With the world being in and out of lockdowns for the past year and half ( I know 😳), it's kind of felt like we're all going through the stages of a really, really shitty breakup; first shock & denial, then the 'screw you, I'm going to lose 100kgs and take up pottery', then looking at old photos of the past, crying at 'the good times', and now we're here. Going in and out of feeling hopeful and hopeless in each minute. It's a pretty wild time. And we've all been doing amazing at getting through it. Whatever that looks like.
In particularly, we want to give the mothers a HUGE shoutout, for they have taken their superwoman skills to the next level. Homeschooling and working to keep the roof over their heads and food on the table is an incredible challenge during this time. So we wanted to give those with kids, some tips based on how our Locks Lash Mumma bears have been surviving these lockdowns whilst still working and being the total legends they are.
MEL- LOCKS LASH ONLINE TRAINER
"So I have literally tried a different technique through each of Melbourne's 6 lockdowns as our needs changed each time.
Lockdown 1- I was 2 weeks post C-Section with my 3rd child. My husband had just returned to work and I was thrown into homeschooling a 6 year old, entertaining a 4 year old, managing a newborn and healing myself. This lockdown was very structured, down to an hourly schedule, snack times, school work, outside time, creative time, screentime, etc. The kids knew exactly what they were up to as we had it glued to the fridge and it was colour coded.
Lockdown 2- This one moved to doing all schoolwork while the baby slept. He had moved to structured nap times so we had to make the most of that time. This lockdown, parks and childcares were closed so we went on lots of choose your own adventure walks where they decided left or right. My eldest learnt how to ride her bike in our driveway and we went through a tonne of sidewalk chalk.
Lockdown 3, 4 and 5 - These all kind of blended together to be honest, what month was that...(who knows? 🤷🏻♀️). Actually, I did a tonne of Online courses so when the Beauty Industry opened back up, all my knowledge was fresh and up to date and I was super motivated and excited.
Lockdown 6- This one got me different with now homeschooling 2 kids, a busy 1 year old who won't sit still and working full time. This one is all about flexibility. Trying to make the most out of any downtime and letting go of the rules a bit when it comes to screen time and things, we just have to roll with it and I have to let go of the Mum guilt and lower my expectations of baking, crafting and making sure they get to all their school work. They don't, but it's ok.
We also had a 'Wish Jar' so every time we would say, 'I wish we could go to the beach' or "I wish we could go see our cousins', we would write it on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. When we eventually opened back up, it was a lucky dip with what we did on a weekend. Gave us hope and then perspective.
I guess the point I am trying to get across here is to go easy on yourself. Do what works for you, don't worry about what the neighbours are doing or that Instagram Mum page. You know what works inside your little bubble and you need to focus on that. Everyone will be ok, we will get through this and it will just be that weird and funny time we look back on one day."
BUBBLZ- LOCKS LASH ONLINE & IN-PERSON TRAINER
"I think a healthy work/life balance is a must. I want to prevent burnout which can be a huge toll on a mother's mental health as well.
I personally have individual whiteboards in my dining room for everyone's weekly/monthly schedule. Personally, I write down my hours I work daily and when I have classes coming up. Hubby's whiteboard is also when he is away working and home, as well as his personal days where he adds in golf/wakeboarding etc.
My daughter's whiteboard is then the days she is at kindy and her extra curriculum days as well as babysitter days.
I am a visual person, so having this in plain view is great for the whole family to keep on schedule. Especially if 1 spouse is an essential worker and not home during the day and asking why the house is a bomb (we've all been there).
Then there are days where I still have to work and have my daughter home. Being only 4, I can't sit her in front of the telly for 5 hours. Pinterest is great for ideas/activities. For at least 1 full hour, I sit in the sun working while my daughter plays. Vitamin from the sun is not only great for your physical health but mental health as well. I also have my daughter's little desk set up next to mine with drawers full of different colouring pictures, arts and crafts that she can do right beside me.
We all know kids get bored easily so they want to move onto the next thing. My daughter loves Disney movies, so her and our puppy will then jump onto the couch and snuggle together to watch a movie. This is when I would get up, stretch and rest my eyes from being in front of a screen. Make some lunch and dive straight back into it. I'm pretty lucky as my daughter will have a 1 hour nap.
Don't get me wrong, this was hard at the start, I would call other co-workers who are also mums for advice because I was hitting burnout hard. With their advice and having a system in place, this has worked for me and my family."
SARAH- LOCKS LASH IN-PERSON TRAINER
"We have been in lockdown where I am for 9 weeks and have 5 to go at this stage... #NSW
What has gotten me through is that my husband and I (both working from home), keep in a schedule AND we work in separate rooms and my daughter (10) does her school work at the kitchen table, where I work.
We get up and get ready for work like any normal day and my daughter does the same for school. She has an online meeting at 9am every day and that is when her 'school day' starts. Sometimes she doesn't feel like doing her meeting so I let her skip it. I also let her skip some work if she wants but mostly she does her work.
I decided early on we would keep a stable schedule but not be freaks about it.
Outdoor exercise everyday is a must - she has a big brother who takes her for tennis or bike rides and if he can't then hubby or I take her for a skate or walk.
I set alarms to remind me to take a break and to feed her (super important!) and if she needs me for anything, I stop what I am doing and help her. My 5 hour work day has now stretched to taking 8 hours to complete but it means that I am there for her when needed and not getting stressed or hassled because she is not being helped.
I also make sure I get some time for myself at least 3 times a week where I go out for a huge walk sometimes with a friend (which is allowed in NSW).
For me - putting on make up and actually dressing like I would 'normally' makes me feel 1000% better.
I do have random PJ days but don't stress it if that happens.
Even though hubby and i have some money stress due to lockdown and missing regular life, we don't let our daughter hear us talking about that stuff.
Also have been doing lots of crafty projects and made a huge list of things we can do around home that are fun and then we pick something from the list when we are stuck for ideas:
Make a new garden
Create a ninja warrior course
Camp out in back yard
Re model her room
Teaching her a new family meal to cook
And planning special events for the future has been helpful - eg: Cruella movie is released on Disney this Friday, so we have planned to dress up ,have treats and watch a family movie together like we are at the movies. Give her (us too LOL) something to look forward to."