Parenting in a Pandemic
I have been parenting in a Pandemic for 15 days now. So I have just as much experience as just about any parent out in the world. So I would not call me an expert by any means. But I have been overthinking this Pandemic probably more than most of you combined. So I guess you could say I have some thoughts on it.
I have put my thoughts into a few categories. Are they tips? Not really. Are they just my thoughts? Are they helpful? Are they relatable? I suppose that's up to you.
Every time I get on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram even, there are people talking about how bad it is out there. And how no one is safe from this. People in their 30's, 20's, a 12-year-old girl are fighting for or have lost their lives. I get it - we need to know these things so that we can understand the seriousness of the situation. I am aware. But it is scary. It is not fun. So ok, I turn off my phone and play with my kids and realize things will be ok and then just an hour later I miss humanity so I scroll through Facebook and the hope I have comes crashing down. It is an emotional rollercoaster and I am tired. I am not sleeping well because when darkness falls I get more scared. It seems heavier.
Listen, looking at the numbers is scary. Reading about people on the front line of this is scary. But for every positive article or statistic, you read there are 5 more negative ones. So let's put things in perspective. They are making more tests, tests take some days to complete. More tests = more cases. Everyone wants to defeat this virus. No one really knows what they are doing. If they did then everyone would have the same numbers and the same conclusions.
Headlines are misleading. If you read a headline that scares you...read the whole article please. Then go back and try to find the whole interview or press conference. Things are taken out of perspective ALL.THE.TIME. So put that in perspective.
I have never realized how much I love people more than I have these last two weeks. I miss being around people. I miss hugging my friends. I miss working out with people. People watching at restaurants. Going to church and Bible Study. I miss praying and singing with people. I believe we are made for community and virtual communities are nice but they aren't the same.
Your kids are the same. They miss their friends. teachers, grandparents, routine. We try to FaceTime and Video chat with our friends as much as possible. On Wednesday night we conference called my daughter's AWANA class at church. She loved it. talk to your kids about the people they miss, call them. write to them.
But on the flip side. People are scared. People want answers. People want Hope. People are mean when they're flipping out. So don't feed into them. Don't stir the pot on social media. If someone posts something you don't agree with maybe...don't comment. Be nice.
I try to make myself think about some Silver linings. Pollution is clearing, relationships are being restored, people are realizing what matters and what doesn't. I am learning to appreciate everything I had. Time with family. Time to do that thing you haven't been able to. Acknowledging the positives DOES NOT negate the bad things.
Guilt...I tried to keep all of these P's but ya can't win every battle.
I am not a nurse. I am not a doctor. I can't be on the front lines. I can turn my brain off and think about anything other than this. I can focus on the good. But then I feel so bad. I wish I could do more but I can't. I wish I could fight alongside with you, but I can't. I wish I could donate masks and PPE but I don't have any. I have looked. People keep reminding me about you. People CONSTANTLY are posting "But I can't stay home. I am putting my life and my family's life at risk" And I am so grateful for that. But it makes me feel like I should be doing something else. Every company and expert is saying "Here are ways to deal with anxiety" But I will be honest - my anxiety eases my guilt. If I can sit at home and worry about you then I feel like I am doing something. I can pray for you and text you but it feels like a cop-out.
I know this isn't right. I know that I am supposed to cast my cares on Jesus. I know worrying literally does not do anything helpful. I try and remember that and I tell God how scared I am. how I am worried about people dying and losing their jobs. Every day more people lose jobs and I am worried they might not get them back.
So what I am trying to say is - I am worried, too. but I don't think we are making a difference by worrying.
but PRAY. Pray alone. Pray with your family. Call me and we can pray together (no really you should do that because I miss praying with people.) Write down a prayer. Be honest with God, He can take it. Know that God is walking with you. Even if you don't believe in Him. Even if it doesn't feel like it. He is. I promise you He is. This truth is how I am functioning. There really is hope. Even if this, EVEN IF that, EVEN IF. My God has always been faithful to me, and He is NOW. He will not fail. My husband played a song for me today. The bridge says "I will rest in the Father's hands, leave the rest in the Father's hands." I think that's a great reminder for us at this time.
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