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5 things you should NOT do while on lockdown with your kids

After almost two months of what can only be described as chaos, I have come up with a list of things I regret doing during this pandemic. I now choose to shamelessly share this list in the hopes that other parents can avoid my mistakes at all costs. Your welcome. Here are 5 things you should NOT do while on lockdown with your kids:

1. Cut your child’s hair

Think Willie Wonka – the Johnny Depp version. My child asked for a fringe, and after skimming a ‘how to cut bangs’ YouTube tutorial, I went for it. She now looks like a small, French man. The only thing I can take away from this experience is a plea to other parents: don’t ‘go for it’.

2. Make a sourdough starter with no way of ensuring your kids won’t be involved

I adore sourdough bread, and when I saw the likes of Roz Purcell making it look oh-so-easy I thought I'd give it a try. I thought wrong. Besides from the whole reducing and feeding the yeast business being utterly messy, my daughter thought she'd try her hand at it one day when I wasn’t looking. She took a stool and retrieved the jar of fermenting flour from a top-shelf where it had been strategically placed. She stuck her tiny hand into it and … well, you know what kids do when they find anything of that consistency. There was sourdough goo in every crevice of my home. It’s been three days and the place still smells tangy and sour-doughy. I hope my advice reaches any unassuming parents in time: kids and sourdough starters do not mix.

3. Resort to bribery

Before all this, I would have been the first to advocate for a bit of bribery while parenting. However, I truly regret relying on the practice since the lockdown began. Due to a sudden but expected deterioration in my daughter’s ability to entertain herself, I resorted to bribery so I could get some work done. I used every possible asset from movies to new lego to treats. Now my daughter expects something when she goes a full hour without whining. From one mum to another, do not try it.

4. Teach your kid an instrument

Teaching your little angels to play music sounds like a gorgeously wholesome and thoroughly Instagram-able activity. However, if you fail to choose the child and the instrument wisely, you are in for something that is not only un-Instagram-able but painful too.

If you have been blessed with a kid who loves to learn from you, who listens to you with an abundance of patience, congratulations. If you, like the majority of us, are blessed with regular children who never listen, do not hand them a whistle, harmonica or drum-kit of any kind. After my loving child almost broke her little guitar on our first lesson, I made the mistake of digging up my 3rd class recorder from school. I have never regretted anything more in my life.

5. Carry out DIY of any kind with your little ones present

My Insta feed is a beautiful reel of DIY projects and I decided to throw in my penny’s worth by building a shelf for the shed. Now, my garden looks like a junkyard and my daughter has painted every stray piece of wood neon green. She has also informed me that if I don’t find a use for her irregular-shaped, glowing creations in my shelf, she will take it to mean that I think they are ‘crap’.

With her daughter Evie as her muse, Anna writes about mumhood and all its intersections from mental health to movies, social issues to pop culture. Anna lives in Dublin with her daughter, partner, three younger sisters and parents. She is a dreadful cook, a fair guitar player and thinks caffeine should be given as a yearly vaccine to parents - courtesy of the HSE.

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