How to keep your hair on during COVID-19 …DAY 30…

Hello!! Hope you’re all well, this post was motivated by reading all these posts and memes on social media about lots of families being stuck together and the thousands of parents who are finding this time hard. Especially working parents, we have to somehow to double the work expected normally because we’re under pressure to prove that we are actually working from home and do all the things at home without the usual help from people we outsource our chores to. We don’t even own a lawnmower so I was thinking of going out there with a pair of scissors today is what I’m talking about! My husband putting hand sanitiser on my son’s foot when he cut it, is another fun thing that happened today. We also played hide and seek and had to keep pretending not to find the 3 year old when she stuck her head under the sofa and I’m happy to announce- in an amazing turn of events our mish mash parenting style has somehow made the teenagers get around to not only cleaning their rooms but helped their brothers clean their room too!

IT IS HARD!! It’s not easy at all!! but you can do a few things to make it easier on yourselves by following three easy rules.

  1. Get ready. This means get ready in two ways -plan and prepare. Each day wake up and have a shower, get dressed, comb hair, brush teeth, – follow your daily routine. This puts you and the fam in the right mood for the day.
  2. Plan to have activities ready for the kids, my own kids are 3,5,10,13,16 which means that I have a little help with the little ones from the older ones but those of you that don’t, try to think of activities they can do with minimum supervision. The sensory boxes I spoke about last week are perfect for this. As is simple colouring, dot to dot, or an interactive toy. The 10 and 13 year olds have online lessons from their school, so we make sure the iPads are charged and ready for their day to save the whole “that was my charger” argument!
  3. Just as you would do in a normal day make sure the food is planned and the snacks are available -yes that might mean a bit of cutting up some fruits/veggies or buying some extra treats – this is a unique situation cut yourself and the kiddos some slack. If a biscuit will keep them busy for the few mins you need to send an email – do it. #Guiltfree

I really believe that organisation and planning are key to running a peaceful house but honestly we do still have times when everyone is just tired of being cooped up together especially with the new -no exercise rules. PE with Joe has been a life saver for us in this regard. As has story-time from Space and similar channels like National Geographic. Personally I don’t mind a bit of screen time each day and lets face it its literally a necessity now if we have other things to do but we should be mindful of how long they’re spending on screens.

I’ve found some really amazing websites online which allow the kids to have some downtime whilst also learning something (and their narrative voices aren’t as irritating as some of the kiddie YT channels,) one of these is NASA.gov -real pictures and videos taken in space provides prompts for some good, interesting conversations. Curiosity Stream has really piqued my interest and we will be getting the subscription as soon as I have a few mins.

Another point to note is to find something that you enjoy and do that as well, a good book, a long soak in the bath, doing your hair or nails will all give you a break and a chance to recover so you can be the best version of you. For me I like to keep busy so although my daughters started watching yet another Turkish drama (each episode is 2.5 hours long!) I try to stay outside and I began refurbishing a garden swing that we inherited when we moved to this house. I hope to share pictures soon and I also hope that my daughters will be so amazed that they might start learning to sew!! ( I can dream! can’t I?)

We’ve actually had a few moments of inspiration this most notably when we made KFC for dinner and also when my son logged into my husbands Google account on his PlayStation and we enjoyed an impromptu look through pictures from the summer holidays last year. We’re planning an online party with their cousins tomorrow as it’s the weekend here and I’m going to text my mum and sister to make some popcorn and poppadoms for a snack and we planned to cook a roast that we can enjoy in 4 corners of the world together.

Hope this post has inspired you to be a more creative and see the benefits in embracing this change for the betterment of the family. I am in no way, shape or form a perfect parent, I just wanted to share some ideas that have made life easier for me in the hope that someone out there will benefit. Take care, until we meet again. I’ll leave you with some images we’d all like to see in the house.

We can do this 💪🏻💪🏻

I’m now feeling the pressure of trying to work from home and make sure my kids are learning and don’t feel neglected at the same time, so this is a motivation post.

I feel like a daily walk is imperative to keep me sane and we play games on the walk to keep it interesting- walking around the same neighbourhood day after day is getting a little bit repetitive to be honest. So we play traffic lights, copy cat, Simon says or ‘I’ spy to distract the little ones especially. The older ones have enjoyed having time to go out on their bikes and just get some fresh air in their lungs without the usual pressures of the daily grind.

For the older ones I read over this list of ‘family friendly – would you rather’ questions shared by a fellow blogger head over there to check out her other ideas to entertain the kids – because for this post on my blog- I’m focusing on YOU.

I’m not used to working from home and I needed to think of ways you can switch from work mode to home mode without the benefit of a commute to unwind and get into mummy mode. I am enjoying the fact that I am available for the little ones during my breaks but I had to find a quiet place in the house to work from that also has a good wifi signal so I’ve ended up switching from my daughters bedroom or the kitchen whilst the kids are still asleep upstairs.

Young blonde woman meditating in the park

For my first tip on relaxation -Coffee is my life line – we bought a Nespresso machine (Click here for UK link) a few years ago and I enjoy a good cup of Latte in the mornings to really get me into work mode. Not to mention save you money and times when you do have a commute!

For my second tip – I’m sure most of you have noticed this blog has finally woken up after lying dormant for two years, which brings me to the next point, I have found sharing ideas and resources online brings me a peace of mind that I never thought it would, knowing that parents out there are being helped with my advice and tips; its a lovely feeling and your comments and messages are really motivating me to write more. so I would advise you all to find yourself a little hobby even if it’s just writing in a journal to just unwind and relax after a super busy day. A friend of mine spends time knitting and has started to teach her daughters, I can’t wait to see what they make and I think I’m going to spend more time on arts and crafts on the weekends.

For my third tip I just want to say try to ‘live in the moment’ I often notice things during the day that I want to include in my blog but I don’t end up taking pictures of just because I know picking up the camera will ruin the moment. For example this morning little H picked up the book M read to her last night ‘Milly Molly Mandy’ and was pretending to read it herself including the funny accent for “Muv’ver” and “Far’ver.” My 5 yo was making his own animations from one of the apps I recommended in an earlier post -Toontastic; He had a lot of fun making funny voices and it started the older kids off into drama land too.

For my fourth reminder I’d like to say embrace the outdoors even a few minutes of sunshine a day can do wonders for your mental health and well being. If like me most of your work is now through a computer don’t underestimate the power of a good stretch – Youtube is full of videos of how to stretch and maybe even begin Yoga or Tai Chi to really harmonise your mind, Body and Soul.

And finally I want to say don’t worry whether you’re doing it right or not; everyone has different circumstances and we learn from our experiences – all of us are in this together and we will survive. Take a break each day when all the kids are in bed to think and reflect and maybe even prep some activities for the next day so the little ones aren’t always in control – sometimes you are!

Hope you enjoyed this post it didn’t have a lot of tips for the kids but I hope it made you put yourself first and really be mindful of the time that you need so that you can accomplish everything you set out to do everyday and more…