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Life skills

Mrs B's contribution to our Stay Home collecting project

We live in a three bed detached house in Leicestershire. Mum, Dad, daughter 16, son 13. Doggy 3.

We've lived here for eight years. It's at the top of a street full of bungalows.

Take part in our Stay Home collecting project

Two people baking a cake

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

My husband is a shielded police officer so our home has become his office.

Our daughter should've been sitting GCSEs. Our home is now her Tik Tok hub. She has accepted no GCSEs exams, no prom and no last day at secondary school.

My son is severely autistic, he has taken some time to adjust. Our home is now his classroom. He has learnt to bake, to clean and to develop lots of life skills.

My home is now a place to maintain some sort of new normality. We use technology to keep in touch with friends and family: FaceTime, a weekly family quiz, Zoom meetings for work.

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

We appreciate our home more. We love our garden and we are so lucky to have this space to escape from each other. The first few weeks our home was pristine and sparkly, now it definitely is not.

We love our home, it is our safe place but realise it's the people in it that are far more important.

How does staying at home affect your relationships?

We have had ups and downs. We have space to escape from each other (thank goodness). We all drive each other bonkers at times but we have learnt to move on.

When we see what is going on in the world outside we realise most things we disagree on are petty in comparison.

I have four sisters, one is a frontline nurse. We try not to worry now but have had times where it just wasn't possible.

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

We appreciate the garden and the oven for baking yummy cakes ALOT!

We had a friend deliver us a 16kg bag of flour and we are working our way through it.

Frustrations...a broken toilet flush but we've managed as it's not that important. Constantly tidying up having everyone at home but I've learnt to pick my battles.

How has lockdown changed your habits or routines at home?

My son is non verbal severely autistic. He would run and hide from the vacuum and the electric mixer because of the noise, it caused us so many problems.

But now...part of his new routine he bakes cupcakes every day (using an electric mixer) and he helps me vacuum... Both massive positives to come out of the pandemic.

My daughter and I exercise every day together, I've not exercised in years!


Two people baking a cake
A person vacuuming the floor
13 years later he's learnt life skills, to tolerate noise. Our kitchen has become a café/classroom. Baking for the first time ever and eating cakes.

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

For our daily exercise we walk to my parents and chat through a closed window - we deliver cakes every day.

We have had help from friends and work colleagues getting shopping etc. We literally couldn't have survived without them. We've had shopping deliveries for five years because of our son's difficulties and suddenly these weren’t available.

We are much more conscious of our elderly neighbors and checking they're ok. People now talk to us and we talk to them (socially distanced on walks).

Banging our pans on a Thursday evening to show our appreciation has been a massive stress reliever and community moment. All neighbours stood outside at the same time and that never happens. All ages, all sorts of families.

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