Lockdown #2 has begun in England today but as a parent it really isn't going to be as bad as the last lockdown and here is why.
1) There is no School of Mum and Dad
Who can forget the joy (torture) of trying to teach your kids from home during the first lockdown?
Many parents were juggling younger siblings and work alongside school work and if OFSTED were giving out ratings......well, you know how you would have scored!
During this lockdown schools, nurseries and childcare facilities are all allowed to stay open. This not only means you don't have to consult Google to understand what it is you are supposed to be teaching but it means that working from home is much easier and you are no longer dishing out snacks every 10 minutes. Oh, and you will not be obliged to do a Joe Wicks workout every morning unless you wish too!
2) You can meet one friend or family member
Last time we were only allowed out the house once a day for exercise or to go foraging for vital essentials. There was no meeting with anyone outside of your household and our social lives revolved around Zoom and House Party, even the kids were catching up via video!
This time, we are allowed to meet up with one family member or friend outside and the great news for new parents and those with under 5's is that the kids are exempt from the one person rule. You are also allowed to sit on a bench this time around so grabbing a take out coffee and a bun or packing a winter picnic and sitting socially distanced is totally do'able.
3) The parks are staying open
How many times during the last lockdown did you have to plan your daily walks so that they did not pass the local park to avoid a child melt down?!
This time the parks are still open and despite the colder, wetter weather they are fully usable if you have the right clothing. Move over last lockdown's lounge wear, this lockdown it's all about winter waterproof suits, hats, scarves and gloves and of course wellies!
4) You won't be caught short
During the last lockdown, many children learned what a 'wild wee' was due to councils being ordered to close public toilets.
This time, public toilets are allowed to stay open so when your little one announces that they need the toilet NOW you won't be caught short!
5) You can form 'bubbles'
Something that didn't exist last lockdown was a support bubble.
Lockdown #2 allows an adult living alone or a single parent family to mix freely with ONE other nominated household of ANY size. Great to help keep a lone grandparents mental health in check and also help with the work/life juggle.
Also, a household with children under 13 can form a childcare bubble with another household to help with informal (unpaid, unregistered) childcare. It can only be between the same two households but it will help lots of working parents.