What is normal after the full lockdown? Will we ever go back to the normal that we had pre-lockdown? I’m not really sure to be honest. I don’t think we will for a very long time and I think so many of us won’t even want to, as there has been some positives for many people; less pollution, working from home, flexibility and things changing in a heartbeat to make life easier. Some things that would take months usually! However, lockdown has certainly been extremely challenging. I never thought I would be sharing the time I spend with my youngest two with my eldest, who isn’t at school full-time. I never thought I would go back to work in the middle of a pandemic and I didn’t envisage pulling my baby boy from his childminder literally two weeks after he had started and started to settle in well. But I did. We all did. We have home-schooled, zoomed, had birthdays at home, gone for so many walks, exercised at home, cleaned and de-cluttered. And now, things are slowly starting to change. We are getting some normality back after the lockdown is starting to ease.
I thought it would be worth telling you how things are for us, now all three children are back in school or in some form of childcare. Now the shops are open and now we can see family a little more again.
Getting Some Normality Back
One of the first changes for us was my eldest going back to school. This was 100% the right decision for us. Her behaviour was starting to slip a little and I knew she was missing her friends. She’s been back 3 weeks now and is really enjoying it; made new friends, completing her home learning and socialising. It’s done her good and allowed my husband to go back to full-time working after 12 weeks of juggling.
It felt like a little weight had been lifted off our shoulders when she went back. I know Covid-19 isn’t going anywhere. I know we need to be vigilant but I also know we need to live and feel like we are moving back to what life was like before. Kids at school is a huge part of this! I just wish all the kids could go back before September.
This week marked some more big changes; my middley went back to nursery and the little man went back to his childminder. Both had sent over pretty concise rules and changes that were being made. For my middley, there wasn’t a lot we needed to do, except not enter the nursery and not let her take anything with her. They have the children in bubbles and there is a lot of hand hygiene. Kids are limited to certain toys and no soft toys or furnishings. My little one has loved it. She went in without any tears and it’s almost like she’s never been away. She has really benefitted from seeing her friends, who apparently were delighted when she returned. She could have gone back a few weeks ago but we felt little point when the little man was still at home.
His return has been similar, as the rules are pretty similar to the nursery. As he is the only child to return, I don’t have to think about any other children yet. We also are not allowed in the setting and a lot of the toys have changed. The only big difference is non of his packed lunch can come in the usual tubs I send in. We have to use bags and although this is more hygienic, it is not so great for the environment. However, I felt the first week went smoothly! He of course was upset at drop-offs but settled really quickly and seemed to really enjoy himself! I’m glad, as he does need to be away from me on some days. Plus I get one day a week with my eldest whilst the other two are in care. I can home school and have some time with her.
Another part of us getting some normality back is seeing family. My mum was looking after the little dude one day a week when I work. As soon as the childminders and nurseries re-opened officially, she wanted to re-start that and it has been lovely to see her again after 12 weeks! The kids have loved it too! We’ve also all been over to my parents and sat in the garden.
Shops and Getting Out
Slowly places outdoors started to re-open and we followed this online and as some places started sending out emails, as they want to get some normality back.
I’ve seen many people try booking National Trust places and venturing to other areas but we haven’t tried this yet. Mainly, as everywhere seems to be getting booked up very quickly and although I miss National Trust, not being able to have a cuppa and a jacket potato in the cafe yet, means I’m in no rush. We have local parks and the woods and always got somewhere to walk most days. We may try further afield soon and meet friends.
We did however, try the shops at the weekend. I took my eldest only to post something, get some food and have a quick browse. I was quite a positive experience. We didn’t wear masks as could always social distance but many people did.
We managed a good shop in H and M and my eldest even got a look in The Entertainer. We queued for a few minutes to get in there but everywhere else was fine. It was a little strange in the shopping centre with the steps on the floor, reminding you to keep your distance and trust me you forget!! Your mind swings back quickly. I was guilty of touching things and putting them back and I had to tell my eldest a lot! You go shopping and that quickly starts to feel normal. On the plus my eldest got a few new clothes and I got a couple of tees. I missed being able to go for a cuppa or lunch and my favourite New Look wasn’t open, which surprised me but hopefully it will be in time.
Another nice change was meeting one of my eldest’s friends at the park and they biked and enjoyed themselves. It was also great to meet a friend outdoors and have a chat! Just has felt like so long now to see someone different.
The New Normal?
I don’t really like that expression, as it feels like the goal-posts are constantly changing and next week the new normal will be something different. I’ve also got that nagging feeling about winter coming; winter bugs and winter pressures. Will Covid-19 go crazy again? We just don’t know and I worry our “new normal” will change again just as we feel we are getting some normality back!!
For now we are settling back into some form of the life that we had before. Slowly easing into school, childcare and work. Slowly going back to shopping, seeing family and friends, keeping outside. We are getting some normality back.
I’m so glad things are moving in that direction and I’m hoping it continues!