• Eleni Kirby

The New Normal

I can’t believe the children have returned to school after almost 6 months of being off.

A new school year always makes me feel emotional as it means they growing up and also autumn is drawing in. Growing up and living in a hot country I do struggle with the cold and the dark nights here in the UK in winter.

Although life isn't completely back to normal and I don't know if it will ever be how it was. It’s been so lovely to see the children back at school with friends and out and about even with all the current restrictions. It was so sad during lockdown to see all the parks closed, and not a child in sight but also the impact that this had on every single family.

I couldn’t help but think that the coronavirus has affected every one of us and our children lives in one way or another and for some, it’s been great having the children home and for others, I know have felt it really challenging and hard. Unfortunately so many people have lost loved ones, jobs the list goes on and we do live in a very judging world BUT I want to tell you it’s ok to say it was hard and its ok to feel fed up now.

I will be honest juggling home schooling, working from home, and holding our household together for Sophie, worrying financially if we were going to be ok. During this time I don’t know how many routines we tried and how many times we both cried! And although I will get some free time whilst she is at school I do miss her and it’s been strange her not being at home.

The time during lockdown made me appreciate being a mum in a way I had never done before. I truly value the time we spent at home and not caught up in our busy lives as well as my work, my home, and all those good things around us we take for granted.

Things I have learned over this time is it’s important as parents that we have boundaries with our children and routines but don’t be too hard on yourself or children as this ends up causing more stress. We all have faced a huge change in our society and the future is still so unknown. Life is so short.

Some tips which have helped me and would I love to leave you with today are:

  • Be calm it is going take a little while to adjust back into a school and working routine especially with so many rules and regulations and it constantly changing.

  • Create a new routine, be flexible, and be willing to adjust we are in challenging times.

  • Keep talking to your children and keep communication a flow or journal how you are feeling or ask them to journal how they are feeling. This is an amazing tip I learned from my sister who is a Life Coach. These last 6 months have impacted them just as much. It is important to express how we are all feeling. It is important we teach our children to talk openly about their feelings and to show them that you there for them. I always say to Sophie we never keep bad feelings inside we have to talk about them to let them out. The impact of this can be huge and have an effect later on in life and cause so many mental health challenges.

  • Be kind to yourself - you may not see it but you have done amazing.

  • Take time out - this is your time now to have some you time and it might be slightly challenging with work or younger children at home still but make sure you do something for you, you deserve it. Being a mum or dad isn’t easy so you must celebrate some YOU time.

  • Get out in nature - there is something about getting out in fresh air.

  • Keep in touch - Even though you may not be able to see all your friends and family at the same time, keep in touch. It is important

  • Lastly, try not to panic with what is going on around it is so scary as we go into the next few months not knowing what is going to happen. Take a day at a time and what will be will be. Everyone has different opinions, and it is so important we remain respectful and kind.

Please reach out if you are struggling it is important you talk about how you feel rather than keeping it all in. It is ok not to be ok.

Remember tough times do not last forever, after losing my mum at the age of 7, moving countries, becoming a single parent. Life has been a challenge but somehow, I made it.

So can you.

I hope this has been helpful to you, it is all things we know but unfortunately when we are in a time of struggle we lose sight however how things are try remain focused and positive and look for one good thing every day.

I am going to end off now as its almost pick up time at school.

Until next time take care x

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