I’m well aware that I’ve become an emotional basketcase since having kids. I cry during TV ads for toilet rolls, become ridiculously overjoyed watching kinder concerts, and worry more than I ever thought possible.
So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when I found myself spurting happy tears while watching the new trailer for Disney’s Christopher Robin movie.
The trailer for the film, which is out these September school holidays, is utterly delightful (a word we don’t get to use nearly enough these days). Kicking off with a flashback of Pooh and his friends having a party with young Christopher, you’re transported on a glorious trip from London through the Hundred Acre Wood to the picture-perfect countryside and back again. As the cute-as-a-button characters filled the screen, I quickly found myself absorbed into their storybook world, where life is as sweet as a pot of honey filled to the brim with love, laughter, adventure and friendship. Just as it should be.
In the movie, Christopher (played by Ewan McGregor) is all grown up with a wife and daughter. He’s living in mid-century London and dealing with the stresses of adulthood including a demanding job as an efficiency manager. After cancelling plans to go away with his family so he can work through the weekend, Christopher is reunited with Winnie the Pooh and his old friends from the Hundred Acre Wood. Through them, he starts playing again and rediscovers the wonder that defined his childhood along with the joys of family.
I think this trailer hit me right in the feels because it evoked a real sense of nostalgia. I absolutely loved Pooh and his mates when I was a child (I used to sleep with a fluffy Eeyore) and I cannot wait to introduce my little ones to the furry friends of my youth.
I want them to be enriched and entertained by Pooh’s simple yet wise take on the world. I want them to giggle at Eeyore’s grumpiness, fawn over the cuteness of Piglet and bounce along with Tigger through the Hundred Acre Wood. Just like I used to.
But beyond it being an enchanting, fun-filled story for both kids and adults, the movie's premise made me think of something so many of us parents grapple with – our desire to be present with our children while navigating the busyness of life.
As a parent, I have been exactly where Christopher Robin is. Last year I allowed my priorities to get completely out of whack. A year into running my own business, I found myself battling a serious case of FOSO (Fear of Switching Off). I was waking up early to work before the kids woke up, I was staying up late working after they went to bed.
On weekends while my husband took the kids to the park or the beach, I was chained to my laptop. When we were out as a family, I would be replying to emails. Halfway through a conversation with my husband, I would check my phone. My mind was all over the place and I was an exhausted, miserable, distracted grump. While I told myself I was working so hard to build a future for our kids, in reality I was missing out on what they needed far more than anything else – me. OK, now I'm tearing up again.
As Evelyn, Christopher's wife so aptly puts it, "Your life is happening now, right in front of you". I am so grateful that I realised that and turned it all around while my kids are still little and my marriage is still intact.
This year, I've reduced my workload, stopped being a slave to my devices and I'm trying my best to be a more present parent. I no longer work weekends - instead we go on family adventures. I am rediscovering the playful part of myself that I mistakenly left behind, the part that Pooh so perfectly personifies (bearifies?) with his simple yet meaningful approach to life. I switch off my phone, silence the noise of our digital world and try my best to listen to those innocent yet wise little voices when they say "Mum".
Did the changes impact us financially? Yes. But it's amazing how the material things fade into insignificance when you have one child snuggling in your arms and another telling you he loves you "more than all the stars and moons and rainbows in the sky".
Do I get it right all the time? Not even close. But slowly I'm learning to take a leaf out of Pooh's book and do a bit more of nothing every day. And as Pooh so aptly reminds us, you can only get to where you're going by walking away from where you've been.
Lucky we have the wisdom of Pooh to help us rediscover the meaning of a life well lived. And yes, just a have a laugh and be silly too!
Christopher Robin is in cinemas from September 13.
This content was created with thanks to our brand partner, Disney's Christopher Robin.
Do you have a tip for being more present with your kids? Share with us in the comments below.
In the heartwarming live action adventure Disney’s “Christopher Robin,” the young boy who embarked on countless adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood with his band of spirited and lovable stuffed animals, has grown up and lost his way. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin remember the loving and playful boy who is still inside. Disney’s “Christopher Robin” is the perfect family movie these school holidays. See it in cinemas from September 13.