Parenting columnist Ruth Davies says the change in laws still spells confusion when it comes to grandparents and grandchildren

PUBLISHED: 17:45 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:52 03 July 2020

Ruth Davies with her children socially distancing from her mother in the garden

Ruth Davies with her children socially distancing from her mother in the garden


Parenting columnist Ruth Davies says the change in laws still spells confusion when it comes to grandparents and grandchildren

But I haven’t bent any rules and from day one I have been very strict with how we conduct ourselves. I have been frightened and sure that was a part of my reluctance to take willy-nilly trips to Durham with my children but I also wanted to know that I hadn’t contributed to this terrible pandemic in a negative way. As time goes on I have only become stronger in my need to play the game fairly.

In the beginning, we only saw my mum, a woman over 70 living on her own, to deliver food parcels at a distance and we waited until the rules changed to include a single person in our bubble before we spent actual time together, cautiously, in her garden.

We still chose not to hug and delivered measured care when in her company and slowly, slowly we have reintroduced her into our lives to a point where we all feel comfortable and we still know that we are responding to government guidelines positively.

In June my mum, as a single person, was allowed into our bubble in a way that my husband’s parents (who are a couple) could not be. Then because she has an outside toilet my big two have even been lucky enough to go camping in her garden overnight on two occasions. The rules relaxed enough for this welcome break for us all. For the big children time away from their demanding baby brother, for us a moment of quiet and for gran, gifted some joyous time to be spent, albeit distanced, with her oldest grandchildren. A tonic from all the weeks of complete solitude she endured and while not normal by any stretch it has been a step towards it for us.

You may also want to watch:

This weekend along with lots of other new relaxations to the social distancing rules and we are allowed to spend more and more time with other family members I am told. As I understand it we will be allowed to spend time with my husband’s parents in their home or ours and grandparents are being allowed to take back more of their usual roles within their little people’s lives – even taking on some childcare.

However, for me, just like with my mum, we will still be trying to not spend time in other people’s houses. Even the home of our grandparents. We still want to be distanced where possible – not always an easy task with a two-year-old in tow – because it just feels too alien to jump in with both feet. The pandemic has taught me to be careful and I don’t think that can be a bad thing.

I guess, though I do desperately want my children to see their granny and papa, and I’d love nothing more than a road trip to see my step mum and dad in Berkshire, I still want to excercise caution. I don’t want to be the first off the boardwalk into the water and would rather wait and see what happens for a bit longer. The advice still seems rather grey, rather open to interpretation and when it comes to my children I want to be thoughtful and slower paced over this before running into any potential fires.

I also want to protect my mum as she IS in our bubble and we DO want to continue to spend time with her.

The more people WE spend time with, the more germs we could potentially pass on. Again my worry and my care is really making sure our actions don’t impact on the pandemic negatively either within our family or anyone else’s.

I suppose I feel more and more normal with every step but I am a slow walker and I want my children holding my hand as I cross the road, they’re not old enough to do it alone yet.

Ruth Davies writes a blog rocknrollerbaby. Follow her on Instagram @rocknrollerbaby

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press