Parents or in-laws are at the heart of our kids' lives and suddenly, the pandemic means they're self-isolating or we have to social distance. Here’s how to still feel connected to them…
One of the hardest things that coronavirus has brought is a distance from grandparents that none of us want. Many parents rely on them for support, childcare and way more Peppa Pig magazines and chocolate buttons than any toddler really needs.
But with the over 70s being one of the vulnerable groups in the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of us have been forced to stay away from them through social distancing and self-isolating. And as they’re a constant lifeline for us, that distance is hard.
The rules are now easing so in terms of seeing friends and family you can meet in groups of up to two households in any location - public or private, indoors or outdoors. However, even inside someone’s home, you'll still need to socially distance from anyone not in your household. Read more here.
If you're still feeling cautious, here some ways to stay connected to those brilliant grandparents in our lives…
Send cards that can double as a craft session
One thing that Covid-19 hasn’t taken is the postal service (thank you, postmen and women). So cheer up some bored grandparents with jolly hand-scrawled-on cards.
Turn creating them into a craft session with your toddlers too so they can make the cards then add picture stamps, glitter, stickers and make them completely personal. Which their grandparents will think is a work of art, obviously (and they are definitely not biased).
Take it back to the nineties
Teach your toddler how we used to do things, by speaking on the phone. We know! Imagine! It doesn’t even involve typing. What is this, after school in 1995? They’ll love being the grown-up one holding your mobile to tell Grandma what they’ve been up to as well.
…but take advantage of what 2020 has to offer too
Technology and apps are a lifeline in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, especially for grandparents who are on their own. If they’re not technologically-minded, talk them through it and help them get set up. And then grab your children and keep them in touch with your baby’s gummy grins and your toddler’s hummus-covered face.
Send surprise SOS packages
Food deliveries are one thing but think outside the box for what might cheer up grandparents that are climbing the wall and desperate to see their favourite granddaughters and grandsons. Flowers always make people smile but we suspect an album of some lovely moments together would be the ultimate winner right now…
For more ideas on surprising things you can get delivered, see here.
One of the best ways to talk about something other than You Know What at the moment is by immersing ourselves in books, TV and films. Share recommendations and you’ll be able to catch up with your parents on how they’re finding that Jojo Moyes, or if they loved Green Book as much as you. And if they fancy watching Toy Story 4, they can do the same with the children too…
Let them join in on bedtime
You know the celebrities that read the bedtime stories on CBeebies? We have some new ones; they’re the lesser-seen grandparents that your children are pining for since they’ve been self-isolating. Set up a Skype session and let Nanny do her best Gruffalo voice, before blowing some bedtime kisses. Perfect. Or as near to it as we get until we can do the real thing.
Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.
Interactive, engaging and social, our live online antenatal course is a great way for you to meet other local parents, and get essential unbiased information and knowledge about pregnancy, birth and early days with your baby.
Read the the NHS advice on what you should do when you’re self isolating to try and prevent passing on the virus to other people at home.
Take a look at the latest public health guidance for pregnant women and parents.
For more information about coronavirus in various languages see here.