Heathdale flower 10th August 2020

More than Surviving Life on the Inside

The concept of taking one day at a time — not worrying forward — is an important strategy to take on during these taxing times.

Heathdale flower

I was at the Post Office the other day and noticed a small book titled, ‘When the World Went Inside’. I thought that would be helpful to our parents to help initiate discussion with the kids on what is going on in our world, but more importantly, how it is affecting their family and check in with how it is affecting them.

Look out for that book being shared in Story Time with Mr Baird on Wednesday.

It’s not just the kids lives that have been turned upside down, it’s your life, too. Things seem much more serious in lockdown this time around. We could never have imagined a time when we would be in our homes 24/7 with only our immediate family to interact with in-person.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about manna, this is the edible substance God provided to the Israelites during the 40 years after the exodus. Manna was provided every day to look after their needs, but only enough was able to be stored for one day at a time.

The concept of taking one day at a time — not worrying forward — is an important strategy to take on during these taxing times.

Because I’m a grandparent, at times I remember beautiful family moments together when my kids were small with rose-coloured glasses.‘Oh, it was lovely having all of you together’, ‘no reason to leave home’, ‘lots of board games, family meals and undistracted family time!’ These sorts of comments are made by people who look back with those same rose-coloured glasses or selective memory… probably both!

See, when I dig into those memories when my life revolved around young children and their needs, I can also recall the pervasive, overwhelming, undeniable tiredness bordering on exhaustion. Yes, I loved being with them, but it’s physically, emotionally and spiritually hard. The guilt worn by mums and dads who are struggling, without extended family help or access to day care, is misplaced.

If you think you are doing a lousy job or that everyone else is doing it better, you’re normal. It seems to especially be mums who wear this kind of guilt or feelings of inadequacy. The same mums who are often giving of themselves consistently and continually.

We’re in a state of disaster! Some of our usual standards and routines will need adjustment, we need to adapt to new routines.

If your family is old enough:

-Have a family meeting and make a set of agreements together.
-Work together on ‘Ways our Family can Run Well’, you may be surprised and impressed by their responses.
-Gain some buy-in with a signature on a written plan or a thumbs up pic to be posted on a social media platform you all see.

If you are still in the lower primary or preschool years speak to the other adult you share responsibility of the house with about these sorts of strategies. If you are parenting alone, I suggest you seek out your GP to see what services are available to you. Everyone needs some time out to not just survive but track well through this Stage 4 lockdown.

For all of us, maybe if we rely on God for his manna just for that day, we’ll get through this one day at a time.

This we can be assured of, mums and dads all over Victoria are doing a stellar job of immersive parenting at the present time. You are doing a good work, raising great kids. I think we would all be surprised at the kid’s reflections on this time. In fact, why not ask them during your check in with them as you watch and listen to ‘When the World Went Inside’ with Mr Baird on Wednesday.

Love from my home to yours.