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Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining – Inspired by Our IWM Community

The news cycle for the last six months has been challenging and relentless, to say the least. We have jumped from bushfires to a global pandemic to a necessary moment in time, where each of us must analyse the part we play in race relations and the change that is needed. And without a beat, we’re back to worrying about the increasing pandemic.

There was a discussion on our Facebook page recently, where many of you focused on the positives of the last few months: the things that you are thankful for and what has inspired you. With permission of those who posted – and without wanting downplay the crisis and the devastating impacts – we were inspired to share some of these silver linings. We hope, that no matter how you have been impacted by recent events, that some of these (or other) silver linings ring true for you too:

Time With Family

Father helping son to ride bike

Working parents with busy lifestyles are often juggling everything that life throws at them and sadly, family time is often the thing that slides. From bushwalking, to baking sourdough, to kids learning to ride bikes, many of our community have enjoyed the time to explore new things or learn.

“I had a baby in early February and honestly didn’t mind staying inside in my PJs for weeks on end. Since my husband began working from home, he’s been able to see the baby so much more than if he was commuting to the CBD.”

“My wife got very generous parental leave, extended by working from home. It’s been great having her home with our newborn twins. While I miss the connections I could be making by going to playgroups, I’m thrilled to not having to take my twins out anywhere!”

“I’ve done pretty much all the COVID must haves: baking with the kids (I even got the husband baking!), DIY at home, and used the time and spare money to renovate.”

No Rush Hour

Pre-lockdown, we were rushing to get from A to B, all.the.time. With nowhere much to go, many of us were forced to slow down and what a pleasure it was not to rush and juggle social events the whole time!

“It has been so good not having those early mornings at the weekend – rushing to get everyone out the house. One child to swimming, the other to soccer, then a rush to get to a birthday party or two! Lovely not to be broken and exhausted on a Saturday night!”

“As an introvert married to an extrovert, I’m enjoying the reduced frequency of social events! It’s so nice not to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of things that used to be on offer every weekend. I find myself better enjoying the ones we do have now.”

“I have never been early to work, I don’t think ever. Now I’m early every day, even when I ‘sleep in’ until 7:15am, I’m at work by 8am because my office is four metres from my breakfast table! It’s the best.”

Kiss and Drop!

Young girl holding fathers hand

Now that parents are no longer allowed into school grounds during drop-offs and pick-ups, some children have discovered a new-found confidence about going into the school by themselves. A small but important win for your patience and your child’s growing independence and resilience!

“My daughter’s pre-school is collect at the door – which saves about half an hour a day wandering around collecting lunch boxes, stray jumpers etc. I feel like she has become more responsible in the process!”

Recognising the Real Heroes

Nurse holding stethoscope

Pre-COVID, the only heroes recognised in most houses were those were spandex tights, cloaks and masks! Now, we have had very real conversations with our children about the real heroes – those in the frontline. Doctors, firefighters, nurses and those who work in aged-care facilities. It’s been fantastic to see these everyday heroes recognised and watching the daily clapping in places like Europe, has really brought a tear to the eye.

Saving Money

Some of our community have managed to save some money during this time, saving on childcare, activities, socialising, meals out to name a few.

“A silver lining for me is that I have saved money on buying clothes this year because I have absolutely nowhere to go!”

A Virtual Reality

Young girl doing online class

From tele-health appointments to online classes for both kids and adults, to incredible online disco parties or gym classes, many businesses and services have pivoted to provide services online and made our lives just that little bit easier in the process.

“What’s amazing is that pre-COVID we were told we could never work from home and when I asked for doctor telephone consultations I was always declined. Now I’m working from home and doctor telephone consultations are embraced with joy! I appreciate the downside of COVID, however, it’s truly made people think outside the box!”

“High school parent teacher interviews were done by phone. They ran to time, we could actually hear what the teacher was saying, and could continue working between calls. Major win.”

“Today my son and I finally become citizens! Via Zoom. It’s a strange world, but it’s still working!”

(Re)connecting With Family & Friends

Many of our Inner West Mums community have family and friends that are overseas or interstate. Now, with more time at home than ever, there have been no excuses not to connect via your technological tool of choice (FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, Teams etc). It’s been great having those early or late morning video calls with family in multiple countries in the Northern Hemisphere. And the added bonus, it’s always wine-o’clock somewhere!

(In)Active Wear

Ugg boots

From wearing active gear all day everyday and being relatively inactive, adopting UGG boots or slippers as our new work shoes, not wearing makeup, wearing shorts/trackies or just going braless! We’ve never been so comfortable at work before.

Exploring New Career Opportunities

Working and parenting leave little time for you to consider your options and perhaps pursue your dreams. Not to understate the seriousness of losing work in this time, it has been a positive seeing some getting their dreams back on track and pursuing career changes.

“Losing my job due to COVID has forced me to finally dust off my business plan. And I’m well on the way to being my own boss. Bonus is that the cats are loving me being at home.”

Luxury Takeaways and Food Delivery

Courier delivering food to door

Some of the best restaurants and cafes in Sydney have pivoted and there are now very few foodie experiences that you can’t have at home – want to eat a meal from a hatted restaurant at home – tick! Want some professionally mixed cocktails, sure no problem!

Less Visitors

Whilst some found being a nuclear family difficult, others revelled in the freedom of not having visitors drop by spontaneously and having to worry about the state of the house!

“I love the fact that I never have to worry about people dropping in and my home can be in its nice messy state”.

“After having my second child in April, I was much less stressed with not having a million visitors. It was so nice to have peace and quiet to bond with our baby.”

“In-laws can’t come from overseas for long 6 week stays!”

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