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July 09, 2020

Life in lockdown, the ups and downs.

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name: Ashley Fry.

age: 32.

babies age: 5 Months.

business: Paws in Work.

number of days in lockdown: 100.

by Olivia Kennaway, Paws in Work blogger.

who are you in lockdown with?

My wife Bex, baby Teddy, English bulldog Margot and MR Digby the Cat.

who eats more, baby or dog?

Baby, easily.

is 24 hours in a day too many or too little?

Too little. There is always bits to do!

how did margot cope with the arrival of teddy?

She struggled a bit. She was very excited to start and curious at this new crying human, but she was sick a few times the first couple of days. She would get really panicked at the sound of crying and pace around the house. Now she is fine and is so gentle around Teddy. I have a feeling they are going to be best buds.

have you found there is much support out there for new parents during lockdown?

Nothing. It's a very good question, There is little out there for new dads especially, but combine it with lockdown, I haven't found anything specific that can help. Lockdown has been very very tough with a newborn. It's been tough on Teddy especially not being able to socialise. And It's been very difficult to juggle working from home, having no support to call on, as well as entertaining a little one constantly.

most ridiculous thing you've bought online during lockdown?

Cat tape. It's a sticky tape you attach to the stairs to stop the carpet getting ripped up. Don't tell the landlord...

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what makes you smile each day?

There's so much to choose from... but bath time with Ted is a special moment for sure. We get his toys out and have a good old splash about. Margot's never far away wanting to get involved also!

how has lockdown changed your perspective of working culture as a business owner?

It hasn't changed it at all. We have always been so focused on our staff, this has just made it even more important to build on good foundations. Our team work so hard, I genuinely think of them as family, and it's been so tough not seeing them all for so long.

are you able to have any form of date night?

With a newborn, don't be silly. We barely have a chance to shower, let alone a date night.

how have you looked after yours and your families mental health?

Not very well if I'm honest. Not for the want of trying anyway. I personally have been really struggling since Teddy came along. We had a pretty traumatic birth and that threw me for six it seemed weeks later. Match this with the pandemic, and having a startup events-based business, you can imagine that it's been pretty hard going. I've had various chats with my GP and consulted in different therapists to help, and its been great to see there has been some incredible support. I will put a longer post together another time about it as there is some really good points that some people would find helpful. It should be normal to talk about it and we have to practice what we preach.

what's worse, cleaning up puppy poo or nappies?

Puppy poo definitely. Safe to say Teddy doesn't try to eat it. Not yet anyway.

have you been able to switch off from work? if so how?

Yes, It's something I have tried to focus on more. A mix of exercise, Golf, Zoom Chats and Teddy. Working from home makes you lose all sense of time, so knowing when to put down the computer and focus on 'you' is important.

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given your experience of lockdown, would you argue that dads need longer paternity leave?

2 weeks paternity is nowhere near enough time. But then neither is 5 months. I think the reality is that the world has to keep spinning and bills need paying. Maternity pay really doesn't cut it when you're living in London, so you have to do what you have to do to make ends meet. One of those being to get back to work. That being said, spending time working from home around Teddy every day has been the best way to spend his first 5 months. You are able to offer an extra level of support you wouldn't normally be able to, and it's helped me build a great bond with my boy. So I think that should be more widely available where possible.

who wants your attention the most (family, dog, cat, colleagues...)?

Dog. She can be a jealous little Monkey and lets you know when you haven't given her as much attention. Usually by hitting you on the legs with her toys.

what are three positives you have taken out of COVID-19?

Wine, Amazon Prime, 'Hey Duggee'.

is bex ready for you to go back to work or wants you around longer?

I just asked and she said 'Want you around longer' But there was definitely a weird smile going on. Somethings up or I'm in trouble. I'll report back.

if you could go back and talk to ash in week one of lockdown, what would you say to him?

8, 14, 27, 33, 46, 49 Bonus Ball 11.

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