I'll be the first one to admit that I am not good at taking it easy. It means the kids and I rarely have a day at home of not doing much. I find it hard being in and trying to keep them entertained with the toys we have here. I always feel the need to get out so we can all burn off some energy and have a change of scene, especially because we live in a top floor flat with limited outside space.
In the last couple of weeks, all that has changed and it's been a hard adjustment. Some days are better than others but we're all getting used to the new normal and we're starting to see the upside to all these slow days.
It can be stressful having to hustle a toddler and a baby out of the house on deadline to make it to classes, play dates etc. Now there's no pressure to be ready for a certain time, have our shoes on quickly, bags packed and organised and that's made a big difference to our mornings. It's been particularly good for Skye and her desire for independence. At the moment it doesn't matter how long she takes putting her shoes or cardigan on or whether she has a silly moment when we're trying to leave. It doesn't matter if I've forgotten something at home either because we're never far away! Gone are the moments of her getting frustrated and me losing patience because we can take as long as we like getting ready - definitely a plus.
When we eventually do get out I'm loving being able to take it slow on our walks too. We're lucky that we have some lovely green spaces close by but it takes an age to get there because Skye wants to walk along every wall, pick up every stick, talk about every leaf and flower. Normally, when we have somewhere to go I'd be wanting to just get there and would be telling her to come on and hurry up but now we just take our time and it is nice to actually stop and notice all the things that she does.
To be honest, I'm guilty of hurrying them along generally. Now all our activities are led by them. We play games until they don't want to anymore rather than until they finish or until I'm hurrying them on to the next thing. Admittedly, when we're playing the eleventy billionth round of hide and seek and she's still hiding in the same place under the table it can be a bit boring but I know she's happy and that's what matters.
There's been lots more room for pretend and imaginative play too. We've had some great tea parties, we've packed our bags for big adventures all the way to the dining room, we've played princess knights and dragons endlessly with the castle and set of armour we made out of cardboard (the baby even got his own helmet) and it's been a lot of fun.
With Daddy home meal times have become slower and more enjoyable too. We sit down at the table and eat together as a family every lunchtime. Our devices go away and we talk to each other and the children. We take our time over our food. It's been one of biggest positives in all this and definitely something I want to do more of after things go back to normal.
We've been making the most of their toys. They have so many and some of them have hardly been touched. Now we're trying to use them all and really play with them rather than just casting them aside after a few minutes and that's definitely been a positive. We've also been rediscovering books we haven't read in ages which I've loved, especially because it's something all three of us can do together.
Skye is also learning to play more independently and entertain herself. She's dropped her nap in the last couple of weeks too so we've introduced chill out time where she chooses a couple of quiet toys to take to her room to play with on her own. It's lovely to see her playing with her toys and hear her chatting to them and making little games up. She actually looks forward to this time and I find it invaluable too having half an hour to catch up on things in the middle of the day.
I hope that we can hang on to some of these slower days after things get back to normal because I know they are good for all of us. But I do wonder if we'll ever be able to get out of the house on time again!