Elle Halliwell shares some ways her family is keeping healthy and connected whilst at home.
When my son, Tor, was about six months old, a friend of mine said something which has always stuck with me: “when you’ve got young children, the days are long, but the years are short.”
Her children had almost finished school, and she often reminded me that one day the challenges – the sleepless nights, the tantrums and the constant worry – would seem insignificant to the beautiful moments I shared with my son, now aged three, during those precious first years.
She couldn’t have predicted, however, in fact none of us could have, that 2020 would throw so many unprecedented challenges for new parents. Despite the fear and uncertainty, this new world has also shown us the resilience, kindness and hopefulness of the human spirit.
And while there are now thousands of tongue-in-cheek memes being created online about the difficulties of raising children in this new age, parents have also shown how a bit of imagination and resourcefulness can make the days feel much faster.
Here are some of the ways our family is keeping entertained at the moment:
Regular fresh air and daily movement:
My husband and I take an hour each first thing in the morning to move and exercise, and then mid-morning and mid-afternoon one of us will take Tor out for a bike ride or to throw the footy at the nearby park, depending on whose workload is bigger that day.
We live in a small apartment so it’s really important we get out regularly with our son, even if that’s just for a quick scoot or a chalk drawing session on the footpath.
Nourishing our bodies:
We have a box of organic fruit and vegetables delivered each week, and my husband will pick up anything else we need. With both of us home and our schedules much more flexible right now, I’ve had more time for slow cooking. Slow-cooked casseroles, homemade fruit and nut bars and nourishing smoothies are on rotation right now for us, as well as herbal teas to help with relaxation and stress relief.
Don’t forget to have fun:
We try to limit our time watching or reading the news to times when Tor is asleep, and make sure we take time each day to be silly together and laugh. Our favourite activities right now include LEGO-making contests, superhero dress ups, cooking lessons and building mega cubby houses.
We’ve encouraged our parents to make FaceTime calls to us as often as possible, so they feel as though they’re not missing out on watching our son grow up. We have also created an email account under his name, which his grandparents have been emailing him with updates and messages of love.
We hope that when he’s older he’ll appreciate all the beautiful notes he received from his grandparents during this time, which he’ll be able to keep forever.
Spread love and kindness:
Right now, there are so many ways to do this; from donating to charities helping the needy, offering to shop for an elderly neighbour or buying local to support small businesses. There are many ways we can connect with our communities while keeping our distance, and both are so important right now.