The year 2020 was certainly one for the history books. Between the global health pandemic, strife over racial inequalities, a political roller coaster and more, for most of us, it’s a year we want to forget ASAP.
But what if we looked at 2020 through a different lens? We grew, we changed, we discovered, we learned, we loved. So maybe this year wasn’t all bad... in fact, maybe 2020 was actually good.
Here are five reasons we loved 2020.
PS: We want to hear why YOU loved 2020! Share on Instagram and tag us @bloomglobal or email us at email@example.com (and don’t forget a photo!). We’ll share your stories on Instagram!
Photo credit: @sweetpotatosoul with the alma papa
1. We had more time to get to know our children.
This year has been so hard on parents -- especially parents of little kids and babies. We’ve spent months slogging through parenthood without preschools, babysitters or grandparents to pick up any of the slack. It’s been difficult and our coffee intake has increased dramatically, but we’ve gained so much. Parents of babies were able to watch every single milestone firsthand: smiling and laughing, sitting up, crawling, maybe even first steps. Toddler parents were there to see the pride on their kids’ faces as they learned to write their own name… or yours! And parents of older kids got to spend time together that would have otherwise been inundated with friends and ball games. This year has been hard, yes. But as the saying goes, we only get 18 years with our babies. And in 2020, we stayed home and got to know each other in a way that wouldn’t have been possible in any other year.
Photo credit: @mike_ho with the coco go bouncer
2. We developed a new appreciation for childcare providers and, of course, teachers!
In 2020, we have really missed our nannies, babysitters, daycare workers, aunts, grandmas… and all of the other wonderful childcare providers who make up the village we rely on to help care for our babies (and keep us sane). We know it takes a village to raise a child; we’ve all heard that a million times. Never have we felt it more, though, than in this past year when we were forced to go without it. This year has given us a much deeper appreciation and respect for the people who make it their job to care for little children and for the family members and friends who give of their time freely so we can work, run errands or just have a few moments of silence. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And we can’t wait to see you again in 2021!
Photo credit: @covetedthings with the coco go bouncer
3. We got outside more, and learned how important sustainability is to keep our earth healthy.
This past year has also taught us to slow down, step outside and see our world in a new way. We’ve learned how important this great green earth we live on is, and how important it is that we are stewards of it. In fact, pandemic gardening has been one of the bright spots in an admittedly darkish year; it was a fun activity for stir-crazy families and psychiatrists say all that gardening was just as good for our mental health as it was for our physical. We’ve taken this lesson of sustainability to heart in our homes, in the food we eat and in the places we spend our money, too. We’ve had time to make researched, informed decisions about the companies we invest in based on their impact on the earth and our future. That’s part of the reason why fast fashion brands are seeing a major decline this year, while sustainable fashion brands are growing at an exponential pace. The same trend is happening across consumer goods; people want to invest in high-quality items that were made responsibly, rather than cheap, low-cost knockoffs destined for the landfill in a few short months. At bloom, we’ve been committed to sustainability since the very beginning. We always use sustainable woods, recyclable plastics and metals, and low VOC finishes. We know our products will stand the test of time, so you can buy less of them.
Photo credit: @kristine_boel with the alma mini+
4. We discovered new products that made our lives easier and our homes more beautiful.
We spent a lot of time inside our four walls in 2020 and in many cases, we realized our homes could use an upgrade… or in some cases, just an investment in the right product the first time around. Luckily, we’ve had the time to do some research and discover some pretty great, innovative products for ourselves, our families and our babies. Here at bloom, we were already hard at work on our alma mini+ crib before the pandemic hit, and it turned out to be a lifesaver for parents looking for products to go the extra mile during 2020 and beyond. The mini+ is a standard U.S. crib size that can expand to a full size crib, and then a toddler bed with the addition of a simple conversion kit. The mini+ includes four lockable caster wheels that can help you move from room to room, and easily slides through a standard size door. And it’s made from solid American beechwood, sourced from sustainable forests. It’s no surprise that this newest addition to our line of space-saving, sustainably produced cribs has become a fast fan favorite.
5. We learned how strong we are as parents (or parents-to-be)!
We’re nine months into this pandemic, and there’s never been a better time to give yourself a giant pat on the back -- or maybe a really sweet gift for the holidays, hint, hint -- because we’ve almost made it! We’ve been through a lot this year. We’ve grieved our old lives and settled in quickly to the new-normal, masking up ourselves (and our toddlers) and moving on with our lives because that’s what parents have to do. We are so proud of you… and you should be proud, too. Surviving this year is a major accomplishment and we see you and the hard work it took to make it this far. And now, finally, with a light at the end of the tunnel, we implore you to not let your guard down. Stay safe, wash your hands and have a wonderful 2021!
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Hanna Nakano is a Washington, D.C. based writer and photographer, and mother of two.