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New strengths, new thoughts

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So it’s been two weeks since the nation has been on lock down and three little phrases that I’ve been using daily whilst communicating with the World are stay safe, be kind and keep going!

Stay safe
Like the majority of us, I’ve been staying safe by staying at home, protecting the NHS and hopefully helping to save lives. It’s hard as it feels like our independence has been taken away from us and almost seems as though we’ve gone back in age to being teenagers – grounded for bad behaviour.

However, as much as us adults are finding it hard, I feel for little ones, like Betsy who doesn’t understand any of this. All of a sudden like us, her World has completely changed but she doesn’t understand why she can’t see Nanny, Grandma or Grandad and why she can’t go swimming or to the park. I think she just assumes she’s been naughty!

Bringing up a little girl is completely different to a boy and possibly a little more complicated! You feel a little more protective but at the same time they don’t want to be protected…

Alfie is so laid back he’s almost horizontal. He waits for everything to get done for him, including getting dressed in the morning and if he tries to help it can take an age. However, that said he rarely has a tantrum!

 Betsy on the other hand knows what she wants and is determined to do everything herself from choosing what clothes to wear, taking off her shoes and taking her lid off her milk bottle. Try and help or take over and a well-rehearsed tantrum will incur – she’s earned the nickname ‘Little Miss independent’.

It’s true to say that being a mum is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, but also dealing with fears you never knew existed and one fear that I have is how I make sure that both Betsy and Alfie remain safe, happy and confident throughout this pandemic!

Be Kind
Being a parent has meant that self-care has slipped to the bottom of my priority list. I’m trying to be kind to myself but it’s definitely something I need to work on!

Before coronavirus I had very little time to myself but now I have no time. I’m virtually a single mum in the week, trying to work, as I both have to and want to plus trying to be a good wife to an overworked, NHS hero.

Half the time I feel like a rubbish mum, who always nagging but I’ve realised I’ve got to give myself a break and stop being so hard on myself. I think it’s because I’m a bit of a perfectionist. But it’s time to be realistic, both at work and as a mum. I need to avoid burnout – I’m doing my best during a very difficult time and I need to cut myself some slack.

One thing I’ve been really good at doing is my daily bit of exercise and instead of taking the car to take Alfie to school each day I’m either running (with Alfie mastering the scooter) or I’m running whilst pushing Betsy in her trike to school.

It’s good for my wellbeing but also for both Alfie and Betsy and at least Alfie now knows how to scoot! It makes us all feel good but what’s really fab is we see the same people each morning. Betsy waves like a queen and Alfie shouts ‘hello’ and I smile knowing that there still all OK and hopefully we’ve put a smile on their face that morning.

Keep Going
It’s either keep going or give up and cry! Don’t get me wrong I think we all need a good cry every once in a while as this is hard and something we’ve never ever had to endure before – Thank God.

Having some kind of routine seems to be my best way of coping and having work to occupy me can actually feel like a bit of a bonus at times!

These are boom times for boredom and the best way to combat the tediousness is to keep yourself happy, healthy and entertained.

I’m keeping myself happy by doing things that I haven’t had the time to do at home before but most importantly I’m picking up the phone and being social with family and friends – as BT used to say ‘It’s good to talk’.

I’m trying to be healthy by finding time to go running and I’m keeping entertained by the kids – they make me laugh, they are my saviour and they remind me of what’s important in life.

Here’s hoping that when this horrible time comes to an end that I have done my best to help Alfie and Betsy to become their best, well-rounded selves in spite of it all…

#StaySafe #Bekind #KeepGoing

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