I suspect that in years to come, every one of us will remember the year 2020 for all the wrong reasons. Parents have been stretched and challenged beyond belief. As a parent to a 2 year old girl myself, I know first hand just how hard the pandemic has made the last year. As brilliant as it has been to spend extra time with my daughter, 12 months without any break or childcare assistance is a tough gig, especially when you’re trying to balance that with a whole host of other challenges. Some have suffered the loss of loved ones and others have lost their jobs or businesses. It’s a period of time where the whole country has undergone a period of pain, together.
But for parents, there has been a silver-lining. Our lives have slowed down. We haven’t been rushing from work or out to the shops, as we’ve had to stay at home. Our weekend plans have been cancelled and we’ve had to settle for a simple walk in the woods or to the local park. We’ve learnt to appreciate the simple things, that have all too easily been taken for granted in the past.
In summer 2020, none of us had summer days out, we spent the summer in our gardens, splashing around in the paddling pool or playing games. But as frustrating as it was to not be able to go everywhere we wanted to go and see all of the people we wanted to see, we spent time enjoying some of life’s more simple pleasures. We spent quality time at home, with those that we love. We created memories in our back gardens and played games with our children that they loved. Whilst many of you, like me, may have yearned for the chance to take your little ones out for the day and experience new things, for most children I think they are quite content playing at home when they have the full attention of their parents and the rest of the family.
For me personally, the extra time with my daughter was the silver lining of the pandemic and having spoken to many other parents I know that others share the same view. A period of time that has caused so much heartache and pain, brought us one key blessing… extra, precious time with our children. Prior to March 2020, we all led such busy lives, rushing here, there and everywhere, cramming a million things into our lives. I know that for me personally, I have learnt a key lesson that I will hold dear to me in months and years to come.
I always try to take learnings from every experience and I am keen not to return to my previous ways, as life slowly returns to what we knew before. Becoming a parent is a life-changing experience and creates so many precious memories and moments that stay with you forever. Many of those moments have occurred over the past year and I know now that I treasure them more that I did previously. We have a saying at the Football Fun Factory that ‘we’ll turn every challenge into an opportunity’. The challenge of Covid presented us with the opportunity to be better parents and spend more time with the little bundles of joy that light up our lives and for that I am thankful.