Little girl cuddling her teddy

Finding a little normality for our little ones!

At the beginning of 2020, those “2020 vision” jokes were doing the rounds on social media.

At the start of 2021, there haven’t been as many! Certainly not on my newsfeed. It’s almost as though we just don’t have the energy for them anymore.

2020 was a series of relentless ups and downs. We spent the year riding the “Corona-coaster”, which left us all feeling weary.

2020 turned all of our lives upside down. Many things that we accepted as our “norms” were suddenly stripped away from us.

2020 was the year of “what ifs”

As busy parents, we spent 2020 in a washing machine of emotional “what ifs”. What if school doesn’t resume? What if I can’t easily work from home? What if my child gets sick? What if grandparents get sick? What if my business closes? What if I can’t cope with everything on my plate?

Your “what ifs” were, no doubt, different to mine. But, I can guarantee that you had them!

2021 … the year of ?

2021 has begun and with it, the Corona-coaster ride has started up again. After a modified Level 3 lockdown over the festive season, we all thought that some level of normality would resume again in January.

It was not to be. Instead, the modified Level 3 restrictions have been extended to 15 Feb.

Even Wriggle and Rhyme’s mascot, Froggy, is wearing a mask!

Finding normality, not Nemo!

So, how do we find some level of normality in this season?

Here are some suggestions that I’m trying for my family:

New routine for a new normal

Over the school holidays, we are always very relaxed about routine in our home.

With the holidays being extended, I’m slowly tightening up on things again. This includes things like bedtimes and screen time, which has gone a bit haywire lately.

Making sure that my nest dwellers are getting enough sleep has become a priority again.

Finding friends in small groups

My children are really missing community with kids their own ages.

I’m looking for ways for them to connect with other children in small groups.

There are a number of small, safe groups where they can find creativity and social connection.

Wriggle and Rhyme is one of those spaces for little people. Our team has worked hard to make the classes COVID compliant in a diligent, responsible but relaxed way.

What you’ll experience is a small, fun, stimulating class for your little one. You’ll also enjoy connection and community with other parents in the same boat as you.

Managing anxiety with music

There’s a lot to be concerned about at the moment. Anxiety is riding high in our communities. A trip to the grocery store will demonstrate that, in a number of ways.

Stress and anxiety takes its toll on our health. In this season, where we want to do everything we can to take care of our immunity, it’s important to manage stress.

Little girl cuddling her teddy

Music has an incredible role to play in helping us to manage our emotions.

With our brains so busy with the realities of this chapter in our history, we need to find ways to quieten our minds.

Experiment with music in your daily routine. Use upbeat songs to lift your moods and quieter music to calm and soothe fractious emotions.

You can’t pour from an empty cup

Confession – I’m terrible at this.

As busy parents, we also need to take care of ourselves. That means finding time everyday to do something that fills our cup. I’m rubbish at this, but I’m aware that it’s a problem. So, I’m striving to become better.

This morning, I managed to take 10 minutes to quietly sip my coffee and read something meaningful.

If you also struggle with this, start with something small tomorrow.

Looking after ourselves will make us better equipped to take care of the little people in our nest.

Whatever challenges you are facing at the moment, I hope that you will find contentment and normality for you and your family!

With love from my family to yours, Kirsty

Kirsty Savides is the Founder and Programme Director for Wriggle and Rhyme South Africa