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Diary of a Stuck at Home Mum: Getting used to our new routine is a challenge for us all!

Today was fun – and not fun. We cooked, we made hot air balloons, we did yoga and made an obstacle course.

There was also hair pulling and boxing and screaming and crying and kicking and more screaming!!

I’m not at my best self. I know that. I’m freaking out because I know this is going to go on a long time and I know I’m taking it out on the kids!

I’m stressed out about the state of the house, I’m worried about the kids’ health and I’m worried about everyone else in my family.

I’m especially worried about my parents and aunts and uncles. I don’t know how seriously they’re taking this and I can’t control it. There’s nothing I can do about it.

So I have to focus on my own little bubble, keep us all protected as best I can and if we do get sick, I have to be strong enough to look after us.

For now though I’m going to try to have more fun with the kids. I need to show them a positive model of play and fun if I want them to behave more positively with eachother. Easier said than done, but here’s hoping!

PS – no outside time – we did the obstacle course instead, not the same, but good craic!!!

Day 2 – Mother’s Day

So, Today was Mother’s Day, a strange Mother’s Day, but mostly a good one. We were forced to go back to basics, which is what I love most. There were handmade cards, a new mug, a beautiful book, a lovely dinner (cooked by me of course) and delicious homemade brownies (also made by me).

We had great fun outside – we laughed, we played we genuinely enjoyed ourselves. There were lots of pure ‘warm and fuzzy’ moments, filled with love and beauty and hope.

But of course, it was also a day with kids. So there was fighting, screaming and general mayhem, especially when they got their hands on the brownies! Thank God I went for an early dinner!

There was also a tinge of sadness. We video called my Mam and showed her the cards that the kids had made for her. I couldn’t help but think about the older or more vulnerable mammies and grannies who would really be missing connection and physical contact today. I kissed the kids a lot, and hugged them extra tight.

Day 3

So, today with all of my positivity I decided we were going to do a themed learning approach and delve into the jungle.

I had music lined up, art activities ready to go, a little writing activity for the 5 year old and even some PE games to play! I was pumped – ready to be a home school hero.

Boom – sh**storm of tantrums: screaming, crying, boxing, kicking, full throttle nightmare behaviour!

Lesson plans abandoned, kids fekd out to the garden, we live to learn another day.

On the plus side, we had home-made bread, home-made lasagne with home-made spicy wedges – and I discreetly polished off the home-made brownies from yesterday..winning..

Day 4

So – at the risk of sounding skanky – I haven’t had a shower in 3 days. Every night I tell myself – tonight is my night to have a relax in the bath, to really unwind and treat myself. I’ve been so looking forward to relaxing and reading my book that I’ve been holding out for it and because we haven’t left the house in a week nobody is around to notice.

So, the reason I haven’t gotten around to it any night is because I am just SO tired. Like a lot of ‘stuck at home’ parents I’m literally just falling asleep whenever I sit down. Of course it doesn’t help that the 1 year old is on a sleep strike. He is just waking constantly looking for comfort, then waking more screaming – and we have not been in bed after 5.30 any morning since this effin lockdown started!!

But I’m holding out hope for this amazing bath tonight. I’m determined nothing will stop me. It will be exactly what I need to reset and relax and re-everything to keep going.

We spent most of the day outside today. And we went to the jungle in Central America this morning and sailed down a river, and saw howler monkeys and snakes and tigers. It was great fun – with loads of learning – happy days.

PS – I got my bath – and it was sh** – it was cold and there was not enough water. I’m not talking about it.

Day 5

Today was actually great again, which was lovely. We abandoned work because the weather was just so beautiful. We spent the day outside building a rockery, playing in the sand and jumping on the trampoline. Even though the kids were at each others throats for the day it all seemed more bearable because we were outside.

Now don’t get me wrong, I spent a sizeable chunk of the day shouting and muttering swear words under my breath. The kids’ fighting has ramped up in a big way since the lockdown started.

The fact that we were all outside in the fresh air and sunshine just seemed to increase my ability to handle the misbehaviour.

My ‘take home’ from today is do whatever it takes to keep myself happy and calm, because then I’m much more able to deal with the inevitable fall-outs.

Day 748

So, today there have been new restrictions announced. The Government have closed all ‘non-essential’ retail outlets, they have cancelled sporting events and there is to be no ‘un-necessary’ travel in and out of the country – but it’s ‘not a lockdown!’

To be honest, we’ve been living in lockdown since the schools closed so this isn’t going to impact on us too much. I think the kids have been in the car once since then.

We just have to keep plodding along throughout our daily grind and hope that everyone else will do the same, because that’s the only way the spread of this thing is going to slow down!

And I’m very much plodding at this stage! I don’t know how staying home has treated you, but I’ve sure been treating myself.

Chocolate, buns, cake, sweets, fizzy drinks – you name it, I’m eating it. If I stay going like this I’m going to be twice the woman I was by the end of this ‘not-lockdown!’

Thank God FitwithBrid has put up some weekly workouts! I’m definitely going to start sorting myself out, tomorrow!

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Steph is a Laois mammy of three small kids. She has started a blog to document her life as a mammy muddling through parenthood and searching for her identity in a world wider than her own four walls. As the pandemic continues she has started a diary to describe daily life as a 'stuck-at-home mom'