A schedule for our new reality…

We are in our third week of lockdown here in the Netherlands, and a new reality has slowly settled in. As much as it is humanly possible, with 5 children and 2 adults at home 24/7 for the unforeseeable future, the new ways and customs we have established already feel surprisingly ‘normal’. Where usually our routines are dictated by school bells, work meetings and social activities, suddenly our agendas look totally different and we combine flexibility with schedules to structure our days.

Talking to friends, it’s been interesting to hear how different everyone is organising their lockdown days. Some get up at their normal hour, some like to sleep in late. Some dress to relax whereas others like to impress. Some gather together, as a family, at structured times of the day to eat together, whereas others spread out and keep to themselves as much as possible.

I think the key to these mostly indoor days is to be flexible and work around your energy levels. We like to get up early and make sure most of our work is done in the beginning of the day, when energy levels are still high, so that we have time for crafts and walks in the afternoon.

Here are a few pointers that work for us:

  • We have implemented a rotating cleaning schedule. Every morning after breakfast, we spend around 30 minutes to tidy and clean the house. Each of the children have a serious task, like vacuum the downstairs floor, or clean all of the toilets in the house. (This has been an excellent opportunity to teach them how to properly clean a loo!). Of course these cleaning tasks are additional to other chores, like setting the table, helping to prepare meals, tidying up, etc.
  • We do get dressed, but we’re totally relaxed about it ;). Every few days, we try to do a workout in the morning. (We either dance or do yoga, following a course on YouTube.) We dress in sports leggings and usually don’t bother to get changed for the rest of the day…
  • We like to sit together at mealtimes and catch up on each other’s tasks (plus, of course, we discuss the news!). For in-between snack time, I put some bowls of nuts and dried fruit out on the kitchen counter and everyone just helps themselves.
  • After lunch, we do something creative, or we work in our garden or go for a walk. We also bake a lot of cakes and cookies!
  • Meal planning — even though normally I’m more of a spontaneous cook, during these lockdown days we make sure to plan our dinners ahead so that we minimise having to leave the house for grocery shopping. We also order in at least once a week! It’s full on hard work, this lockdown, and when we’re too knackered to cook we take it easy on ourselves. (Luckily we all love pizza!)
  • We keep Bram up later in the evenings, so that he takes longer daytime naps and we can get more work done when he’s asleep.

What about you? Do you follow a strict schedule, or do you just take it as it comes? Also, please share your tips and tricks!

xxx Esther

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