Happy first official day of quarantine!
This week (so far), both girls haven’t really been sleeping well during the night – which resulted in a very volatile day altogether!
Since February last year, Hanli was ordained as a full-time pastor for our church. This means that during the week his “base” is at home. People often make remarks and jokes about how they would hate to have their spouse/ partner work from home, because it’s too much shared space and no where to run. I personally love it – it truly comes with many perks. Doing shift work at the hospital allowed us to work a schedule that we didn’t have to send Amelia into daycare, we also had the opportunity to have both girls 18 months apart. During the crunch-time months of adjusting to a family of four, Hanli was able to work around his schedule and help me around with the kids. I truly thought that quarantine life was going to be similar to our current life. Nope. What I didn’t realise that we’ve set times for us to be outside at different times so that Hanli is able to work, and I can keep the kids happy. Silly me didn’t realise how much of an impact it was going to be for everyone to be stuck at home with no where to go!
Yes all our lives have taken a turn, but this shouldn’t stop us to try and live our lives as normally as possible. Hanli and I have realised very earlier on in our marriage that we’re dwaddlers. Having the first 3 days of this week as a “trial run” of what quarantine is going to be like, we quickly realised that it’s super easy to waste time and get lost into our phones for most of the day. Both of us resolved to write down a super flexible schedule for us to use a reference.
This schedule is super similar to our “normal” one. I usually take the kids out from 9:30am to 12:00pm either to the park, playground, my parents’ house to give Hanli sold time to do his work. We come home at 12:00pm for lunch and by 1:30pm the kids are in bed for their afternoon nap. I have free rein to do whatever until they wake up at 3:00/ 3:30pm, while Hanli continues to do work. By 4:00pm the kids usually hang around at home or we would go on a walk around the neighbourhood and come back by 5:30pm for dinner, which then leads to shower time at 6:00/ 6:30pm and bed time around 7:00pm.
Our quarantine schedule are as follows
7:00am – wake up (if only we can sleep longer! Our children are our most effective alarm that can’t be turned off)
8:30am – Breakfast/ Church Time (where we read the bible and discuss it and pray together with our kids, as a family).
Yes. It does really take us 1.5 hours to really wake up and get up. Between then we snooze with our kids in bed, change their nappies and press the Nespresso buttons to give us some liquid gold
9:00am – Our day starts.
(Hanli zips to our room and calls Steve and Dwayne, the elder and intern of our church. They talk Godly, manly things. He doesn’t come back (ideally) until 11:30 or close to lunch time.)
This is where we do chores/ craft activities/ read books/ listen to music and dance/ run around the house/ whatever the kids feels like doing at this time. Mostly full-attention will be on them at this time, which I think really fills their emotional tank and sets them up to play by themselves later. Yes we have chores to do – more on this below.
10:00am – Phoebe goes down for a morning nap, wakes up at 10:30am
11:00am – Prepare lunch, kids play by themselves (if they haven’t already)
12:00pm – Hanli joins us back for lunch. We take our time, and chat and eat together.
1:00pm – Kids go to bed for their afternoon nap. Both kids have been sharing a room for about 3 weeks now. It’s been a journey, and most days they have broken sleeps. But our rule is that if they get some sleep, they get some sleep. If they’re not crying in distress, we don’t get them/ go in to settle them. If they are – then settle them every 10mins. One day they will see that sleep is a luxury.
**When the kids nap, this is where Hanli and I are most productive!**
I nap, I sew, I prep dinner, I read, I watch TV, I do my quite bible reading – the list is endless!
3:00pm – Kids wake up. They hang around and have free time/ afternoon snacks
4:00pm – Go outside! So thankful for lots of local parks around New Zealand that we can exercise self distancing quite easily! We’re also very fortunate to have a from yard that the kids can run around or just have a picnic outside. Honestly, with the 80% chance of broken sleep during the day, the afternoon can get quite messy. Going outside is saving grace from insanity. I can pray while pushing the pram if I go by myself with the kids, I can catch up about my day with Hanli if we walk as a family (seems weird since we both are at home but we don’t normally see each other during the day!), I can talk with the girls as we walk and ask questions and comment on what we see. Endless benefits!
5:00pm – Back home. Either start a simple dinner or finalise dinner.
5:30pm – Dinner
6:00pm – Bath time
6:30pm – one parent to a kid, cuddles/ one-on-one time with them
7:00pm – Sleep
I am not one to let go of control easily. Actually, it is one of my weakness that I need God to help me change! However, with 2 littlies and the nature of our current lifestyle, I have to really be flexible. The way that helps me is to break the days apart. 9:00am to 12:00pm is my biggest investment, with 4:00pm to 5:30pm being my second investment. When things go wrong, I have 1:00pm and 7:00pm to look forward to. If things really goes wrong, things will reset the next morning. Bite chunks time with the whole family indoors is the way we stay sane. That way, the day doesn’t look so daunting!
We belong to a family
One of the things I thought about a lot when Amelia was young, is how to fit our kids into our life. Talking to experienced, wise mums has taught me that life shouldn’t revolve around your children because they are a part of your family. When you have chores to do, include them! It 100% will take longer, and you probably have to do it again, but they need to see from earlier on that they are part of your family and doing things together expresses love to the members of the family. Plus, it’s a great bonding/ one-on-one time with your child, even if it’s only for a few minutes!
This is the time to bond
Businesses have closed, life has taken a halt. We are forced to stay home and be with our children and families. This is the time to bond with our children and families and get to know them more! I have realised how much time I have spent on my phone, on social media, trying to get the latest news about COVID-19 or just trying to figure out what everyone else is up to. Now is the time go back to basics and put my phone away for most of the day! Perhaps it’s also time to draw up a list of things I have put off since forever ago and actually do them!