Our New Normal

Like the rest of the country, my family begins a new normal this coming week. We spent last week watching more and more of public life shut down and were in a period of waiting to see when working from home and distance learning would begin. We got our answer Friday and now we begin the new normal of all being home together for an unknown amount of time.

I’ve seen so many great resources online. So many people are reaching out to share, to connect, to help keep children occupied and enrich their lives through art, music, dance, science, it’s absolutely incredible.

I hope those of you that now find yourself homeschooling, while trying to juggle working from home, know that this is not homeschooling in a traditional sense. I homeschooled the twins for almost two years and it was a calm, wonderful time in my family’s life. We got to choose to stay at home together and that is far different than what is happening now.

I want to say this because I’m seeing a lot online about this being a time to reconnect, to find joy in all this time together, to get the chance to reset our daily lives. And maybe some of that is true, but it may not be true for you every day (or any day!) because these are not ordinary times. We are stressed, we are scared, and we don’t know what next week is going to look like.

So I want to say, give yourself some grace. As a parent your job is to love your children. Above all, help them to work through their feelings. I’ve seen anxiety come out in new ways in my own children and navigating that is more important than school work.

Friday we decided to set up a school room and my daughter jumped in, helping me organize books and art supplies, and it felt good to take some action. I moved some things out of my office so my husband has a separate work space as well. I know we are lucky to have the room to create these spaces, but I hope you’ll find ways to be creative with wherever you live and make zones for all the aspects of your life that now have to be contained in one home.

I want to share what our life is looking like over here in the coming weeks for the same reasons I follow the people I do on social media. To feel less alone, to find inspiration, to escape for a bit from the real world. I’m going to be starting a series called Make/Play/Learn where I share something we Made, something we Played, and something we Learned. I don’t know how often I’ll post, but Lord knows I have plenty of time! I don’t know that I have any tips on getting through this, just to take it one day at a time and hold on tight to the ones you love. May we all find ways to cope during this new normal of ours.

And to all the nurses and doctors working the frontlines in this very real battle, I see you and pray for you every day. For you and your families and all those you are trying to help. Thank you.

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