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Experience

A happy family unit

Vicky DT's contribution to our Stay Home collecting project
15/05/2020

We live in Camberwell, south London. We rent a two bedroom flat on the top floor of a purpose built block. It's a Peabody flat built in the 1910s so sturdy but we've got no outside space of any kind.

At home is me, my husband (a community mental health nurse) and our 20 month old daughter.

We've lived here for four years. We were about to exchange contracts on buying part of a Share to Buy place before Covid happened and are now unsure if it'll happen.

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She's enjoying baking together but the eating of everything even more!

In what ways has the coronavirus pandemic changed the way you use your home?

We're all in our home much more. Normally I'd be working two days a week (now furloughed) and we'd be out at toddler groups, museums and city farms through the week. Now our home has to provide much more entertainment for our toddler.

My husband is also working from home for two in every three days so our home needs to be his office too with limited space and even more limited areas that get WiFi!

How do you feel about your home? How have these feelings changed?

I feel our home is constantly messy and cluttered but it's a very happy place. I'm so lucky to be with two people who make me laugh so much during lockdown.

How does staying at home affect your relationships?

Me and my husband talk a lot, about how we feel and what we need from each other. I think in some ways staying at home has made us closer as we know how important it is to check in together.

My daughter is loving having us both around so much, she enjoys video calls with Granny (who did childcare for us pre-lockdown) but doesn't seem to be missing her too much. I on the other hand really miss seeing my mum and also the bits of child-free time I had working. My husband tries to take our daughter out on his walks on some days which helps a lot though.

We're talking with friends online quite a bit which is lovely as we're probably talking more.

What do you appreciate most about your home? What do you find frustrating?

We're safe. We're a happy family unit with enough to eat. I've got time to spend with our daughter and we've got parks nearby.

I find it frustrating we don't have a garden or space to be outside without others and that the parks are often so busy. I wish our internet was more consistent.

 

My daughter's room: she's never slept in there. We decided to take down her crib and put up a climbing frame and slide so she could still do physical play.

How has lockdown changed your habits or routines at home?

I have less time for myself but tend to try and meditate and do yoga daily.

We get up, have breakfast and tidy the flat/play then do our daily walk to a park/green space. We then come home and my daughter naps and I do yoga/a jigsaw/prep food/scroll online then we have lunch. The afternoon will be some kind of messy play, baking or songs and games normally then hopefully early evening my partner will take our daughter out.

In the evening we might have a video call, game, craft or watch something.

How is your sense of home affected by your neighbours or those living nearby?

We don't really know our neighbours, we tried to put out mutual aid leaflets but heard nothing back! I enjoy seeing other mum friends in the area from a distance when we're out.

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