“In times of test, family is best.”– Burmese Proverb
Three weeks & several meltdowns later, we’re finding our groove with this stay/work/school at home 24/7 without killing each other thing.
We’re accepting things are not business as usual & letting go of the pressure to keep things as such.
As scary & uncertain as these times are, I acknowledge we’re getting an unprecedented gift of time to spend together as a family.
Three weeks together, with now an additional 12 weeks – at least – to spend concentrated time together, for better or for worse.
It’s the simple things I am so thankful for: Sleeping in and waking up next to T, who climbs in bed in the middle of the night. We eat together. We’re experiencing in-depth big milestones, such as T sounding out words, showing interest in numbers and counting, and learning to tell time.
When else would I have a work arrangement where I get to take breaks with T & go for a walk outside, do a learning activity, or just hang out?
We’re better at giving each other quiet time & space for work & rest.
The hubby, T and I have set up shop in our dining room and we each have a section of the dining table for work, learn and play. Sometimes, we are on top of each other. Like the other day when I was on a work call and T farted loudly next to me and I had to convince my colleague it was not me!
The biggest shift for us is letting go of the pressure to stick to a rigid homeschool schedule. It was stressing me out and we had more than a few fights and meltdowns over this.
We still do lots of learning, creative, fitness & family activities with T every day. Instead of a rigid homeschool schedule, we use a checklist of daily goals and we get to them in however way we can. It’s been way more fun & less stress.
We’ve done scavenger hunts where T surprised us with his memory skills and his letter and word recognition. We’ve done kitchen science experiments like making slime, a baking soda volcano and a homemade lava lamp.
We incorporate chores as part of his learning. Who knew child labour could double as a life skills class? T’s helping put laundry away, rake leaves, and cook simple meals. He shows great enthusiasm and ability.
One of the best lessons I learned is that learning also comes in organic ways. Like T getting an impromptu science class when he found a caterpillar while doing yard work with the hubby outside. Now that’s hands-on learning that a textbook can’t provide!
These are valuable memories I will treasure when we all emerge from the other side of this dark cloud. And we will.
I think about how the world has changed in just three weeks. You feel the heavy anxiety, stress, fear and paranoia. I think about how our collective mental state will be after this isolation.
This is why it’s so important for me to focus now on T’s well-being and our family time rather than this need to keep things business as usual. Things are not status quo and we need to acknowledge that for the sake of our children’s well-being.
T is eating candy on a weekday? So be it. He’s still up at 10 pm? Not gonna stress over it. He’s being more defiant than usual. That tells me he’s anxious rather than being purposefully willful.
There’ll be time to course correct all of this later.
There are so many reasons to feel anxious & stressed these days. I certainly feel these emotions every single day.
But there’s also so much to be thankful for, including being healthy & able to stay/work at home. I know others, such as health and other essential workers, do not have this luxury. I’m gonna try to focus on the positive things, because there’s still a very long road ahead.
I hope you are all continuing to stay well & taking good care!