'I'm scared for our future': Michelle Bridges opens up about her son Axel

The celebrity trainer gets candid about life with a child during isolation.

Entertaining kids during isolation is proving to be a handful for mums all over the world - and A-List trainer Michelle Bridges is weighing in on the topic.

Speaking to LifeStyle, the mum-of-one who shares son Axel Willis, with ex-husband Steve 'Commando' Willis, she reflects on the good, the bad and the uncomfortable part of isolating. 

She's also teamed up with BIG W on their BIG Days at Home hub, a service for busy mums to use in order to access some quick workouts and entertain kids while in lockdown.

Now, without further ado, here is our chat with Michelle.

Keeping kids occupied is taking more energy from parents - can you recommend any activities to do with the little ones?

Kids are all about play, so doing anything too structured, they will quickly become bored. Doing an online fitness class with mum and dad might be fun for some, but totally boring for others. Keeping it fun and playful makes it way more interesting to them, and to be honest, it’s such a beautiful time to bond. Here are a few of my favs - Hopscotch, Stuck in the Mud, Elastics (omg! remember this?), Red Light Green Light, Potato Sack Race, Hula Hoop.

What go-to workouts do you recommend for mums stuck at home with limited time to themselves?

That would be my 5-minute online sessions I'm building with BIG W on the BIG Days at Home hub. You can do one, a few times a day or you can take 3 or 4 of them and build your own workout depending on how much time you have. Perfect!

Have you noticed a shift in attitude with Axel?

Axel is 4 and he's a strong confident lad! I've noticed changes in him all the way along, but he's certainly hit his stride now! He holds robust conversation, is an excellent debater and usually knows where everything is including my wallet and keys!

What does a typical day for you look like since Covid hit?

We have a bit of a routine. Some mornings I wake up with him around 6:30am, eat breakfast, he plays for about an hour and I work, we do some Lego, he plays a bit more and I do more work, then have lunch. After lunch, we do some school stuff then he bounces on tramp while I train, then he might get some screen time while I wrap up loose ends. On other days I might wake up and train before he wakes. He goes back to preschool now, so I'll have some time to really get work stuff done.Every night we spend time together either playing a game, reading or watch a movie. He's in bed by 7:30... and frankly, sometimes I am too!



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Has it impacted you mentally or physically?

Of course, it has. I've found myself at times feeling very scared for our future, especially in the early days in March, completely challenged to wrap my head around what was going on and what was happening to us globally and also overwhelmed with sadness at the enormity of the situation. But I’ve also found beauty in all this chaos - more time with my son. An overwhelming sense of gratitude for the little things and for our country who has done so remarkably well in keeping us all safe and a sense of slowing down and appreciating what really matters in life. Instead of seeing life as a race or a checklist of "to do's", we have all had a chance to appreciate this and that is probably the most profound. Physically I've got more time to train, but like everyone sometimes the motivation can be a bit sketchy especially for those who love to train with others. Training at home has got me doing different things for training and that’s really cool.

What are you doing that’s different to pre-Covid 19 days?

More time at home. More time quality with my son. Less racing from here to there. More reading. Heaps more cooking. More time talking to family and friends than in my whole life! Training differently. Wearing more MB active wear (if that's even possible!!)

As you know this week is family week. a lot of parents have had to go without seeing their children. How are you going with co-parenting during corona?

My heart breaks for families who are unable to see their children due to jobs or environments. Co-parenting can be tricky when you are trying to navigate a global pandemic, but I feel I have been successful in stepping through it.

How’s Axel going with isolation?

Some days he's loving it other days he's bored, and I struggle to keep him entertained. Like most kids I guess. Overall, I think he's handled it all really well. Little children seem to be so resilient. Provided they have security, consistency, habits and routines. Much like adults really.

What activities are you two doing together to stay active physically and mentally?

We love the trampoline and we ride scooters and bikes together. Axel is also loving watching the Wiggles via Big W Big Days at Home hub, he just can’t get enough of Emma! He loves to play transformers where we basically just play fight in the lounge room. We are doing writing letters alphabet, and numbers, building lego, puzzles, and strangely he loves to vacuum! Hey, who's gonna say no to that?



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Why did you decide to team up with BIG W on this project?

I think the BIG W BIG Days at Home hub is such a fab free resource and it provides a helping hand to parents who are struggling to constantly come up with new and fun ways to keep their kids entertained at home. The hub comes after research has shown 46% of parents think this is an area they need the most help with in the current situation, so I’m really excited to be on board to help out!

What can fans expect to see?

The BIG Days at Home hub has got a huge variety of fun and entertaining content for both parents and children. I’m sharing my ‘5-minute Workouts for Mums’ to help give mums a breather and to take time out of their busy days with the kids and to spend some time looking after themselves! There’s also live dance classes with The Wiggles, book readings with famous authors and Shane Crawford’s top footy tips on there – all for free!

Are you excited to watch some of Michelle's ideas come to life on Big W's home hub? Let us know on LifeStyle's Facebook and Instagram page.

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