It’s hard to say what a typical day in isolation looks like. My brother and his kids moved out 2 weeks ago so it is easier that it was in the beginning. With 5 kids at home some things are unpredictable, but it is also starting to grind on me that every day is mind-numbingly the same. it’s almost like Groundhog Day.
Sam (2) wakes me up first thing every morning. He gets into bed with me saying “budge up”. We don’t have anywhere that we need to be so I just lie in bed watching cartoons for a while. Even though there’s no school run I’m still on the same routine. I will be ready for the day by 8am but the kids will stay in their pyjamas for longer. Sometimes the older boys will stay in their pyjamas for most of the day because they are more comfortable. Ben is working from home as normal.
By 9am I am in the garden with Max (7) and Sam. Oliver (11) sometimes joins a bit later. They are loud and I’m constantly shushing them so they don’t upset the neighbours. They play on their bikes, and trampoline, and make up little games. The weather has been absolutely amazing since lockdown which means they have been in the garden A LOT. They are starting to get bored, but sometimes I take Sam around the front to roll on his bike down the driveway and it’s like playing somewhere totally new. Or Oliver drenches the trampoline with water and it becomes a whole new game.
The Two Year Old
Sam needs constant supervision all day. He is proving to be a very destructive child. His favourite things to do recently are spilling liquid (whatever he can find), licking liquid off the floor, squeezing toothpaste all over the bathrooms and writing with felt pen on the carpets and furniture. It is tiring and the worst but most important thing I do all day is try to keep him out of trouble (and cleaning up said messes). He doesn’t nap anymore either, but early afternoon I’ll sit in my bed with him for an hour so that he will relax a little and watch cartoons. One a week he might drift off to sleep and I want to use that time to nap but instead I get interrupted by the other children, one by one, who are all after snacks.
We are allowed out once a day for exercise, which mostly means walking but I have taken Max and Sam out on bikes too. Walking and avoiding other people is difficult to do with all the children so mostly I just take the younger kids who want and need to be outside. Ben will take other kids on a walk in the evening if they want to go. We probably only go out about once or twice a week now although in the beginning it was more. It is difficult to motivate myself to do anything when I spent the rest of the day doing nothing. I feel like we have explored the area really well, and only last week we found Huthwaite Hall and enjoy walking that way now.
It’s safe to say that my kids are not getting the education they need! Home schooling with a little tinker like Sam around is extremely difficult. In the beginning Max liked worksheets but now he likes to do his own thing – he’s extremely creative and he likes to make art. He also writes a lot of diary entries which are super cute and makes me think that one day he will help me with this blog!! George and Oliver don’t really want to do much other than watching TV and playing on the computer. I am frustrated by it but I am letting some things slide because it can be too stressful otherwise. They have their work set by their schools and they are responsible for that. Isabel is also responsible for her work, she is in year 10 so doing GCSES next year. I am proud to say she is taking it very seriously and is working hard.
We have played games, made paintings, and baked. I know there’s more I could be doing so every day I try and pick one extra activity to keep things interesting. Basically I feel like I’m entertaining the little ones all day long. From the moment they wake up until the time they go to bed. Every single day. You can’t tell the difference between week and weekend, term time and holidays. It’s all the same! Except on Sundays when we have church at home. Ben tries to give me a bit of a break at the weekend but it’s never long enough. Sometimes I feel like I just need an hour (or more!) to step away but there’s nowhere to go.
So that’s me. Quarantined with toddlers and teenagers. It’s hard work, it’s constant. They’re always hungry. I referee arguments a lot, and there’s always someone who wants my attention. I haven’t mentioned the older kids much because they are more self-sufficient during the day but we try to spend the evenings together watching movies. We’re trying to think of all the older movies that they haven’t seen before. This week we have been watching all the Men in Black movies. We are running out of ideas so any movie suggestions for teens would be appreciated!
What the Kids are Watching on TV
Sam – PJ Masks (Netflix), Team Umizoomi (Amazon Prime), Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (Disney +)
Other children – Phineus & Ferb (Disney +)