Four mums share their lockdown experience
Four Kiwi mamas, Lauren, Andrea, Nicola and Alyssa, share a glimpse of their level four lockdown experiences, and what they learned.
What did you love about lockdown?
Lauren: I enjoyed not needing to be anywhere and having no appointments in my diary. I had time to sit with the kids and just talk, look out at the trees and really notice what was happening around us.
Andrea: Slowing down and spending time with my family.
By the end of lockdown, my two kids had really learned to appreciate each other and had become best buddies. I also relished the precious family time I got to spend with them without the pressures and ‘FOMO’ of pre-lockdown life.
Alyssa: I really enjoyed the gentle starts and ends to the day, without having to rush to kindy and school drop-offs,
or wait for my husband to help with the end-of-day routine. There was a lot more ease than in those usually high-pressured times.
Nicola: The peaceful, calm mornings. We’d spend time in bed – just the three of us – with breakfast and coffee, without anywhere to be or errands to run. I enjoyed watching my son’s happiness at being in our safe bubble. My husband and son had so much time together playing. It was a special time that dads normally wouldn’t get.
How did you struggle during lockdown?
Lauren: Lockdown was relentless with an eight-, six- and one-year-old, plus a husband at work. With no help from family and no play dates, it was just me and the kids ALL THE TIME. My part-time work had to take a back seat. I had to lower my expectations so I could cope mentally and emotionally with how I usually ‘do life’.
Andrea: The first week was hugely challenging for us. We moved house the day before lockdown. My husband and
I grossly underestimated how unsettling the move had been for our kids, alongside all the worries associated with the Covid outbreak. Adjusting to so many changes all in one go resulted in a mass eruption of meltdowns, fights and general obstinance. It was total chaos and by the end of the week, we were all at the end of our tethers. Thankfully things picked up after that!
Nicola: There was an eeriness throughout the neighbourhood which was unsettling. I didn’t enjoy social distancing when out and about as I love stopping to chat with neighbours and passers-by. Also, our income was drastically affected so that added another layer of uncertainty and stress.
What lessons did you learn from lockdown?
Lauren: I discovered the beauty of a slower-paced lifestyle. The stress of busyness and appointments melted away! Our kids were happier, and it felt like we were living how we were designed to live as a family – together and oriented toward each other. We also curbed our spending during lockdown and realised how much money we wasted on unnecessary luxuries.
Nicola: I learned that a normal daily schedule is created by a busy life and a need to be part of everything. However, it isn’t always the best thing for the little people in our lives.
Andrea: Creating some rhythm and routine to the day was my most valuable lesson. After the first disastrous week, I realised something would need to change if we were all going to survive lockdown. I sat down with my five-year-old daughter and we planned how the days would look. We included things like regular walks, baking, crafts, and a bit of TV and schooling. Life suddenly became more manageable!
What positive changes have you made since lockdown?
Lauren: I’m choosing to book less into my week, and say ‘No’ to taking on more things. We have decided to stay in our local area as much as we can during the weekends. We realised how much we crammed into our weekends!
Andrea: We’ve slowed down a bit and are less inclined to completely fill the week up with activities and play dates. I’ve also been more routine-focussed with the kids, although it’s harder now that we have more commitments again. We have a deeper appreciation of nature now, which I would like to continue to foster in my kids.
Alyssa: As a mum, you always have so much on the to-do list, but I’m more inclined to grab a moment between the rain showers to go out for a walk or a bike ride, and let the kids get dirty. Before lockdown, we never had family meals during the week as my husband got home so late. We realised how much we loved them so he’s starting work earlier in order to be home for dinner with us all. It’s a nice way to finish the day together.
AS FEATURED IN ISSUE 51 OF OHbaby! MAGAZINE. CHECK OUT OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE BELOW