Start writing a post

How to re-enter the world after lockdown if you have kids

If we need to its OK to take our time on getting out there

How to re-enter the world after lockdown if you have kids

Our world has started to open up; this week the pubs opened their doors to customers inside, soft plays reopened, and we can meet up with people indoors. We are even allowed to hug.

For parents there's suddenly a lot more we can do with our kids; and with some of us vaccinated too, we may feel more ready to book activities and be social than we have done in over a year. But hold your horses there, cowboy. The kids might not be as ready as you are to suddenly leap from staying at home in your bubble to big trips with lots of people.

This week we were so excited to see some friends and family we hadn't seen in a long time; including my Grandparents and my Uncle, who we haven't seen since November 2019. Although it was wonderful my four year old said he was feeling 'happy but a bit shy', which is very unusual for him. Both the boys were absolutely exhausted, which resulted in a lot of tears at bedtime over nonsensical things. The kids are so unused to having plans and seeing so many people, that whilst it may be fun and well overdue, its also incredibly tiring for them. So for those of us with small children, maybe we should take our time and slowly ease them into the social life they once had. Or rather, the social life we think they need.

My youngest child is two so nearly half his life has been in the midst of some semblance of Covid restrictions. For someone that young masks are normal, as is hand sanitiser and rules about what he can do or who he can see. He takes it all in his stride because, unlike us, he doesn't remember life pre-covid. He is confident with strangers, gentle with other children, and makes friends wherever he goes. So perhaps our assumptions of how damaging time at home has been are, at times, unfounded. However his table manners are borderline feral; the pubs may be back open but neither of the boys have eaten in a café or restaurant in a while, and I suspect their first trip out for tea might be a tad stressful and not unlike taking two small wolves out for dinner. When the time comes I will be taking two fully charged tablets and drinking my beer swiftly to enable a hasty exit.

I have experienced pressure to commit to plans now that we are 'allowed'. But even if other people can't understand it, or feel disappointed, you have to do what is best for your family. That might mean saying no – which is something I have always struggled with. We must try to be honest; our kids might not be emotionally ready for parties, or new faces, or the noise and stimulation of a busy soft play. And of course, they never have to hug anyone they don't want to. Or they might be completely ready and raring to go, but you're not quite there yet. I took the boys to a soft play this week after school; I wasn't sure how they would react as it's been over a year since we were last in that sweaty hellhole. They absolutely loved it. They had a fantastic time and said I was 'the greatest mama in the world'. I, on the other hand, was an anxiety-ridden mess. I was worried about the toddler going down the slides alone, and panicked if I couldn't see him (he was completely fine). There were a lot more people there than I'd expected – and quite a few were maskless – it was so loud and the kids were, of course, running around manically. I felt on edge. And then a kid threw up and that was enough for me; I bribed the boys with an ice cream to leave immediately. So when it comes to getting out there, they might surprise us with their resilience while we struggle with our own anxieties. Perhaps it's best to take it slow and find out. If you are feeling anxious about doing something, or your child is, it's OK and its totally normal given the strange and tragic year we've all experienced. Be kind to yourself and the kids – there's no rush to do anything you're not ready for. There will always be parties or pubs or soft play when you are all ready for them. Just remember your hand sanitiser.

Can tech help female entrepreneurs break the bias?

Women founders continue to come up against common challenges and biases - solving this problem is bigger than supporting women, it’s about supporting the national economy.

Can tech help female entrepreneurs break the bias?

Women founders continue to come up against common challenges and biases

Written by Kelly Devine, Division President UK & Ireland, Mastercard

Starting a business may have historically been perceived as a man’s game, but this couldn’t be further from reality. Research shows women are actually more likely than men to actively choose to start their own business – often motivated by the desire to be their own boss or to have a better work-life balance and spend more time with their family.

Keep reading... Show less

How am I doing as a parent?

Evaluating yourself is hard. It's even harder when attempting to assess your parenting because there's no set guide and nothing to count, measure, or quantify.

How am I doing as a parent?

Some time ago, I met my lovely friend for a drink, straight off the train from London. She told me about a very intense performance review she had at work recently, which, although scary, was incredibly useful; it gave her a general sense of how she was doing and areas to work on.

And it struck me we don't get this feedback as parents. Am I doing a good job? I have no idea.

Keep reading... Show less
#StartTheConversation by joining us on
x

Join our new platform for free and your post can reach a huge audience on Indy100 and The Independent join