This lockdown gig requires all my parenting talents. Even the ones stuck under the kitchen sink behind the draino. Even the ones I made up and brought to the table just today.
Day 1 of Level 3 Lockdown after 34 days at level 4. It's not easy whānau. I'm a bit envious of the ones who say it's the best thing ever. I'm ok, but I'm working hard at being OK. As in I'm working hard at being an OK mum.
I have to bite my tongue a lot and remember that the kids are coping too and managing some pretty big things; complete change of education, missing friends, lack of independence, being with me 24/7 😜 They're doing amazing and have found a rhythm to their days now that doesn't rely on me scheduling for them the same.
It took me until week 2 to figure out the more time I spend outside the less I noticed the mess of a house. It took until week 3 of lockdown to start to let go of expectation a bit.
It took me until week 4 to figure out that playing on a scooter for two hours straight was the best parenting strategy I've ever found.
I've been trying to find a bit of routine each day. A bit of mahi, a lot of tākaro, housework and a smidge of time for me. I've been sharing Te Kupu O Te Rā - Word Of The Day, in Ngā Reo E Toru - Our Three Languages, on my Story each day and that's been a nice focus. I haven't planned it out at all, the words have just popped up spontaneously through whatever we've been into that day. It's reminded me that I do spend loads of time playing with the girls and I love spending time with them. I cherish it. But that doesn't mean it's always easy. What doesn't show up on social media is the regular squabbles and yelling, tears and tantrums that are the in-between of all the loveliness. When your bubble is 24/7 it's the in-between that's tiring and stressful. But it's the loveliness that makes up for it.
I hope I look back on this time and I'm as kind to myself as I would be to my friends when I hear about what they're struggling with.
I hope our girls look back on this time as a time when we were tight, despite the stress. Together and real. Not perfect, but lots of fun and a bit of learning. In fact, I hope that's how they sum up their whole childhood.