*This is a collaborative post, however all thoughts are my own.
There’s no denying that the last year of COVID 19 lockdowns has hit us all really hard. It was a real shock to the system when we were told that we could no longer see our friends and families, or that we couldn’t just pop to the shop unless it was essential, not to mention that us parents suddenly became responsible for our children’s education. With all that being said, it wasn’t all doom and gloom.
We had some great times too – as a community, and as a family unit. 2020’s Thursday night claps kept the community spirit alive and reminded us that there were still friends and family out there who were desperate for COVID to be over just as much as we were. And I obviously can’t forget to mention that lockdown gave my 7 year old the perfect opportunity to teach me all about Minecraft! Being at home together allowed us so much quality time as a family that we’d never have been able to have at any other time, so I was determined to ensure we were a family loving life, despite everything that was going on.
So today, the week before the UK government loosens lockdown restrictions once more, I want to talk about all the good memories that I personally experienced and made with my family during lockdown. These are all memories that I’ll cherish forever; in order to keep them safe, I’m planning on putting them all into a photo book from Bonusprint so that I can look back over them and share them with the friends and family we weren’t able to see it all happen at the time.
Getting into gardening and growing our own food.
We were really lucky to have moved into our new home just before lockdown restrictions were put in place in 2020. This meant that, for the first time, we had a garden. As the kids were home, we decided to give gardening a proper go and see if we could grow our own food. We planted strawberries, tomatoes, runner beans, potatoes, courgettes, and more. It was really good fun to watch them grow and I’ll definitely remember little Oscar running out into the garden in the mornings and helping himself to fresh strawberries.
Swimming pool fun!
We were also pretty lucky with the weather during the first lockdown. We were able to spend a lot of time in the garden sunbathing and splashing around. We had a small pool when we moved in, but it wasn’t long until we decided to invest in something bigger. Eventually we found a huge paddling pool and we spent hours as a family chilling out and having fun. We watched both kids get a lot more confident around water, especially Luke as he absolutely hated having water near his face. After a few days with the big paddling pool up, he was definitely a lot more confident in his abilities.
Home learning was tricky, but rewarding.
I have to say that home learning wasn’t necessarily one of my favourite parts of the lockdown, but it definitely made me appreciate teachers a lot more. Working with my school aged child, whilst also looking after a toddler and juggling my own work was hard, but it was pretty rewarding at times too. Eventually we found a flow that worked really well for us and we were able to create some really lovely work together – it was nice to see the schooling process first hand and actually know what Luke has been up to for once, because he typically doesn’t tell me anything about his school days!
We got to bond with our beautiful whippet!
Willow the whippet came to us just a few days before lockdown was put in place. When we adopted her, she had a broken leg and was recovering having only just been fixed up by the vets. It was good timing really, as it meant that we were around to make sure she didn’t get up to anything that she shouldn’t (like having lots of zoomies or nibbling on the furniture)! We were able to gradually train her over lockdown, working on her recall, sit, stay, and wait commands. By the time her leg was healed, she was an absolute pro off lead and we enjoyed so many happy times with her on our daily walks.
Lots of gorgeous, long walks.
It would be mad to write a blog post about wonderful lockdown memories without including something about the crazy amount of beautiful walks we had! As I mentioned, we’d moved to our new house just before lockdown was enforced, so we used our daily hour of exercise to explore more of the area. We found some really beautiful places and had so much fun as a family discovering new trails and footpaths that took us through the countryside.