Lockdown has been tough on Aucklanders. For many, one of the biggest challenges has been juggling all the extra stresses that come with changing alert levels alongside managing full-time childcare.
Childcare has been front-of-mind for Amy Williams, an Ellerslie-based mother of three children, including an 11 year-old living with a rare genetic disorder and severe autism.
Lockdown has seen Amy trying to care for her 11-year old, who usually requires one-to-one attention, while also trying to look after her 13-year-old and 7-year-old and encourage their online schoolwork.
However, while Amy acknowledges it’s been challenging, she’s quick to say she’s not alone in the struggle.
“It’s been a long and challenging lockdown”, Amy says. “But we’re all in the same boat. I know everyone has found this lockdown so much harder.”
One way Amy keeps her 11-year-old occupied is through long walks in his wheelchair. On average, Amy estimates they walk about 25km per day around the neighbourhood. On the way, they stop by her mother-in-law’s, often delivering food and groceries.
“My mother-in-law doesn’t live too far from us. We often walk to her place and, socially-distanced, drop her a meal. For us, it’s better to walk with a purpose.”
In addition, Amy uses the walks to drop off essentials to other busy mums in her network, citing the importance of looking out for each other during challenging times.
“It’s important to stay connected. I do like to keep up with people and, if I can do something to help someone else out, then that’s great.”
Ultimately, what drives Amy is a desire to give back the same level of support she feels she’s received from others.
“I’ve had really really good friends around me that have been supporting me and helping me. It’s just nice to be able to help out other people.”
We want to give a big shout out to Amy and for all other mums and dads out there doing their best for their whānau and their community this lockdown. You’re definitely some very Awesome Aucklanders!