We’re really appreciating the simple pleasures in life a lot more these days. I haven’t spent this much time with my 3 kids since they were babies and toddlers so it’s been a really eye-opening couple of months for me personally!
In a way, it was refreshing to not have to ferry my kids here and there for school, lessons, play dates and what not. But that meant my husband and I had to find engaging things to do with our kids (that didn’t leave us going insane!).
I really enjoyed connecting with each child - individually. We did activities we’ve never done before and now love:
- Table tennis championships with Dad
- Family PE class
- Just Dance - had to bring back the Wii console!
- Lego, lego, and more lego
- Kids baking muffins and brownies all by themselves!
- Hide and seek, including the dog
- Reading separate books but together in the same room
- 3 kids playing together - this is quite a win for us!
- Family bike riding
- Girls time with my daughter whilst knitting
We made so many new memories that didn’t require a holiday vacation or something extravagant. It’s strange how we automatically think of getaways and special occasions for memorable moments. But I realise how little our kids really need in order to connect with us and each other. Maybe this is something we’ve all, as parents, took for granted.
As much as the adults experience waves of cabin fever, our kids sure did too.
And that’s how I found out what they enjoyed and miss the most! Everytime my kids would randomly say, “I miss this”, I wrote it down. Here’s the list I have so far:
- Seeing extended family - Grandparents especially. This made me cry!
- Play dates and sleepovers
- Birthday parties
- Lazy family mornings at the beach (and so do my husband and I)
- After school activities such as tennis and swimming lessons
- School - learning new things, lunchtime with friends and teachers
But you know what really threw me off that was on this list? Routine and structure.
As much as the uncertainty stressed us adults out, I didn’t realise how much it affected my kids too.
They love spending more time at home, for sure! But over time, it was clear that not knowing what’ll happen tomorrow, or the ‘normal’ things they used to do will ever come back, was a big worry for them.
I’ve always known and read many research papers about the importance of routine and structure, but the self awareness and observation my 3 kids have gained during this strange time really blew me away.
As we slowly introduce the ‘normal’ things back to our lives, I’m cherishing each special moment and really taking in that saying that goes something like, “appreciate it whilst it lasts” and “you’ll miss it when it’s gone”.
I think as a mum, I’ve grown so much during this time. With the stressful “drive here and there” and “we have to do this and that” removed, I’ve gained the time to reflect and just observe my kids. I’ve learnt so much about them, as small individual humans!
My kids have also learned a lot about me - that I have needs, boundaries and I’m human too! They know more about my personality and the things I like. I really felt this strongly on Mother’s Day when my kids would say things like, “This is your favourite coffee cup right mum?”, see below with the faded “yummy mummy” haha!
Or even things I thought they’d never notice like, “you always put your hair up when you get on your computer”. My oldest is now asking me, “are you getting up early tomorrow? I can make a coffee for you before you start”. It may seem small, but they are little moments where my kids chose to look beyond themselves, which is heartwarming.
Despite everything that’s going on, I really feel I’ll never forget the things I’ve felt and learned about my little family during this time. I hope that you and your family is ok! What a time to reflect and experience something we never have before.
- Danielle, mum of 3, lady business owner of Around The Table.