How One Mum is Handling Life in Lockdown

Like many parents in Victoria right now, Sarah and her husband are juggling working from home and homeschooling children. During lockdown after lockdown, Sarah’s family has managed to do the yo-yoing of “at school and kinder/not at school and kinder” and “in the office/not in the office”. As we continue through Victoria’s sixth lockdown to help stop the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, Sarah says this time has been especially difficult, and she has worried about her family’s mental health. 

“When this all started last year, I didn’t think I would be still working from home more than a year later,” Sarah says. “I have watched my kids get less and less motivated as we enter each lockdown and now I don’t even know when they will go back to school… Having my little one home from kinder has been especially tough this time around.” 

Sarah has a six year old in her first year at school and a 4 year old at kindergarten, and because Sarah and her husband do not have Authorised Worker status, the whole family is at home all the time. “We are both trying to work our normal 9 to 5 jobs plus homeschooling and entertaining a 4 year old… I’m not going to lie, we are all going stir crazy! So to protect our own sanity, we have just accepted that sometimes the work is not going to get done,” Sarah explains. 

A mother helping her daughter with homeschool.

With relentless news stories, coverage on our televisions about the COVID-19 situation and the continuous lockdowns, it is normal for children and adults to feel overwhelmed and stressed during this time. Psychology and child development researchers wrote in an article in The Conversation that children were the lowest-risk group with regards to medical concerns and complications from COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic, but now, they have “emerged as the invisible casualties of this global crisis”.

Sarah believes that mental health is just as important as physical health, and although she understands the need for lockdowns, she still worries about the effect on her children’s development. “My husband and I have been trying our best to do different things and we are exhausted,” Sarah says, “but there are a few things that have helped us in the last few weeks especially…”

Sarah’s family has found the emerging minds website useful and of course, bestchance support services are a crucial resource for families in need of a little bit of extra assistance. Here are a few easy activities Sarah has found helpful for her young family: 

USING PLAY TO SUPPORT CHILDREN

Play is a vital part of child development and wellbeing, and an important way for children to relax and cope with stress. How about some independent play for children without siblings? This way, parents can have a break while also encouraging creativity and confidence. Click here for more about independent play and its benefits.  

Although independent play is great, play can also be beneficial for parents’ mental health because it is a chance to take a break from the worries of COVID-19 and focus on something that is fun and nurturing for both you and your children. Click here for the downloadable resource.

COOKING AND FOOD ART

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Having children involved in cooking and baking is fun for the whole family and it has been a welcome distraction for Sarah and her little ones. “I was just looking for anything I could do to spark some joy in my children’s lives,” Sarah explains, “and then I came across bestchance’s food art blog with quick and easy recipes and we had the best afternoon.” Click here to visit our Food Art Blog.

NATURE

It may seem obvious but when we feel overwhelmed, sometimes we forget to just go outside. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that playing outdoors can benefit your children intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically.

We understand that it is not possible to travel at the moment so we have come up with five ways to have some outdoor fun in your own backyard, local nature reserve or park. Click here for more.

BESTCHANCE CAN HELP

If you are not sure what services are available and need help to find information that can help your family please get in touch with our Family Support Team and we will do our best to assist in any way that we can. Click here or call 1300 224 644.

Name has been changed for privacy.

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