Parenting & Travel Blog with tips, guides, reviews and honesty about family travel and parenting.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Surprise! Not really a travel blog anymore! ( but a girl can dream...)

hen I first started writing my blog, I had convinced my husband that as a family, travel should be our family focus. (Well along with love, honesty, education, kindness, blah ,blah).  We had hit that sweet spot where our kids were open to new places, new foods, new experiences and actually wanted to be around us.  As well, being a hockey family meant that we were so busy with practices, work, games, school and homework that we rarely had family time together because it always divide and conquer for our family of five. So my masterful plan had us using travel as a way for us to bond with and spend time with our kids.

It was a solid plan. Solid.

But 2020 clearly had other ideas. We’ve been living in a pandemic world, trying to figure it out just like everyone else.  But I recognize that we have been in a privileged position during pandemic parenting, where my husband is still able to work, my kids have the opportunity to do their schoolwork from home with resources such as iPads, computers and a mom who is at their beck and call.  We have safe access to food and a yard to get exercise and fresh air.  But there have been challenges.  One of my challenges has been finding the time and space for me to do my work. This was supposed to be the time in my mom life where I would be able to focus on myself more; to bring more focus on my passions and to continue to create and write and and take This Mama to new heights of blogger success.

Well it’s been 8 weeks and I haven’t posted a single blog post. (I actually started this post a few weeks ago and each week I just change the number of weeks each time I come back to it!) . Why? Well, because it’s been hard to find time to do my work and to manage the kids constantly (and to be completely honest, I haven't prioritized my work - there I said it). I feel like I’ve gone back several decades and become a homestead housewife: one that bakes fresh bread (I knowww. It’s so good! Here’s the recipe), is constantly cleaning and prepping meals, and gardening ( I'm growing lettuce and spring onions from OLD lettuce and onions!!), organizing our house (ok, it was ONE closet), as well as homeschooling THREE kids (ok not really, but let’s save that for another post shall we? Maybe in another 8 weeks). But also, trying to find the motivation, the purpose and the creativity to create content for my blog. So for this very exciting post I'm going to give a round up of our pandemic life and some random musings, hopefully at the very least it'll be entertaining.

Fresh bread! By me! I know!

Kid Life:
The kids are home. ALL the time., as in there is no escape from anyone. Home life has been blended in with school life. We started off a little lost in terms of what we should be doing for school work until we got direction from their teachers.  But even that has been challenging as online learning really isn't a substitute for the dynamic place a classroom can be. And with three different learners, online learning isn't the best fit for each subject for each child.  We have a loose schedule in our day, I have given a lot of room for flexibility and grace.  I don't wake the kids up in the morning (I'm trying to squeeze every last second of kid free time I can get in my day!). I'm allowing my older kids to take responsibility for their own learning while hovering around to make sure they didn't find a way to figure out the Netflix password.  Their teachers have checked in with them regularly and kept me in the loop as well. In fact, I am so amazed at how all of their teachers have continued to be there for support and for their success. My youngest daughter however, it's been a different challenge.  I'm changed my expectations and we try to be productive for at least an hour a day. I do worry that they will be falling behind in their work, I really do. But I also know that they are learning so much in this time and my focus change shift a little. In fact, I wrote about this shift in focus for Masala Mommas, read that here. 

Everyone is finding a quiet corner to get their "work" done

 Blog life:
 Soooooo this is my first post in a LONG time. I had committed to myself to be much more regular on here with posts, but alas....that hasn't happened.  I would in fact like to blame the fact that with all three kids e-learning, my laptop and our desktop are usually occupied. Apparently, their education is more important.  But also to be honest, I am often at a loss to think about what to even post or write about. My creativity is a little blah, and also I've been struggling to figure out what the appropriate content should be for this time.  Do I share spring fashion when I'm literally rotating between two different pairs of sweatpants while we are all just figuring out how to survive emotionally, physically, spiritually and economically?  And travel which I had relied on to be a major focus before is not going to happen. I had plans to create content around that back in March.  But while things aren't shaping up quite as I had planned and I haven't been able to figure out a new plan, there have been some exciting collaborations that I have been a part of recently on instagram.  Yes, that is a plug for you to go there and follow me and check out what I mean. 
Connecting with some amazing mom bloggers online 

Self Care:
 I know it's basically a last priority for most of us, but I am trying to take care of myself during this time of stress and being at everyone's beck and call around here.   It's hard to find space and time for myself, but I'm trying.  I'm able to take daily walks by myself with my puppy (even though I really need to drag the kiddies out for some exercise and fresh air!), I'm working out regularly even though some kid or the other will come down to keep me company ( wondering about my workout? My friend Reena has set up a great online training system for me, check out details on here).  I put on makeup and my jeans once a week, mostly to make sure  remember how to wear makeup and to make sure those jeans fit! But it also gives me a mood lift - and something to post on the 'gram.  I'm also grabbing a book or my phone and disappearing in some corner for a few minutes of mental space.
It hasn't been easy, and I'm trying to commit to doing more to take care of myself.

When self care looks like checking to see if the jeans (and shoes!) still fit 

There are bright spots though. For those I am grateful. I am learning to let go of having to plan everything all of the time and instead to cherish the small moments of family dinners every night (although I'm still not meal planning!.  I'm enjoying the spontaneity of a weekday family movie night or dusting off all of the board games for game night because now we have the time (except only those nights that game night doesn't end in a fight!), and the forced family walks I impose in order to get everyone moving. Life right now is not the same as it was two months ago, but we are finding ways to manage and grow.  I hope that I can share some inspiring or just entertaining content here on This Mama Needs a Vacay more regularly, but I would also love to hear more from you! How are you doing? What would you like to see and read here on the blog? I'm certainly going to try to be more consistent but honest as always.



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