Guest Blogger Jo of Midland Mummy shares her experience of lockdown with her three year old son.
I was thrilled when this lovely lady agreed to guest blog for me and share her experience of lockdown life with her little one. I may be a mum myself, but my 'baby' is more than capable of keeping herself busy through this new and extremely trying time. It is lovely to hear how you amazing young mums are coping and staying sane with much younger children in the house.
Thank you so much Jo for agreeing to be a guest blogger!
When the lockdown was first announced, I was just as shocked and panicked as everyone and it just felt like my freedom had been taken away and not only that my whole daily routine with my little boy had gone out of the window, I really couldn't just nip down to see my mum who is a 15 minute drive from me, I couldn't just go to the shops if I wanted and my little boy absolutely loved going round the shops, especially those with scanners inside what on earth were we going to do?
At first, I think I put too much pressure on myself as I was trying to balance work as I work in a school and also keep him entertained and I tried to fill our days with everything to the point where he became overwhelmed and I was just exhausted because I was trying to keep everything ok for him but neglected myself, so I was burning out quickly.
By about week 4/5 of lockdown, I took a step back and looked at what he really enjoyed doing, which was baking, playing games with his figures (Bing, Happyland and Hey Duggee) reading books, having a cuddles, some chill time with his favourite TV programmes and when the weather allowed us to having a walk, we are lucky to have a lovely canal path to walk along that's about a 10 minute walk from our house.
I also found that by getting outside, it improved both our moods which I found really made things easier to cope with, we also made sure that we had daily video chats over our Alexa device or on phones to family and close friends.
I found that having a rough idea of what we could do each day helped but if we didn't do it, that could be moved to another day but some days I'd just go with what he wanted so one morning, we literally spent the whole morning playing every jigsaw that we owned and you know what...the time flew by and he loved it, I think he loved that time that we had together and because he hadn't seen some of the puzzles for a while, they were fresh to him.
Most of all, he loves to bake. It's been really interesting to watch his skills grow and they learn so much through baking. His favourite are cakes and as he loves to get in there and mix, although my poor kitchen is usually in an absolute state after!
There's also a really simple recipe for fork biscuits that use three ingredients, 100g butter, 50g caster sugar and 150g self-raising flour. Beat the butter and sugar until creamy and then slowly add the flour and mix together with your hands until it forms a dough. Then pull off small amounts, place them on a greased baking tray and dip the fork in a little water before pressing down on them. Bake for 15-20 minutes in 180c/fan 160c/ gas 4.
Also I've found rotating toys help, so that he's not seeing the same toys every week, it changes things up and simple activities such as a paintbrush and some water to paint the steps or fence if you have a garden, whilst the weather is nice can be the best activity and it's generally something you've got lying around so doesn't need anything special.
So what I've learned from this lockdown so far is take one day at a time, if they don't want to do something one day, push it to the next day and sometimes just follow their lead, you might think that they need to be entertained all the time but they don’t being bored is good for them and one thing I've discovered, is winging it is the way forward, I'm a first time mum and I've discovered so far that a lot of parenting is just winging it, try not to put added pressure on yourself because right now, especially with all of this going on, no added pressure is needed and taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your child.