Encouragement for Parents during Covid-19 Quarantines and Distancing
What a crazy week this has been! I’ve found myself mentally/physically/emotionally exhausted from the ever changing dynamics of work/home/school. All of the regular rhythms have been disrupted! Life is in kind of a chaos as each day brings a different closure or confinement. If you’re like me and love predictability and productivity, this is REALLY HARD. I feel you. I want to just invade your screen for a few minutes to encourage you that I believe this can be a super sweet time for our families. For the first time in our lives (and maybe the only time), the world is telling us to cancel all of our plans and stop. stay home. be with our people. It’s a sort of forced sabbath that many of our weary selves are probably needing whether we know it or not. No question our friends and neighbors need it too. So while we scavenge for milk and TP and try to make sure our parents understand what it means that they really shouldn’t be leaving their house, let’s not let these days get away from us.
Cast a vision for your time: Be thinking about the end of all this (not the end of the world, the end of the Covid confinements!) in 2, 4, who knows how many weeks. What would your family hope to take away? This could be a subject of prayer, but let’s not just “survive” with our kids through this time one Disney+ viewing at a time. Maybe you’ve been needing 1:1 time with one of your children who is struggling emotionally, maybe there is a lot of tension in a relationship that needs to be worked on, or maybe you’ve desired that your family just had more spontaneous fun time together. Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom. My encouragement is that you’d consider these three things as you go about your days- Work TOGETHER, play TOGETHER, rest TOGETHER!
No doubt we live in an entertainment culture where our first thoughts related to having prolonged family time are along the lines of “How in the world will I keep them entertained?! I understand totally but I’d like to challenge that in all of us by reminding you that children spell Love T-I-M-E. It’s not quality time like we are so prone to thinking, but quantity time that their hearts crave. So, invite them into your world as much as you can. The show must go on, and there are lots of dishes, loads of laundry that need to be done. Do it together! Put music on and dance to the dishes and fold laundry while someone reads a story out loud or you watch a show. We’ve got some fun resources coming your way for media to use. If your work allows it, bring them for part of the say or if you’re working from home make a little “office” for a child to sit beside you and do “work.” Letting them watch us in our attitudes toward the daily work of our lives teaches them so much about the work in theirs!
What’s a special or fun adventure your family can do together during this time? It could look like cooking new recipes for dinner at night, planting a little garden or taking a bike ride together before meal time. I’m planning on having some tea parties for lunch or porch picnics when it’s not raining. This is a great time to break out of your normal mold and be a little spontaneous.
I want to encourage you to embrace your world slowing down. A restless heart can still be busy busy even when quarantined for COVID 19! Work and play are so good, but God made us needing rest. Personally, resting reminds me that the world still turns on it’s axis without me! Rest for your family might look like some time together watching TV (Yes- I said it. Don’t tell anyone). Screen time together is totally different than dropping an ipad in front of the kids and walking away (which-shhh- I’ve done that too). You can laugh about it, talk about it together and have some great conversations. Rest may also look like eating off of paper plates or getting frozen pizza so that you have time to play candyland or go for that bike ride I was talking about before. All the grace for that too!
Finally, as you think about what these things look like in the coming days and weeks, plan out your time. Kids especially, but parents too, need structure to feel safe and secure. That’s why they’re so nuts when they’ve been at their grandparents or out of school for a few days! Sit down and write out a doable daily schedule for your time together. Then put it up somewhere that they can see it and be excited for it! Personally this type of thing helps me be accountable too so the desires of my heart can get worked out in real time.
We are praying for you guys and are excited to see how God is going to work through these crazy times not just in the world but in our families. Share your adventures with us on social media or group texts!