If anything is more apparent the past week, it is the enormity of that which is entirely OUT OF OUR CONTROL. A weather event or a virus outbreak can shut down a city or, as we’re now very much aware, a country (or several of them…). In the face of uncertainty, there’s one thing you can be sure of it, and it’s YOU. Who you are, what’s important to you and how you thrive (from the inside out).
So many people right now are being thrust into the unknown… working remotely, homeschooling kids, living in isolation, and so on… Knowing yourself, like REALLY knowing who you are and what makes you tick, is so important when things around you feel out of your control. If you approach these new challenges or unknowns with a firm foundation they can be so much less intimidating and scary. You’re navigating a new circumstance, but with your same fundamental values. You’re applying the same standards but to a different situation.
Don’t try to play the role of the character you think is best suited for this situation. Be you, and adapt as necessary.
If I were to look at this “remote learning” scenario I’m entering with my kids and tried to emulate what other people are creating, I’d feel [even more] overwhelmed, under qualified and like a failure… VERY VERY quickly. But I’m not. I’ve created a loose schedule for my kids based on how I already parent, based on how we already live. I KNOW who I am, what I’m capable of, what makes me thrive and excel, and I know this about my kids too. We’re pushing the limits of our comforts, but if we can do it with an understanding and appreciation for what makes us feel safe, we’ll be creating confidence in this new reality. The confidence we create from the inside can help ease our worries about the world around us.
If we abandon every part of our personality to become what we think we should, we’ll create panic within… And when there’s panic within, EVERYTHING in the world around us seems so much more unbearable.
If you need to take a few days off and let your house and kids be a free for all so that you can collect yourself and regroup and ask yourself how you envision this all shaking out, then do that. Sit with it and make a plan.
If you read my blog on the Westchester County Mom Blogs, I describe myself as a compassionate under-parenter… Now, of all times, my kids need to see me in a familiar way, so that they can still be who they are. I’m not Martha Stewart, we won’t be scrapbooking or Marie Kondo-ing our house. Our schedule will be flexible, but rules still enforced. We’ll learn new things, but with a focus on thinking and being entertained. We’ll be us, and that will be the thing we know we can count on.
The things that are working for my family is watching something (20-30 minutes at a time) and then writing about it. Here are a few of our favorites-
Cincinnati Zoo Facebook Page Daily FB lives focusing on a different animal at the zoo
Street Food Netflix show 30 minute episodes on Netflix about street food around the world
Henry Ford Museum Tour Tour of the Henry Ford Museum (I think I should reach out to this guy and thank him for posting this!!)
These are just the things we’ve checked out so far. I’m not going to overwhelm myself or my kids, but I’m definitely compiling resources to be able to change things up over the next couple of weeks (… she wrote with naive optimism 😉 )… there are tons of free online dance classes, tours of museums and national parks, and virtual art classes.
But friends, whatever you do, just be you! Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, don’t try to do it the way anyone else. Ask YOURSELF what you should be doing, not the world around you.
We’ve got this!