Both girls have noticed a change since the UK went into lockdown. Maya misses school and Mila is no longer going to her Grandparents. It is a huge difference being at home with Matthew and I all the time. Maya always asks us, “What happened to my school?” We have tried our best to explain to her what is happening, but it is difficult for a 3-year-old to understand. She knows people are poorly and for that reason we can’t see family and friends.
Mila can’t yet speak, so she can’t tell us how she feels, but she has been very unsettled during this time, which can be really upsetting for me. I question my parenting skills but then remember that a disrupted routine can lead to bad days. Every day is different, and some are easier than others. She is also teething and has gone off her food. She is normally the Queen of sleeping and has not been sleeping well at all!
On the upside we are having lots of cuddles. As a parent there are no rules and we have to support one another whatever is thrown at us. Unconditional love is the answer to everything.
Every day we create a routine. I am also working from home, so I allow myself hours in the morning and afternoon. Whilst I am working, I am lucky that Maya can either sit next to me and go through activity books or she can entertain herself. It’s not ideal, but we find a way to make it work. We aim to get up, dressed and down for breakfast by 8am every morning and when it comes to the evening, we have dinner by 6pm and bath and bed by 8pm. We are trying hard to stick to a routine, as we are unaware when schools will re-open. Routine is so important. It offers familiarity during a time when everything is unfamiliar.
Mila is at such a young age where for her, routine is more important that for the rest of us. We keep her bedtime routine like Maya’s so they feel like they are in it together. She only has one nap in the day now, so when she goes down for a nap, I do exercise and Maya joins in with me. It’s really cute!
Every day after dinner, or just before dinner we go for a walk as a family. Family time is so important for us, even though we are all stuck in a house together it doesn’t mean we are spending quality time, so I make sure that we spend at least 2-3 hours of it just being the four of us. That might mean playing outside, watching a film, baking or doing puzzles. The girls need that time to show them the normal part of their day to day. It is confusing already going from seeing different family members to suddenly just the four of us in our home. If I can recommend one thing, it would be to write a weekly plan with different activities. It will help you out so much and make you feel like you have it all under control. Obviously, not every day is plain sailing. The girls can really test my patience and I am sure I can test theirs! There have been lots of tears and tantrums but just as many kisses and cuddles too ;)
Melissa is 26 from Oxford. Engaged to be married to her fiancé Matthew they have two beautiful girls Maya (aged three) and Mila (ten months old). Both working, Maya attends pre-school four days a week and Mila is looked after by her Grandparents.