Against an idyllic countryside backdrop, we caught up with blogger Robin Marsden of Peel and Friends to find out about how her family is managing their lockdown house-move.
Aussie expat Robin has been living in London with her husband and three girls, aged five, four and one, for ten years but finally decided to relocate to the countryside just before the pandemic hit. We chatted to her about how the family pulled it off, what the miraculous move has given them and how she’s balancing the needs of three daughters under one roof.
Watch the full interviews on Kidadl TV, or find out what we learnt below...
Lockdown Doesn’t Have To Put Life On Hold
“We thought about moving for years, wondering if we wanted some more space and a garden. We loved where we lived in London - Wandsworth - there were so many families and family-orientated activities, but now that the kids are older we were starting to think about schools and decided the time was right. We’re really enjoying a bit of green space after living in our tiny postage stamp garden for nine weeks! It’s such a nice change to let the kids out and be free for a little bit.”
Try To Compromise And Include
“Homeschooling has been a real challenge for them, not having their usual routine and just the ability to run around and release their energy. It's really hard to make sure they’re all getting their own time and space, especially when homeschooling our eldest kind of takes dominance, so the other two sometimes feel a bit put out by that. It works well when my four-year-old can get involved in the school work too if it’s something we know she’ll enjoy and they can do together. That’s really nice to see.”
Help Siblings Cherish This Chance To Be Together
“I don't think you can ensure that siblings will get along, there will always be bickering and arguments, and I think in a way there’s been more of that during lockdown, but there’s also been more of the good stuff. So I try and reflect on the good parts and focus on that. My two older girls are spending a lot of time together and whilst that can be hard, it’s also been really special and I hope they can look back on this time and remember all the fun they had together. Hopefully they’re even closer and it’ll create a lot of memories for them.”
Connect One-On-One With Every Child
“I think one that makes a real difference for my girls is having separate one-on-one time with a parent, which is harder during lockdown. Trying to spend specific time with each of them, give them their own attention and make them feel like they're their own little person is harder when you can’t take them out. But it’s also been a really interesting opportunity and I think that time helps the girls feel more confident in their roles in the family and in themselves.”
Reflect On What Lockdown Has Taught You
“We will be reflecting on how many activities we’re doing and how busy all our lives are. Getting out on our daily walk has been one of the best and most important parts of the day for the kids. It can be quite an expedition getting everyone out the door but once you do it’s so worth it! We’ve also had more time to prepare meals together and eat together - I think kids are more likely to eat and enjoy food if they’ve helped prepare it. Being able to have longer meals all together has been a really nice side effect to having more time and not having anywhere to go.”
Look To The Horizon
“I’m looking forward to so many things, being able to go out all together to a cafe or for a wander. The kids are really looking forward to playdates, seeing their friends and that social life - as am I! I am looking forward to them eventually going back to school, it’s really good for them and it’s important to have those different times apart and be able to concentrate on them differently, so I think that will be really appreciated when it comes around.”
Who Needs A Holiday?!
“It’s been a really busy time for us, but now it does feel a bit holiday-like with the change of space and being able to slow down again. It's a beautiful spot to be in and we’re really enjoying this right now, and it’s kind of the best holiday option we have at the moment!”
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