Self isolation with a baby

Self-isolation with a baby. What a title for a blog post, and one which I had never thought I would be writing. 

4 weeks ago, I was in Mallorca and excited to be writing things such as “flying with a baby” and “Mallorca, Spain: our first family holiday”. 

One day we will travel again, and I will get to write about it
Hopefully, I will write those posts one day. Somehow it doesn’t feel that appropriate to be writing about travel at the moment. Especially as our world is facing one of the biggest global crisis in history. (Note: I am not 100% sure if it is the biggest global crisis but I am sure it’s up there!)
For now, this is my post, on what it’s like to self isolate with a baby.
As I publish this, we have  been through the 14 day period of self-isolation. Both my husband and daughter chose to self isolate to protect ourselves and others against the Coronavirus or COVID-19.
My daughter and I developed symptoms of a temperature of 39 degrees, as well as a mild cough, so choose to stay inside. We have no idea if we had the virus, as in England you are only tested if you get admitted to hospital. So we decided to ride the wave indoors, monitoring symptoms and trying to enjoy this new normal.
As of March 23rd the UK government finally introduced stricter measures for everyone to self isolate and only go outside for the essentials, for medical needs, one form of exercise per day or if you MUST go to work. So as we know it, life in the UK has changed overnight.
These restrictions are in place for 3 weeks, but I have a feeling they could last a lot longer.
Initially when the Coronavirus hit the UK. I’ll admit that I wasn’t worried. Then all of a sudden it escalated rapidly.
It was only when  other countries were closing borders and flights were being cancelled that I sat up and listened.
At first I was upset and felt robbed of my final months of maternity leave. A selfish stance perhaps, but it was how I genuinely felt. Especially with all of my family being in Northern Ireland and not knowing when we would see them again.
It broke my heart.
We hadn’t seen each other since the start of the year and I knew the amount of development they were already missing out on. I was looking forward to the spring, with lighter evenings, walks in the park and coffee dates.
However, after some time I realised that I needed to embrace this new normal and stay indoors to help slow the spread. That way, seeing friends and family would hopefully come sooner than later.
So what have we been doing during our time in self-isolation?
Taking stock

Unless you have been living under a rock, you might have noticed that there is a shortage of food in shops currently.

There aren’t many issues with supply of food to supermarkets, just a number of people that have decided to buy more tha they need, and therefore creating panic amongst the general population, and in turn have made them want to stock up also.

It is utter madness.

The meat aisle at our local Sainsburys

Before doing our weekly food shop, I decided to have a good clean up of our fridge and freezer. I took stock of what we had and was amazed at the amount of meals we had in the freezer. I was also thanking my former self for bulk making meals whilst on early maternity leave.

It gave me hope that although we were ‘stuck’ inside for 14 days, we had enough  food to keep us going, and didn’t need to rush out and buy lots.

In the end, we had a few friends and family members pick us up some fresh items such as fruit, veg, bread, milk and baby items.

Less waste and meal prep

Not going out has made us think about things that we really need. Often we would just pop into a supermarket and pick up things without thinking about what we had, which at times had led to waste.

So we started to meal prep a lot more, and this made it easier to reduce waste and only purchase what we needed. It was also helpful having a meal plan ahead of time, especially in our sleep deprived state with a baby. It was one less thing to have to think about.

Weaning

Our little one has been slowly introduced to solids for the past month now. Initially it was pureed food and now she eats a little of what we have.

I used some of the time in self-isolation looking up recipes and trying out new tastes for her. The good thing about this was that we were able to spend as much time as we needed to with weaning. It is a long process eating one meal, and sometimes it requires two baths per day. So silver lining and all that.

I hope to write a post on our weaning journey at some stage.

Cooking & Baking

So far this post has been entirely food related, so I might as well continue. I love food, and so being at home has given me some time in which to experiment with cooking and baking and I have been able to cook from scratch.

Shamefully, I use a lot of jar sauces for my cooking as it has always seemed quick and easy, but I have recently made risotto and home made bolognese and they tasted incredible (if I do say so myself). They were also not too tricky or time consuming, so I hope to continue making things from scratch.

I have also baked lots. Mainly my all time favourite banana muffins, and flapjacks.

I will be the size of this house once all of this is over.

Online classes

With the majority of all businesses closed,  a lot has been moving online.

I was a little sad intiially to be missing out on our face to face classes such as Baby Sensory and Moo Music. However, these have now gone online via private facebook groups and live sessions on zoom chat, so we have not missed out.

In addition to that there have been a number of other things we have been getting involved in including daily P.E classes with Joe Wicks, story time with David Walliams, online pub quizzes, cooking classes with Jamie Oliver and live streams from zoos.

There is also a facebook group on tips and activites that you can do with your families and children. There is so much community spirit and creativity, and it makes me smile everytime I see a post.

 Video calls

Thanks to current technology, we can be even more connected than ever. I have spent a lot of time on video calls with family and friends. We have been able to share our lives, and support each other. So although we may be some distance away, I have felt somewhat closer at times, during our chats.

On zoom chat with family, playing an online pub quiz
Gardening & DIY

 

We are quite fortunate to have a garden where we live, albiet a small one. During our period of self-isolation, we had a look at the current configuration of the garden and decided that we needed to make it a little more baby friendly.

Cue me looking on pintrest for baby friendly garden ideas.

Pintrest inspired garden ideas

In the end we have decided to put some decking tiles down from IKEA. These look like real wood but are more plastic in material and click together, so are easy to insall and remove, as well as maintain. We will also fix our fence, paint it grey as well as paint the garden wall a lighter colour so the space appears bigger.

Getting rid of some weeds in the garden
Preparing for the decking to go in

Being in self-isolation has also given us opportunities to do all those odd DIY jobs around the house. Such as putting up picture frames, and rearranging rooms  so there is more space.

I think most people in the country will have tider houses and neater gardens come the end of this.

When self-isolation ended

After our 14 day period at home, it was so nice to be able to get outside of our immediate home area. We haven’t gone far as per the UK government rules, but had daily walks nearby, observing social distancing rules. We have also decided for just my husband to go to the shops for food when needed.

It feels like such a strange time not seeing friends and family, and having to cross the street to avoid people. This time will soon pass however, and I reckon we will all emerge from it with a greater appreciation of the little things.

For now, stay home if you are able to do so, and stay safe.

 

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