With COVID-19 causing Australia to go into lockdown, the month of April seemed to melt away in the midst of self-care tips and home fitness routines. Before we knew it, Mother's Day has snuck up on us again with the second weekend of May fast approaching. Many parents have been spending more time every day with their little ones, including Robe's founder Bec, who reflects on where we find ourselves at this point of the year in this blog post.
I have had a lot of time to reflect on what Mother's Day means to me this year. And when I say a lot of time I mean, a lot of time. I am suddenly with my kids 24/7 (okay - I do get an 8 hour break while they sleep) and I am no longer just Mum, taxi driver, chef, cleaner and laundry personnel... I find I am now also teacher, friend (and not in the mum-friend kind of way), sports coach and entertainer. It is exhausting.
I am not going to lie: I don't love every minute of it. I don't specifically treasure this time like I feel like I should. I am not always calm or relaxed when I can't access the kids' school work online, I yell a lot, I swear (uncharacteristically) and I have drunk more wine in the last 5 weeks than I ever have on a European holiday... and that's saying something.
Each day seems to end in one of two ways: I feel awesome because I get to 3 o'clock with the kids having learnt something and are feeling happy, or I want to curl up into the foetal position feeling like the worst mother in the world because I lost it and threw a tantrum.
All of this - of course - is not new. I feel like this from time to time when things get demanding. It's called being a mum. And I'm okay with that because usually I have space and time away from my kids - but COVID has thrown us into an incredibly unusual set of circumstances that really highlight these highs and lows. It is like a pressure cooker and I feel like I am going to burst.
So what are we to do?
Self Care at Home
Firstly, remember that it is okay to put yourself first from time to time. In fact, it's encouraged. Being in isolation is no different from ordinary life in this sense... you may just have to work a bit harder to find the time and the space. I do a few things to ensure I am meeting my own care needs:
- A walk or a run outside without the kids. With restrictions starting to be lifted, this will get easier and easier.
- Indoor workouts. I am usually an outdoor exercise kind of gal, but with my usual swimming squad on hold I am incorporating an indoor routine to my week. I've been using Kayla Itsines' workout app Sweat, and I love it as it progresses in achievable increments and doesn't require much equipment (and it's over in 28 minutes!).
- Meditation. I actually have to lock myself in my room to make this happen sometimes... or I bribe the kids with iPad or TV time.
- Mindfulness. I actually find this very hard. To help, I have started colouring with my daughter Sophia, which really helps me focus on the present for longer periods of time. AND... I wanted to practice for the competition that we're running. More on this soon!
- A glass of wine in front of the news. This is a disruption-free block of time that I get to catch up on what's happening. My kids either watch with me or read a book - I give them the option. Three guesses which they usually choose!
- Netflix time. I don't usually watch TV during the day but during isolation I am trying to be more relaxed and allow myself some guilty pleasures while the kids are playing on their iPads.
- At home dates. One night a week week, I enlist the kids to help set up a nice space for my husband and me to eat alone while they have dinner in front of a movie (win win!). On the other nights, I have been using this opportunity to teach Oscar and Sophia some new family recipes. Last week we made poké bowls, this week it's satay chicken kebabs - yum.
- 'Whine with Wine' with friends. I've been catching up with my friends over Zoom, because we all need a good bitch and cry session from time to time.
The Good Stuff
Admittedly, there have been lots of positives to come out of this time. While I have some lows, I've found that I also have the good in equal measure - I'm just experiencing both in a smaller space.
When we need something 'extra' as a family, we have been enjoying relaxed evening walks as a family, movie time with popcorn, glamping in the backyard, impromptu comedy shows, Zoom sessions with the grandparents and, of course, morning cuddles in bed every day.
So mums - take this opportunity to be kind to yourself. You are being a great mum in exceptional circumstances. It's not about being perfect, it's about just being. I urge you to take the bad with the good, and remember... this is not forever, it's just for right now.
Mindful Colouring... by Robe
I've mentioned that mindfulness is a key part of my weekly routine, which is why I'm so excited to introduce three fabulous colouring in sheets based on Robe's bespoke patterns. Featuring the Japanese Bloom and English Rose florals by Penelope Bell, and serpent print Drakaina (which appears on our yet-to-be-released Isabelle tunic), these sheets will inject some serious style to your mindful colouring.
Download the colouring sheets below! All you have to do is print and then get creative..
Alternative versions with a larger print:
We're SO excited to announce that we're giving away four Robes this Mother's Day. To enter the competition, all you have to do is:
- Download your choice of colouring sheet (via the links above).
- Let your child colour it in however they like (let their creativity flow!)
- Post the final artwork on Facebook or Instagram, including your child’s name and their age and tag us in the process. You must post by Friday, 15 May!
- We’ll pick the winners! There’s one prize for each age category (3 – 5, 6 – 9, 10+) and another one for any parents who want to colour in collaboration with their little one.
- We’ll notify the lucky mums who win via DM, who then get to choose any Robe as their prize!
Happy colouring - and good luck! We can't wait to see all your submissions x