We are now in week 6 of the Covid-19 induced UK lockdown. This is what the Stingyfit household has learned during this time.
Weather conditions determine everything
We have been lucky with the weather during lockdown so far. On warm sunny days, the Stingyfit household routine works (more or less) like clockwork, meeting our daily exercise and clothes washing goals. We feel grateful for what we have and feel like ‘we got this’.
On wet and windy days, everything seems to go a bit pear-shaped. None of us feel like venturing outside for a run or walk, our dirty clothes remain unwashed (‘cos what’s the point if we can’t air dry them outside) and our daily exercise goals seem more out of reach. Our garage gym gets more use on these days, but only minimum use, as our motivation is still lacking. On days like these I wonder if owning a dog would be beneficial, forcing us to leave the compound at least once or twice a day to get some fresh air. However, I reserve judgement on whether dog ownership is a good idea post-lockdown when everyone’s (new) ‘normal’ lives resume and I get stuck with the daily dog walks in the pouring rain for the next 10-13 years….
I won’t waffle on about the toxic combination of working and homeschooling, as it has featured in almost every social media and news medium every hour for the past 6 weeks. Suffice to say that we are still fine-tuning this juggle act in the Stingyfit household and it ain’t pretty. However, we have tried our best to implement some sort of structure to our working days by blocking out our work calendars and starting the day as a family in the garage gym with ‘PE with Joe Wicks’ or ‘Cosmic Kids Yoga’ which teaches children yoga through story telling – available free on YouTube, it contains short lessons targeted at pre-schoolers (Child 2’s favourites are ‘We’re going on a bear hunt and ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’) and primary school children (Child 1 loves the ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Pokemon’ lessons). If anything, it gets us all moving and semi-awake for the day ahead.
Me-time (what’s that?)
Between working, homeschooling, housekeeping and preparing 3 meals a day every day for the whole family, I haven’t had much time to myself. Mr Stingyfit and I have tried to limit our time on social media, socialising on Zoom etc. when we are off-duty, just so we can recalibrate and reflect on the day in peace. We are finding that it is actually very hard to ‘self-isolate’ from all our various commitments in self-isolation! Exercise has become the only legitimate form of ‘me-time’ that we treat ourselves to during the week. I’ve been on solitary runs and walks, but I’ve also found that jogging with Child 1 has been a good way to hang out and find out what’s going on in their head without the distraction and cheekiness of Child 2.
Weirdly, we’ve also found ourselves drawn to watching films like Contagion – maybe because these films are now so (disturbingly) relatable.
We had originally planned to go on a two week road trip to Denmark this summer. It is looking increasingly unlikely that this holiday will go ahead and the Stingyfit household is feeling pretty low about this. One positive outcome from this sad state of affairs is that we will have more time to tend to our garden vegetable patch which now features garlic, spinach, lettuce and tomato plants. Not going on holiday this summer means that our vegetables won’t be neglected over the summer holidays – a very middle class dilemma. Child 1 and Child 2 are also finally showing interest in eating raw spinach and lettuce, purely egotistically because they planted them in the garden. I’m not complaining.
A moment of reflection
We have learned to co-exist 24/7 as a family at home and I suspect, once lockdown is finally lifted, there will be elements of this experience that we will miss. As a family with two working parents and children at different stages of development, we have relished the opportunity to have most of our daily meals together in lockdown. Pre-lockdown, this only happened at weekends and on holidays.
We have also realised the benefits of exercising together as a family. Pre-lockdown, ‘real’ exercise was generally something that Mr Stingyfit and I did in isolation without the kids in tow. The lockdown has shown that it is possible to exercise as a family unit. I’m not sure this is as simple for families with teenagers in tow, but maybe there are other ways of bonding with them in a lockdown that aren’t yet applicable to us. There’s got to be some way of incorporating family exercise with TikTok, right? https://thesmartlocal.com/read/tiktok-challenges/