looking out for each other and supporting your local community, I know I’ll definitely continue to support our local small businesses as they begin to reopen.
This is a word that’s banded about a lot but I think lockdown has shown us the true meaning of the word. We received the best care and support from the staff at our local hospital. Not just medically either, they sat with me while James was sleeping and talked me through my concerns. They got to know us and our interests, and wheeled James away to watch the air ambulance take off while I grabbed a much needed shower. All this while in the grips of a national emergency!
The homemade cards that arrived once we were home, from friends, family, my online community and a fellow blogger who has become a very good friend (Ella at Typical Mummy) absolutely blew me away. Realising these people cared enough about us and how we were doing during a such a turbulent time in their own lives meant so much to me.
The effort family and friends have gone through during lockdown to help us out, and show they care has been amazing. My 40th Birthday didn’t go unnoticed despite everything we’d planned being cancelled, there were surprise video messages, doorstep gift deliveries, flowers and two beautiful cakes.
I’ll never forget lockdown (who will?) because when the world stopped, people supported each other and truly cared about each other’s wellbeing. It’s been a beautiful thing to witness when I think about it. Being in lockdown and unable to spend time with my family and friends has taught me just how much they mean to me. I’m literally lost without them, especially my mum. But the silver lining is that I will never take these relationships for granted ever again, as they mean more to me than anything else. And, this added time to just be with my own little family, to spend all day (and quite a lot of the night unfortunately) with my 3 babies has been
exhausting cherished. To have my hubby at home for 6 weeks! I’ll never have this opportunity again so I’m trying to make the most of it even when times are hard and the days are long. I have kept my family safe, happy and well – and that’s something that is truly worth caring about!
And finally, I really don’t care what people will think when we fully emerge from lockdown…grooming is so last year, or so I’ve heard!
I have enjoyed writing this post and seeking ways to reflect and focus on the positives. I’m not going to nominate or tag anyone because I was (extremely) late to the party!
If you’d like to read more about what we’ve been up to during lockdown click here.
All images are my own unless otherwise credited and must not be reproduced without permission.