How I’m Surviving Lockdown as a Toddler Mum

I’ve been thinking a lot about the UK lockdown lately, and my very mixed feelings about it all. There are plenty of reasons to enjoy this somewhat forced family/household time but that doesn’t mean its easy – especially if you work full time and have a toddler.

The main way I’ve been trying to survive is by trying to stick to some sort of routine. This is easier said than done for a lot of people, I know, but generally toddlers will still want about 11/12 hours of sleep at night and three square meals a day (and umpteen snacks too!) so we’ve continued to plan around that for the most part, keeping bedtime as close to normal as possible. Although I’m not a savage, I’m not waking him up before 7am when there’s no nursery to go to!

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I don’t dispute this is harder to stick to for those with infants, older children or multiple kids (you are walking superheroes every day never mind during a lockdown. Send me your address and I’ll post you a medal). With that in mind it brings me to the next thing I think helps me cope: my privileged situation.

I am under absolutely no illusion that I’ve actually managed to get a pretty good deal out of this lock down situation. One toddler, who sticks to a routine for the most part, my full time job allowing me to work from home and a partner with the same means that we’re not worrying about paying the bills or losing all sense of time and day. The structure is comforting, although the grass definitely looks greener when the sun comes out and families are spending their time together in the garden while we’re stuck in and draining all of Sky’s Internet capacity.

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Which is why I also try to stick to my core working hours where possible. As I said, its office hours so whilst I’m meant to be working 8.30 till 5 I like to ensure for the most part it’s kept that way so we can still have family time around that. Of course if my toddler is throwing a tantrum or just needs some love and extra attention at 2.45, then you’ll be sure I’ll be with him and make up my work time later.

One of my big positives about the lockdown is the lack of commute. I lose at least two hours every work day in traffic, so I’ve held onto this extra time and cherished it. Normally, I’ll only see my little man for half an hour in the morning and an hour at night during the week (I see him less than I see the traffic) so there’s no way I’m complaining at all this extra time I get to see him and spend with him – even if I have to concentrate on work for a lot of it.

During regular commute time I like to still ensure I’m awake in the morning (although I give myself a bit more of a lie in than normal, I’m not a robot) and make the most of the early morning – particularly if the males in the house are still asleep. I’ll tidy a bit, exercise in some way (the earlier I can be outside to run like Phoebe Buffay, the less other daily exercisers will see me) and take my time getting ready in the morning. Sometimes I’ll make everyone breakfast and be like that picture perfect mum and others I’ll just make myself a strong coffee and sit quietly till they get up!

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I’ve also taken to cooking more of the dinners now I’m home. One thing I’ve been totally spoilt for since Travis was born is the cooking. For most of Craig’s shift pattern, he’s home at teatime with my dinner usually waiting on me coming in, so I’ve taken back some of the responsibility now I’m home at that time. I do enjoy cooking and there’s no doubt I’m the food prepper in terms of the big shop and planning for the week, although its not usually me making it!

With my extra evening hour I also like to spend more quality time with my little man. Whether thats playing with his favourite toys, doing something new or simply sitting together to watch his favourite cartoons and eat our dinner, I’m cherishing this precious lockdown time.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all sunshine and roses, and lockdown has absolutely had me in tears at points but I think the routine and the positivity definitely help. I’ve found myself wondering if I’m doing enough for my little man, as I’ve not been doing any sort of home schooling because he’s only two and I’m not a teacher, but I don’t want him to be left behind when he does go back to nursery.

Similarly I’ve been stressing myself trying to potty train him because, quite frankly, I thought he would be ready by now and every mum ever has suggested that this is the perfect time to do it. We’ve invested in all the right tools and books and charts but honestly it’s so hard to keep on top of “do you need a wee?” and sitting on the potty (him, not me) when you’re knee deep in a monthly report.

And then there’s all the household stuff. Some parents have managed clearouts, redecorated rooms, redone their gardens and built their kids tree houses or reached Mrs Hinch levels of cleaning. I’m just barely scraping by at the normal rushed level of housework and so it makes me feel a bit inadequate. But after a bit of reflection, usually in a nice long bath, I’m reminded that everybody’s situation is different, and that not all parents cope the same way. Heck even in this household no two parents are coping the same way! So I try not to be too hard on myself and all the things I think (or Instagram or Facebook or Pinterest thinks) I should be doing and just try to make sure everyone is happy and safe.

