A Sanctuary in this Storm
This has been a wild ride, hasn't it?
Though many states are beginning to reopen and my state (Oregon) is resuming not-urgent medical procedures as of today, we're still not out of the woods. We're still not free to go back to doing all the things we used to call normal. We still have to be careful.
Something that I've tried to create for my children in this time is a sanctuary in the storm. That our home could be a place of peace for my children and that I could create fun things for them to look forward to.
It's been way harder than I imagined and I can honestly say my stress has transferred to my children countless time during this pandemic. But here's the thing, I can still create a place of safety for my kids even when I'm freaking out off and on. I can still put my best effort forth and make things a little better than they would be otherwise.
Some of the things I've "succeeded" at doing for my kids in this hard time is
1. Take them Outside
I know I've said it again and again but being outside is my and my kids happy place and during this chaos nothing has brought more peace than being surrounded by the beauty of God's creation. The birds, the water, green grass, and my kids playing in the midst of all of it has brought us a lot of joy.
2. Create Moments
I know that my kids will probably remember this time (minus the toddler) as they grow up. They'll probably remember the fear and hard things but I hope they also remember the moments. I hope they remember drawing chalk encouragements for others to see, all our time by the water as we did school work, and I hope they remember the Tea Party every Tuesday.
3. Share Less
I'm a big sharer so this one is a challenge for me. I do believe in sharing honestly with my kids, but how much I share should be edited for their sake. Though I've often shared with them what's going on in the world right now, I try to limit the amount of information and the severity of that information. This crisis is not something their young hearts should have to be fully burdened with.
4. Pray Together
I know not everyone prays, but if you do, pray with your kids. I know I've been especially blessed to hear my kids pray for Africa (who is near and dear to my heart after living for there a year in my 20s). Praying has power and being together for prayer is all the more special.
5. Give Hope
Even though this feels like this has been going on forever (at least for me it does), it feels even longer for our kids. They miss their friends, family, and normal activities. They've been stuck home just as much, and sometimes even more, than us, their parents. Give them hope. Remind them, and yourself, that this is for a time and it will get better! Tell them the positive things that are happening during this crisis. Pass on a little hope to them because I'm sure they need it too.