The Home Sewn Household is social distancing like most of the world. It isn't that different from our regular routine, minus my partner working from home, but it feels really different.
Its wasn't until recently that I noticed my stress taking a toll on me and on my family. I didn't pay mind to my feelings because I didn't take time to sort through them. Obviously I did eventually sit down with myself and actually look at the patterns my thoughts were creating in the grooves of my mind to find out what the underlying issue actually was. It was that life felt different, despite appearing much the same. It looks pretty similar inside mt home, and outside my window, but it feels different. Maybe I'm just experiencing these things because I am an incredibly introspective individual, but I know I'm not the only one.
As a Stay at Home Mama of a toddler and an almost toddler, I really don't go out and do a lot. I spend a lot of time at home trying to find things to feed my family and cleaning up our playful messes. But it isn't the same right now because the reasons I am home are different. The reason I am saying no to my oldest child's request for a play date is not because I we are too busy today or because I'm too tired, its because it isn't the smart or safe thing to do right now. I am spending time thinking of meals that my small ones will actually eat because there isn't as much at the store right now, and I don't want to unnecessarily expose my family or others to germs. And don't even get me started about how social media feels right now. It's too much, too often. Thousands of posts all saying the same things. I even have hesitated to write this post because I know everyone is as done as I am... but I write to process and maybe my thoughts will resonate with another. And connection, with ourselves and with others matters a great deal, especially right now.
Yes, some big changes have happened since we have started taking serious precautions against Covid-19, one of them being that my husband now works from home. He starts work a few hours before our children wake and naturally needs an uninterrupted work space during the day, so we had to do some room swapping and start having our children share a room. This doesn't seem massive to me as an adult, but its been a big deal for the babes in our home and for my spouse.
All of the small stresses and bigger changes happening at home are even more impactful on little minds and they feel it bigger than they know how to process sometimes, making life a whole lot more emotional for all parties involved, just adding to the stress already residing at the back of my mind.
So what do we do about it? What can I do to make life better when so many things are out of my control? I have a few thoughts. Let me know what you think of them!
Maintain Normalcy Where You Can
We tried to change too much when we first made the room/work from home transition. And we all got overwhelmed. So we went back to basics. We kept our morning routines the same, slightly adjusted nap times to make them as close as possible to the previous schedule, and did the same things at night that we always do. The rest of the day we are winging it to be honest, but the basic bones still are there to support us amidst the rest of the changing. I know we are lucky that our girls weren't in school or that we didn't loose a job. I know others cant maintain as much normalcy as us, but I do know that doing what you can to live like you have been, will make this easier.
Let This Time Be Positive And Special While Also Just Being What It Is
Being home with my family is a great opportunity to slow down, to take advantage of the time we have to recognize what really matters to us, and make ourselves better, maybe even do things we don't normally do. But this time is NOT supposed to be a time where we make ourselves feel like we are supposed to be doing all of these amazing things and getting our whole life organized. NO. I fell into this trap quickly this past week and realized that its not realistic or healthy to assume several lifestyle changes will happen and the time to do it is when we are all stressing about who knows what. This is a time to enjoy life, in a new way. To take advantage of new opportunities, if we feel ready. Not because we are pressured to. I have felt upset this past little while, on and off, because I have been feeling like I should be sewing masks to donate, and make fun projects during this time. That I should potty train my oldest. That I should be reading more books, or growing my business more along with playing games with my husband after kids fall asleep because he is finally "home" a little more than usual. It really sounds insane when you think about it all logically, though. Real life is still happening, and I feel like I've got less time than normal most days. So I am living regular life, and just being more intentional about free moments when I can. Staying up a little later to write, splurging on a handful of chocolate chips after breakfast, letting more movies be watched than normal, and trying out a new workout routine has been making a positive difference for me during this adjustment. It's about creating a balance between real life, and letting ourselves rest and explore new things.
Take Advantage Of Prayer/Introspection
No matter your spiritual affiliation, praying and meditating in whatever way you feel comfortable with, helps lift overwhelm. Connecting with the spirit within us and the universe surrounding us, including a higher power or not, releases pressure on the individual and promotes trust in ourselves and others and calm. Trying a little harder to live in faith, instead of fear gets our head above the fog a little more. I am trying pray more often and give my fears, as much as I can, over to God. Letting go of things is difficult for me, as a highly sensitive and anxious individual, but I haven't ever regretted the peace that comes from giving even a little bit of my fear away.
I know I don't have all the answers, but we all need all we can get at this point, and I want to offer any support that I can to you. I hope my thoughts have inspired ideas within you and that you feel like you've got a little bit more energy to take care of yourself today and over the coming weekend. You deserve it.