We have now completed 14 full weeks of being at home. I started a week earlier than most of the UK with the boys, and it feels like we’ve been at it forever now. The slow (but still fairly frantic – because that’s life with young kids) lifestyle is something that we have all adjusted to. We have new routines and habits that we have slotted in to and it’s all fairly tolerable these days – but we’re ready for it to be over now.

Relaxing Lockdown Restrictions

3 weeks ago Scotland entered phase 1 of the lockdown exist strategy. The ability to meet up with another household (while still social distancing) was a bit of a game changer for us as it meant the children could finally spend some time with their grandparents, who they hadn’t seen since January. Being able to play in their garden and have a change of scenery has made the world of difference to my boys, and around twice a week we can get out of the house for a good run around.

A toddler eating an ice cream in the garden
A man and woman wearing sunglasses and smiling for the camera
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A few days ago we started on to phase 2, but initially it hasn’t had a huge impact for us. The maximum number of people for a gathering is 8, and as we are already a family of 4 it means we are really only able 2 meet with 1 other household at a time still.

Social Distancing With Young Children

In reality, for quite a while the reductions in restrictions won’t change much for our family due to the age of our kids. Trying to social distance with a 2 year old and a 4 year old is near enough impossible. JJ can be contained in a pram, which is fine for out on walks etc, but doesn’t work if we’re going to stop anywhere as he immediately wants out. And I can’t take him round to a friends garden but leave him in a pram for an hour really! And Piglet is only 4 with little understanding of what is going on.

A toddler wearing a towel and a cap sitting in a garden eating a brioche
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We have kept many of the details from him. This is intentional – he can be quite anxious at times and we don’t want him worrying about things that can’t be changed. He knows there are germs and that we are keeping back from people and not going to places, but that is all. My friends without children have started to meet up a bit but it’s just not on the cards for us yet. One day – and hopefully soon – when we can safely be close together we’ll get together. But for now we wait!

New Hobbies

In the last month the boys have started to show an interest in ball games, something they never really bothered with before. JJ is trying to kick a football around and Piglet is giving rubgy a try. I bought he a small ball after remembering he enjoyed a Rugby Tots trial last year at nursery. He has played with it in the garden most days now, and JHogg seems to like having it there too. I had been considering signing him up for Rugby Tots for the next academic year but I’m not sure if they’ll be going ahead straight away this year.

A woman wearing a yellow Lakers basketball top
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I wouldn’t really call it a hobby, but I have been working out around 3 times a week for the last month. With the kids at home it hasn’t been easy to slot it in the my schedule, but it has been important to me to tackle some unwanted weight gain so I made some space. At the moment there are a hundred other things I’d rather be doing – but I’m hoping I come to enjoy it eventually. Maybe.

Looking For The Positives

At the moment it feels like we are slowly starting to emerging out the other side of COVID-19. No it’s not disappeared yet, but it’s on the run. We don’t know many people personally who have been affected, and our own families are safe and well. Our garden make-over last year has meant we’ve had a lovely place to spend time outside over the last 3 months. And, even though they drive us mad, spending such an extended period of timing watching the children grow with minimal distractions has been a privilege.

Two boys playing on a rug with a car tracked made out of masking tape
Two children lying in a cardboard box with blankets and watching an iPad
Two boys sitting in a cardboard box that has been turned in to a rocket
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Staycationing – Or Not!

For many people, the idea of taking a holiday during coronavirus might sound crazy. However, there are plenty of things to look forward to when it comes to taking a staycation in the UK. If you aren’t yet comfortable with taking a staycation, why not try these other tips to make it feel like you’re taking a trip – or to look forward to one once it is comfortable!

This could include…

  • Having a cultural night in, filled with the cuisine of a country you’d like to visit.
  • Dressing up in your holiday clothes, even if it’s just for a sit-down in the garden!
  • Giving a fun gift to a friend or family member, such as buying them a title at https://www.celtictitles.com/ or a new set of luggage for their next holiday.

If you do take a staycation, remember to maintain social distancing and keep to yourselves while out and about. Although things can’t be totally “normal” during the pandemic, you can find a breath of fresh air by taking a safe trip somewhere closeby. We will all appreciate international travel so much more when it is finally allowed again!