Lockdowns are tough on us all, but our hearts go out to those separated from family. Whether by distance, illness, or work, we know it’s challenging to be away from the people we love most during times of uncertainty.
AFL player Buddy Franklin (real name Lance) is one such Aussie currently separated from his growing family. With his work keeping him in a sports-safe bubble, Franklin has had to rely on FaceTime to check in with wife Jesinta Franklin and their two children, 16-month-old Tullulah and Rocky, three months.
“We take everything one day at a time,” Franklin told POPSUGAR Australia. “I’m sure all parents have found it challenging with COVID and the lockdowns that have been in place… I’m separated from Jes and the kids at the moment and it’s really hard to be away… there are lots of Facetime calls between which really helps.”
We spoke with Franklin recently about how fatherhood has changed him, and how he and Jesinta landed on the names of their two bubs.
POPSUGAR Australia: Hi Buddy! Thanks so much for chatting with us. Tell us, how has it been for you to navigate lockdowns as a family of four? What has helped you through this time?
Buddy Franklin: The lockdowns have been tricky for me and my family as they have been for most. Flu season is something I’m also always aware of as an athlete and father. I do what I can to support my health and Vicks’ First Defence products have been really helpful for me in keeping on top of things.
PS: How would you say fatherhood has changed you?
BF: I have a fresh outlook on life after becoming a father. With both our little ones born during COVID-19, it’s really shown me that amidst all the stress of games, training and being in lockdown, the most important thing is that you’ve got a happy and healthy family.
PS: Ain’t that the truth. What have you learned in supporting Jes through her second pregnancy, and the adjustment from one to two?!
BF: Jes has been amazing during her pregnancies and I feel so lucky to be by her side through it all. We are grateful to have that insight and knowledge from having Tullulah, but every child is different so we’re still learning every day. We’ve found that whilst things have become slightly more complicated and chaotic, we are definitely more relaxed.
PS: And Tullulah? How has she adjusted to being a big sister?
BF: Tullulah was a little uncertain at first. It was difficult to balance her needs with Rocky’s as she was used to having Jes and I all to herself. But we can see already that she has developed such an amazing protective bond with Rocky and we are really enjoying watching it unfold.
PS: Both your kids have such beautiful and unique names. How did you go about choosing these?
BF: They were both names we just really liked from quite early on for both of our children. Before we even knew we were having a boy we had just started calling him Rocky. And Tullulah just stuck from the start too.