I just have to remember that when there’s a wee guy having a full blown tantrum when I’m on a conference call, or all my friends are posting their home schooling pictures, or my boss asks for something at 5.15pm or when my toddler wakes four times in the night or when we can’t have friends and family in our home or when the dishes aren’t done…. you get the picture!

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10 thoughts on “How I’m Surviving Lockdown as a Toddler Mum

  1. Oh my gosh. I’ve never read a blog post that I relate to as much as this one! You may be in the UK, and I’m the USA, BUT I partially feel like we should be best mom friends!! Lol, no joke! I have 2 little boys – also trying to potty train the oldest one – who will be 4 in Oct…and his brother will be 3 in January – so that’s been a NIGHTMARE! As I’m also fortunate enough to have a job that allows me to work from home during this pandemic! My husband does as well – so, literally everything you wrote about, I’ve done, or had the same thoughts, etc, etc. You get the picture! Same thing with traffic, and how much I saw my boys during the week when they were in daycare and I was at work. I’m cherishing these memories and I honestly would prefer to work from home now that I know I can do it! But in terms of teaching them, or homeschooling, or the housework…….. girl, I swear you’re doing a great job! I’m doing a great job! It just sometimes feels like we could do more, but we’re doing our best! Thanks so much for sharing! I truly enjoyed this! Definitely following you now! Good luck to you and yours! Stay safe (and sane if possible!)

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    1. Wow thank you so much!
      Its definitely a struggle sometimes but its great to be reminded I’m not alone and there are other moms even on the other side of the world who are feeling the same and going through the same thing!

      You’re a hero, I can’t imagine having two so close in age and managing to cope. You’re an inspiration! You will need to let me know how you get on with the potty training, we’re slowly trying but being met with a lot of resistance at the moment!

      Thank you for following, I’m following your blog too! Good luck to you as well, stay safe and hopefully it won’t be long till we’re through the other side of this madness! Xx

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      1. So sorry I just saw this!! You’re quite welcome! I agree, it’s nice to know there are other real mommas out there dealing with similar issues!

        Hahaha, why thank you! I think all of us are heros! To be honest, we’re also being met with resistance….I think tomorrow I’m just gonna wing it and see how he does if I don’t give him an option lol!

        Thanks for following back & I agree hopefully this will all be under control soon! Stay safe my friend!

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  2. Hi,
    Love your honesty in this post. This time has created some new challenges for sure. In the beginning I was just trying to get through and had no real structure at all. Then I realized we needed a schedule and a routine still. Since then things have gotten better, but there are still new challenges, of course. I also decided in the beginning to try potty training my son and it was a disaster. He just wasn’t ready. So we took a break. Then all of a sudden he started asking to go potty.. It has been 4 days now and he asks to go almost every time. There have been a couple accidents but amazingly he essentially trained himself. So hang in there mama! He will let you know when he is ready 😊 Great post!
    Heather

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    1. Thank you Heather, its been a tough few weeks so I felt I had to share. I just see lots of positivity on social media (I am guilty of this too) and not the hard bits so it was just in case some mamas needed to know that we’re all in the same boat.

      That’s so great about your little one with the potty. We’ve started to make some progress with sitting on it but no further than that! Xx

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  3. I can honestly say that I have no idea what it is like having a toddler. As a stepmom who has only had kids age 5 and teen years upwards in the house, I honestly can’t imagine what it must be like. But it sounds like you are doing so well to focus on the positive aspects and to try your best to stick to a routine where possible! At this unusual time, I think it’s so important that we be kind to ourselves and I just wanted to say that I admire you so much for maintaining your positive spirit when you can! Thank you for sharing your viewpoint – it’s been really enlightening 🙂 x

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    1. Thank you so much for the lovely comment, I really appreciate that! Can’t be easy having a five year old and teens in the house either i imagine! Let’s hope a positive spirit gets us through and that this won’t last too much longer! Xx

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  4. Such a relatable post. This whole lock down situation has been so difficult.

    Juggling home schooling and older children as well as a toddler it isn’t easy. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Eddie. I can’t imagine how you’re coping with older children and a toddler! Much solidarity to you. Hopefully things start to get back to a bit of normality soon!

      Like

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