Why I Am Enjoying Lockdown

I know a lot of people are sick of being home, and there is nothing more I would like to be able to meet up with family and friends again, but I am enjoying lockdown. I am trying to make the best out of a bad situation and I am not staying home to keep myself safe, it is for the safety of others and I think we need to remember that especially when we are wanting to go to places where there maybe crowds like the beach on hot days. Because no one knows 100% that they have the virus or not.

1. This is like a second maternity leave for me. When I had Bug, I had 14 months off with her. This is because in the UK, you can take a year off for maternity leave and you still accrue holiday while on maternity leave, so I tacked that on at the end. Bug starts school this year (hopefully) so it is great for us to spend time together. I don't share all that I am doing on my Instagram or Facebook Page but we generally do an activity or craft, go for our daily exercise and play! I was nervous about all the things I needed to do to get her ready for school and am lucky to have friends who work with children in reception so they have been a great resource for me.

Also, Bug has decided she wants to learn Spanish as a friend at school speaks it at home so we have learned quite a bit. I wanted to do a language anyway and was leaning towards French but Spanish it is! Happy I took it in high school. I have hopes next year we can spend a week or more in Spain not being tourists but soaking up the language. I am also lucky because I have some students at work who are from Spain and Mexico and are helping me out!

2. This break has shown me that I was making the right decision to change my hours when Bug goes to school. I am still working and this is the bit I am struggling with as my husband is still going out to  work everyday. So when he gets home, I run upstairs to get as much work I can get done before starting our night routine (dinner, shower and bedtime). But in September, I was planning on switching from my 4 full days to 5 days (but only 6 hours). This way we could stop the rush we have when we get home from work to eat, shower and go to bed. So this has confirmed that I was making the right decision for me and my family.

3. I have saved so much money! I had so many big plans this year so I am as gutted as you are! I was supposed to be in Cornwall this week, next month I was going to the South coast and I have had my refunds from the Royal Albert Hall, Latitude Festival, Audley End Miniature Railway, swimming lessons and the list goes on. Also once you are at these places you spend more money so I have saved there as well. When I left the Air Force, I made sure I left without any debt, I had quite a few credit cards over the time I served and I vowed never to get into that situation again.  At the moment, the only two things we owe on is our car and our house.

Things are harder to get at the moment and I usually bulk buy toiletries from Boots but at the moment they have low stock on nearly everything. We have been using up all the hotel soaps and other items in my cupboard. This is great because I am slowly switching over to low waste toiletries (and slowly making Mr B do it too).

I am also lucky because I had a lot of craft and other projects for Bug so I pick something for the day and we do it. My friends and neighbors have given me so much stuff over the years, it's been great getting through it all. Sometimes I might have a theme day and I get out her toys fit the theme as well. We are having so much fun!

4. I am getting through all the tasks I never had time for. Since I have been in the UK, I have been downsizing. The houses are not as big and lack the storage for all the things I came with. I am a bit inspired by minimalism and have been going through my stuff and paring down. I have box in the garage for items that I want to get rid of when we can.

They don't celebrate the same holidays here, and I don't feel the need to have the decorations nor have the time to decorate for them all. I do have a little mouse set that my grandma made with each one dressed for each holiday that I put out in my kitchen and don't worry I will cover US holidays with Bug but I don't need stuff to do that.

For the past two years, I have been trying to either do the crochet and other craft projects or get rid of them. I find it liberating. I made those shirts from the dresses a few weeks ago. I have no more crochet crafts pending or leftovers string. I have given up on scrapbooking and sold my bits. I don't have the time to do it and don't have the space to storage them when they are done. I am trying to workout how to do digital scrapbooks for Bug as that seems to be the way forward, so if anyone has any tips, please let me know!

I have been trying to read 20 books a year. This year, I am finally down to the last 10 books on my "books I haven't read" shelf and of course they are the ones that are very thick! I have saved money on books because I won't allow myself to buy any unless I can read it straight away. I have also been using the apps from my library as well to save money on books. I highly recommend this!

This is the first time I have been able to do something when it pops into my head without having to have a to do list. In fact, I basically have not had to have a to do list except for work.

I have also been unsubscribing to emails. I get so many that I no longer need and it's nice to come to a n inbox with no new emails!

5. I think we have been eating better than ever! I have more headspace to plan our meals. I have created an online family recipe book. So when I try a recipe that we like, I type it up and it's in dropbox so we both can access it. This has saved a lot of space in my kitchen. I have also been going through the recipes in cookbooks and those pulled from magazines and either trying them or getting rid of them.

Also we are eating around what we have in the cupboard and have had very little waste. I am eating better lunches because it's Bug and me here. I usually take leftovers to work and eat at my desk, at the moment we are having picnics in the garden. I am lucky as Bug is not a picky eater.

My mom asked me the other day if I would go to restaurants when they open again. I don't think I will at least for a few months. We only really ate at cafes really. We used to have takeaway on Saturday and they have opened that up again but we haven't had any yet. It is quite expensive as well so it may be another reason I have saved so much.

6. I am getting in the exercise I needed. Before I would cycle to work when I could but because it is a 30 minute ride and with Bug on the back, it depended on the weather. I would go for a walk at lunch at work and try to get a run in after work but I hate running in the afternoon. I am a morning runner through and through.

It took me a while to work in fitness for me into our days because I am spending the day with Bug and then dashing to complete some work in the afternoon before dinner. My husband is gone all day but recently has been leaving for work at 6 am (instead of 5 am) so I have been getting up and going for a run. I have signed up for a workout program which is kicking my butt at the moment. I will tell you about it when I have more results but I needed something that was short enough that I could put Cbeebies on for Bug and knock out on the iPad. Bug is an early riser so I could not fit it in before she woke up.

We do go out almost everyday for our exercise but I didn't feel like I was getting much benefit from it. Bug and I have been cycling around the village which has been great preparation for when she starts school as she will cycle there with me and  Mr B will be collecting her. We also go for walks in the fields behind my house or around the village on the scooter. It's nice to change it up for Mummy and Bug.

Unfortunately, Dusty has been a typical golden retriever and sometimes gets down the street and refuses to go any further. I am sure you have seen the videos of people dragging their retriever down the street because they won't move, that is me! So I have left him home to walk with Mr B in the evenings. I don't know if it's his one eye or age, but he likes to go the same way.

7. My garden is getting the attention is needs! I usually forget to water it because of the mad dash once we get home and so I am not as successful as I could be. This year I have been able to tackle a bramble bush that has been the bain in my life since moving in. We have a lot of vegetable plants starting to grow. I have painted fences, updated furniture and made better use of the space. This has been great because the weather has been fantastic. Our neighbors have had the time to take down some trees which meant we didn't have sun in the garden in the afternoon.

I love being out in our garden and the birds have been louder than ever. I have been making suet balls for the feeders and they eat them like crazy!

I do miss seeing my friends and family. I call them regularly to check up on them and connect. I can't wait for Bug and her friends to get together again. Zoom is not as effective for young children as it is for meetings I have learned.

This is fine by me if it saves lives. I know that staying home is the right thing to do. Even if you been at home, you will have gone to the shop or had a delivery via post or food delivery so can never be 100% sure if you are carrying the virus. I also have people here that are high risk and if they get this they could die. I might not, but they will. This is the one time we all have to be selfless and stay home  for the safety of others.

What have you been doing to keep busy?

All the Best!

American to Britain