I wished the world would slow down for a moment while I caught my breath – and then, it did

At the beginning of our isolation, I decided I was going to keep a diary of thoughts and feelings and share it. The journal of thoughts very quickly became a few dot points here and there when I had the time and energy. So, I decided I'd round up all of my thoughts and feelings about the Covid-19 crisis into one post.

I’m a big believer in everything happening for a reason. Still, in the midst of these trying times, it’s hard to find a silver lining or purpose as to why this is happening. So many people unwell, people dying, high unemployment levels and dwindling economies, people isolated and some inside houses and situations that put them in danger – what is the purpose? What is the reason?

My 3rd son started school in late January this year. The summer holidays went by so quickly, and neither of us was really ready. I felt like it was rushed, it was all rushed. At the same time, my eldest started High School. So there was this weird time leading up to the start of school where there were things to organise at High School and things to organise at Primary School. It was a blur and a big rush to get everything organised.

The first day was a rush, and I walked out of the schoolyard wishing for just a little more time to prepare, organise and just chill with my kids. I felt like we didn’t relax enough. Ever.

Like so many others, our lives are hectic. There is always so much to do. We spend a lot of time in the car going here, there and everywhere. Even on weekends when I swore we’d do nothing but stay home and relax, something always came up, and we’d have somewhere else to be.

We were rushing through life, there was never time to enjoy the little moments or slow down.

At the beginning of March was swim week at school. There was the note from school to say “if any parents want to come along…….”, initially I’d planned to go just one day because I didn’t really have the time to go every day.

But then that first day, I realised how much I missed my 3rd son and coming to swimming every day this week, helping him get changed, watching him swim was bringing him that little closer back to me. I needed the time with him more than he needed it with me. He didn’t need me to help him get changed, he could do it on his own, but I still went every day because I needed to spend time with him and we both loved every moment.

Watching him so confidently with his peers and teacher was bittersweet. My 3rd little baby was a baby no more. He is a schoolboy and never again would we have our lazy days at home watching YouTube and hanging out. But, my shy little poppet was oh so confident, and that made my heart smile.

On one of the days, I drove home from the pool with tears in my eyes. I wished for more time with him, more time with all of the boys. Time, where the world would just stop, and we could just be. Time, where we didn’t have anywhere to go, we didn’t have to be anywhere. It would just be us.

I wished for the world to just stand still for a moment, while I caught my breath and learned how to slow down.

And then it happened.

The world stopped.

A global pandemic had confined us to our homes.

There was no school, there was nowhere to go, we couldn’t visit friends or family, we couldn’t go to the shops, to the movies, to a restaurant. We had to stay home.

The time I longed for had just been handed to me.

And while the changing world and fear of the unknown were hard to navigate, once we’d settled into the new normal, it was amazing.

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Suddenly, the TV was turned off, the electronic devices weren’t used. My computer was switched off, I didn’t have time to work, so I temporarily closed my business. My phone wasn’t always next to me. I thought electronic devices would be the saving grace to get us through this time, but after a day or two, the novelty of being able to use the devices wore off.

We learned how to slow down and just be together. How to make our own fun with what we had.

We hung out, talked about what was going on in the world. We daydreamed about places we’d go when the world was back to “normal”. I watched as new bonds were formed between the boys and existing relationships grew closer.

I taught my youngest how to ride a bike. All the boys were on bikes and scooters for a lot of the time. All the boys came off their bikes and scooters. They had scrapes and bruises that kids in my day would have on their knees.

We had picnics in our backyard, we had scavenger hunts. My eldest son taught me how to play chess. We had a glorious afternoon sitting in the garden, playing chess and talking.

We camped in the lounge room. The kid took turns having “sleepovers” in each other’s bedrooms and various other places in the house.

We watched the entire Disney Pixar movie collection and had fun spotting the easter eggs in each movie. 

We relaxed.

We spent quality time together as a family. 

Easter was different. 

At the time I thought “this doesn’t feel like Easter”, but now I look back and realise the kids had a ball. They didn’t notice that we didn’t spend the day rushing from one side of the city to the other to make sure we saw all the family before rushing to their Dad’s house.

Our Easter Sunday was relaxed. Of course, the Easter Bunny was granted special permission to still deliver eggs, so we had our usual Easter egg hunt. But rather than having to rush off straight away, we put on a movie and ate hot cross buns and Easter eggs for breakfast. We had Macca’s for lunch in our backyard, enjoying the glorious autumn sun before they went to see their Dad. One of the most Uneastery Easters but honestly, one of the best. I sat back and watched my kids enjoy the day.

Anzac Day was beautiful. Communities coming together in isolation. Neighbours, standing at the end of their driveways or in their front yard at dawn to remember the sacrifices others had made. An Anzac Day like no other and one I will remember as being the most emotional I’ve witnessed.

Now, we’re luckier than some Countries. Our isolation time is now almost over, in fact, by the time this is published, the boys will be back at school and life for us will be returning to normal.

We’re already getting invites to “catch up” with friends for the weekends ahead. I can feel a sense of normality returning.

I wish I could bottle this feeling of relaxation and not rushing. I wish our days could be filled with nothing. I wish, every day, we had time to stop or at least slowdown.

But, life with kids – no matter how many you have – will always be busy.

As much as I say, I’m going to try and plan one weekend a month where we do nothing. I know that in reality, it won’t last long. We’ll have places to be, people to see.

When we first started isolation and social distancing, I became envious of those people who had time to organise their whole house. How lucky are they, I thought. Now, as we come to an end, I realise I was the lucky one. 

I wished for more time with my kids, and it was handed to me – just like that. 

And while I look around at my shemozzle of a home, where nothing is organised, and toys and half-completed projects are everywhere, I think about our 5 weeks of isolation and smile. I am bone achingly tired, and I cannot wait to be able to drink a full cup of coffee again without it going cold, but I also have the most beautiful memories, and so do my boys of a moment in time where life was so much simpler for a few weeks. 

A moment in time, where the world stood still.

Stay safe x

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