Freedom with a tiny bit of anxiety

OPINION – MELISSA MEEHAN

Are you ready for a taste of freedom?

I’m sure Victorians, like me, breathed a sigh of relief when news of opening a whole five days early was announced.

It was nice to know that we were no longer locked up in our homes, unable to have visitors or travel further than 15kms.

But then a wave of anxiety ran over me.

I’ve become quite accustomed to the quiet side of life. Having one or two playdates at a playground a week.

Not freaking out every time the doorbell rang because my house wasn’t pristine.

I liked not having the pressure to be social.

Taking the time to have quiet days with the kids, instead of rushing around like we’ve always done.

There are many negatives about the lack of activities available to kids, but it’s been so nice to have a break from the strict schedules of swimming, ballet, kinder and sport.

Sometimes I think we’ve got so used to being busy that we think it is what is best for our kids.

But maybe the quieter life is just what they need.

I feel like my youngest has really enjoyed the time at home playing with her sister and enjoying our daily walks.

My eldest now enjoys an afternoon of drawing rather than trying to squeeze it in between everything else.

I’m not saying one way of life is better than another.

But I do think this pandemic and the lockdowns that we as Melburnians have experienced will shape my parenting style differently to before.

I think I’ll have the confidence of allowing myself and the kids a quiet afternoon or a pyjama day instead of feeling the need to fill every minute of every hour with activities.

I think if anything I’ve learnt to slow down and smell the roses.

My girls seem to enjoy it too.

That said they both can’t wait to see their friends back at kindy, swimming and ballet.

And I’m also looking forward to the social interaction with other parents too.

I just think we need to be kind to ourselves and our children… there’s bound to be big feelings as we return to normality.

Melbourne’s lockdown will end five days early, meaning harsh lockdown rules including the curfew and 15km travel limit will be banished.

It is thanks to a push from Victorians to get double vaccinated, hitting the 70 per cent target earlier than expected.

There is expected to be another lifting of restrictions, which will include the reopening of face-to-face retail, just 10 days later when the state hits its 80 per cent double vaxxed target.

Kids will return to full-time school hours when that target is reached, expected around Melbourne Cup Day.