Updated: Apr 16
This is us...
Making the best of the current situation and still laughing & smiling while we navigate unknown waters together. And I'm so extremely grateful.
I know that right now it probably feels like the weight of the world is on you. With all the uncertainty, businesses and schools being forced to close, virus spreading, and being cooped up and distanced from our friends and coworkers everything feels so out of our control.
But here's the perspective I've chosen to take...
There are so many worse things than being forced to spend quality time with those I love right now, and this situation won't last forever.
That's not meant to sound insensitive or undermine the fact that I know there are a lot of people truly struggling right now. There are people on the front line putting themselves at risk everyday and witnessing a horrifying situation, there are people that are sick and dying, and there are people that have no income and are really struggling financially. I am not blind to this situation at all. I am beyond grateful to see how much the community and the country as a whole have come together to work at keeping us healthy and safe and bringing our lives back to normal as quickly as possible.
But I know that what I choose to focus on (starting from the moment I open my eyes in the morning) will direct the course of my entire day. What I focus on can either help me feel positive, hopeful, and secure for the future - or it can make me feel helpless, insecure, and fearful - which would ultimately limit and alter the action I take to help us get through the best way possible. Therefore I choose to focus on the positives - what I am in control of and grateful for - and you can too.
I know I get to bond with, teach, and laugh with my children everyday. I have created and outlined a schedule that allows for simulated time as if the children were in their classrooms: a structured day with specific times for reading, writing, math, snack, recess, art, and lunch. At the two week mark we've got the schedule down now. I especially enjoy doing art with them and having recess (aka exercise) outside. This new role as teacher that I've suddenly taken on has given me a whole new level of appreciation for the teachers that work so closely with my kids everyday in class. Taking on this new role seemed like a huge burden at first, but I realized I've been given a great opportunity to teach my children in so many ways. And I've chosen to rise to the occasion to the best of my ability.
For all the moms (and dads) finding themselves taking on new roles right now - I declare that there is no guilt allowed during this pandemic. Do the best you can with what you have access to. Get creative and work together. Make it fun as well as educational for the children. These are unprecedented times that no one was prepared for. There is no blueprint. We're making it up as we go.
Trust that your children are resilient and will follow your lead. Trust that our communities and leaders will pull together to help bring us all back up to where we need to be to flourish. Trust that this isn't where our story ends.
Now more than ever I am grateful to have an amazingly supportive and strong fiancé that will help lead our family out of this struggle with our heads above water and making the best of it together. Two years ago that wouldn't have been the case. With businesses closed, no job to go to, a high stress situation, kids home all day everyday, no where to go to "escape", and all the liquor stores still open -it would've been a recipe for disaster in my world. My days and nights would've consisted of extremely high stress, walking on eggshells, constant turmoil, and physical and verbal abuse even more than usual. When the schools & businesses closed and social distancing measures became more strict I immediately thought of the volatile and dangerous situation that many people in abusive relationships would find themselves in. My heart breaks for them and I pray for them to get out of this safely. And these thoughts bring me to a state of gratitude once again that I don't know that life anymore.
I am also choosing to look at this as a temporary redirection. Because in every situation that I've been challenged in life or come across a roadblock, it was never a dead end - but rather an opportunity to grow in a new way, redirect, and lay out a new path. With every challenge I've faced I've been forced to grow, rise, and overcome. I've never just laid down, given up, and accepted defeat. And I'm not about to now.
I am grateful that we can unite together and will do the best we can. That we can take advantage of the benefits to having less distractions and enjoy the simpler things in life that are often overlooked. That we can stay active and get outside and feel the sunshine on our face. That we can be creative and find new ways to workout without access to the gym - and sometimes have it turn into a chance to pigpile on daddy and laugh and be silly together. After all, laughter is a great form of stress relief!
And no, not every moment is perfect. There's been tantrums, tears, and fighting. There was a day early on in this situation that I schlepped around in jammies all day feeling bad for myself and feeding my brain with negativity from the news media. But I pulled myself out of it and declared that I'll focus on all that's good and positive and within my control. And I refuse to have two bad days in a row. So if we have a rough day I plan out the next day for optimal success. We put it behind us and forge ahead. No guilt. No regret. Just moving forward.
Choose to laugh, show love, take a walk outside, write letters to those you can't be with, host an online virtual meeting or "get together", be resourceful, meditate, move your body, practice a new skill, learn a new language, read books, color and draw with your kids, reminisce on old photographs, play a board game, hug, cuddle...
Be the light and spread light. We will get out of this together. And be stronger because of it. I am sure of it.