Mum's the word: We’re adapting to restrictions, the new normal

Mum's the word: We’re adapting to restrictions, the new normal

We are a few weeks into our new normal now of self isolation and homeschooling and I hope everyone is doing okay! 

Based on everything I am seeing on social media, reading, or hearing about we have proven ourselves to be extremely adaptable, resilient, and inventive during these past number of weeks.

It has been a teared approach though and as each week passes a bit more is being asked of us as families and as a nation. 

I feel that as soon as we got comfortable with the first stage of fighting the virus which was social distancing but still being able to head out to parks and beaches. 

The next wave came which happened last Friday whereby we have all been asked to stay within a 2km radius of our homes. Our worlds have gotten smaller physically and with that comes new ways of adapting.

I am surprised myself at how quickly the days have been passing and how we seem to be managing to fill them without getting too bored. 

We are a late to bed and late to rise family so by the time each morning we have breakfast made, eaten, and cleaned up it is often 10:30. 

At this point we do start our homework and I am lucky that Joan doesn’t fight it and seems (most days) to be happy about doing it. I try to get about an 1:15 out of this time. Including piano practice and some sort of science experiment.

It is a lovely time I feel in general to connect with Joan and for me to exercise parts of my brain that have been largely dormant for years ie maths! 

The phones and tablets go away and we just get stuck in. Having said that I have the upmost admiration for teachers of Ireland, you are heroes!

By the the time we finish homework I am happy for her to have free time to be on the iPad or Netflix. It gives us both a bit of space and some quiet time which everyone needs.

We have also joined a daily Lego Challenge with a group of her classmates which is a great way to still feel connected to them and a brilliant way to spend an hour plus each day being creative and fully immersed in a tangible activity.

Joan has been really good at helping me prepare meals. Making lunch together is something we wouldn’t have normally been able to do together when she was in school and it is something we have been enjoying over the past few weeks.

Our pattern was to get out for a long walk in the afternoon, since last Friday and the new restrictions we have had to get a bit more creative with our exercise. 

I love green spaces, they calm me down and where we live there aren’t a lot of options and I am greatly missing that. 

So to make up for it where possible we are spending a bit more time in the back yard and trying to take the most of that space.

We are also making dinners together, baking and generally spending more time in the kitchen as a duo which can take up most of the afternoon.

By evening time it is lovely to just relax and watch something as a family together. 

These days we aren’t being strict about bedtime at all and many nights I head off at the same time as Joan, read for a short while then lights out.

At the moment the days are passing nicely and some great memories are being made. 

I hope it continues but am not delusional in ignoring the fact that the size of our house and lack of roaming space will get on top of us from time to time. 

But for the moment the new normal is working and I hope it is for all of you too!

■ Catch Alison’s Weekend Breakfast show every Saturday and Sunday, 8am-11am on Today FM

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