As others have said about their Family Documentary Videos, they really do only show a snap shot of what lockdown looks like for them, which is I know the point! What is doesn’t show are the struggles we’ve faced as a family whilst we’ve been home together for the past 8 weeks. I pondered if I could show them, but it wouldn’t be right. But, they are real.
Mark is trying to work from home, growing a business. Being an introvert, he loves his space and peace…and then, all of a sudden, he has all of us at home with him. His best time to focus and to get work done is in the mornings, but that’s also the best time to get the kids to do school work…so how do we make it all work? He has been sensible and continued his early morning routine starting his day at 4:45am when he can find peace, space and time to focus on God.
I am the opposite and need people around me to fuel me and to keep me going, so having some of that taken away has been really hard. I am so grateful that I have been able to be at the Romsey Foodbank two mornings a week and had some contact there. But, I’ve missed the contact with those who know me, love me and take me as I am. Zoom is great, but I can’t ‘sense’ that much on it…the silences become stressful rather than natural as you don’t know if someone is frozen or just being quiet for a moment! I’ve struggled trying to manage the Foodbank from my dining room table, whilst cooking dinner and doing the three-times-tables! However, I do love the challenge of juggling a variety of things, so for much of the time it has pushed me on, but at other times it has caused me to break.
The kids have done amazingly well considering so much of their day to day has changed. They all have different battles to work out on a daily basis, and being stuck at home away from friends and away from their usual routines is hard. We’ve spent the last 5 years, since being in the UK, working on ways of making home ‘home’ and school ‘school’, and suddenly that all has to change; boundaries are crossed, roles are changed…and that’s hard. Change and transition is hard for them. We just find a new rhythm and routine, and then a weekend appears or a school holiday is upon us. Its hard!
From very early on into lockdown, I made it clear to myself that I will not come under the pressure to ‘do stuff’ during lockdown. There were so many posts for us to compare ourselves to, I found it unhelpful. I know for many people its been helpful being able to focus on a project, complete things on the to do list, spend more time reading etc. and I really respect that, but for us, the reality is getting through each day is in itself a project! (The planter I made took about 5 minutes and is the only thing I have done in 8 weeks!!) I felt pangs of frustration and envy at first as I would love to sort out even one cupboard – but I have peacefully accepted our reality – each day is a win! Sitting down to dinner together – is a win! Each day we manage to communicate with each other, eat a meal together, laugh together, cry together, get cross with each other but repair quickly, and help the kids keep balance with their emotional and mental wellbeing then we have won!
I think its so important as we head on into week 9 and experience more of the same that we allow each and everyone of us just to be us and to be honest about what we can and can’t do. We have to find a different way to do some things, but we don’t have to be different. Stay being you and know that you are enough. Recognise your wins each day and celebrate them however big or small they seem.