For a family that loves to get out as much as we do, lockdown has been hard. Until all this happened, I cant remember the last time we stayed at home even for a weekend. But for some reason this week it has ramped up to whole new levels of difficult. I’m definitely losing the motivation to organise activities and crafts… which inevitably makes the day much harder.
So it has been a well timed nomination from Charlotte (Team Stein Mummy) to consider Silver Linings. Because however hard it gets, there are clear benefits to spending time (and importantly staying safe) together as a family that we will likely not see again!
Appreciation of where we live
Firstly appreciation of our home. Our home, which as I’ve just said, we spend far too little time in. Yes, for the last few weeks it has looked like a permanent mix of an indoor playground/ waste dump/ bomb site, but I feel so lucky to have the space that we do, and especially a garden that we can access so easily. Those of you who don’t have any outdoor space, I’m sending all my love because it must be a whole different level of tough.
Secondly, appreciation for our area. We moved from North Leeds a few years ago, after living there for around 15 years. It was pretty nerve wracking to move to an area I knew nothing about, but can honestly say we’ve never looked back. And over the last couple of months, the access we have to so many walking trails, nature reserves and green space on our doorstep has proved absolutely essential. If you’re local to Rothwell/ Oulton/ Woodlesford, I’ve summarised walks here.
Family meals at home dont usually exist. Whilst Jess isn’t a picky eater, she doesn’t contemplate most veggies or anything too spicy, which me and hubby love. She also eats before hubby gets home… so when not in nursery, we’d give her something like pasta around 5pm and then we’d eat after bedtime. At weekends we eat out or do takeaways, and even at breakfast will eat different things.
So mealtimes at home together have been a real novelty! I’ve actually been MEAL PLANNING!! I spend time hunting recipes for family dinners that we’ll all enjoy, and three times a day we sit at the table together and eat. We’ve mixed in lots of opportunities for BBQs, Pizza Making and one pots. Ok, so granted most days we’ll only eat the same thing at tea time, but that is a massive change for us. And a bonus is that it has coincided with James trying new foods, we’ve had so much more success with weaning than we did with Jess!
Exercising for my ‘me time’
Those of you who follow my stories on Instagram (thank you) may have seen I’ve had a bit of a fitness revolution! I’d started online fitness classes before our holiday in March, but since lockdown I’ve done loads more. And I’ve started running! Doing exercise has made sure I dedicate time for myself, and doing it away from the house guarantees no interruptions. Despite eating and drinking enough to feed the five thousand, I feel fitter than I have in a long time and have happily reduced that roll of under-boob flabber.
Quiz nights with my school friends
I have a close bunch of school friends that I see a few times a year. I absolutely love them to pieces, but being spread out around the UK means that the logistics of getting the five of us (well 21 of us including husbands and kids) together is pretty difficult. But since lockdown we’ve had regular catch ups and quiz nights and it’s been brilliant. This week there’s a birthday to celebrate to it’s a Fancy Dress quiz… I CANNOT WAIT! I really hope that this is something that can continue into the future.
And finally… getting creative with family time
As much as we’ve enjoyed the revelation of time at home together, what’s made such an extensive period bearable has been planning lots of family activities. Getting the tent in the garden, party nights, fake holidays, outdoor cooking; we’ve tried to plan something fun for each weekend. A couple of weeks ago we even hired a hot tub (great success). And it’s given us lots of laughs, special moments, and most importantly, it’s given us those highs that take us through the lows. Our ideas on ‘at home holidays’ are here, and activities for the garden here.
So there are our silver linings. Thank you again Team Stein Mummy, I’d like to nominate Becky from To Yorkshire and Beyond, and Rosie from Busy Mum Lifestyle to share their silver linings with you top!