As we are all surviving this pandemic, we may wonder how we will even make it. Will our employment hold out? Will we get sick? The anxiety can be too much. It's been just about a year since we started talking about this on an almost daily basis. Would this COVID we were hearing about in China affect us? A year ago we had no idea the impact it would make on our lives and change them permanently.
I just wanted to share a couple of thoughts from my brain.....
1. Make sure you are being open and age appropriate honest with your children. Life may be totally backwards for them right now also. Tell them we are doing all we can to keep our family safe. Explain the recommended steps and why you are choosing to do them. Let them know decisions you make are not made lightly. Encourage questions if they have any. Our kids are older, but they are delayed in many ways. Some understand, and others do not.
2. Know that they are going to be emotional. I'm sure you have shed a few tears also. We all face disappointments. Our kids are watching us. If we are not handling the changes well, and we are showing it, they will pick up on that. Their outbursts may increase also. Instead of arguing, walk away. Both parties need to calm down.
3. Help them keep in touch with friends and loved ones. I personally have set up Zoom art times and hangouts for the kids. The girls even had a "virtual sleepover". It was fun for them.
4. Keep somewhat of a structure. But throw in a few surprises. Maybe pizza for breakfast. PJ day. But make sure they know that they must keep up on their chores/household responsibilities.
5. Remember the treats as you can. Not just for the kids, but you too. I figured out how to color my own hair...just because. I also do times where I let the girls experiment with color in their hair. They do crazy make up. I've even gotten them a few courses on professional makeup application. The boys we encourage with wooden crafts for Brayden. Joey is doing some project building from Eureka crate and even signing him up for some drawing classes.
6. Include some game/tv time. Maybe follow a specific series as a family. We have had several nights watching Mandelorian and even the new WandaVision show. Get out the popcorn bar or hot cocoa bar. Throw in some surprises. I was doing Star Wars themed meals during Mandelorian.
7. Find a way for your kids to help others virtually or online. We have been mailing out cards to various ones in our Kingdom Hall. They just have an encouraging message that we love seeing them on Zoom meetings or in Virtual field service. This encourages our kids and helps others. We never know the true struggles that others are facing with a smile on their face.
I do try to find self-care. I feel defeated many days. Special needs and mental struggles are hard without a pandemic. But it's really been hard, especially when we hear about loved ones who are sicks and even when we lose loved ones. Activities that were normal for us, even if they are open again I find that we are choosing to remain in our little bubble for our family's protection. I do try to get up early and enjoy my coffee before the storm. Read my Bible and pray. I look at Psalms 55:22 a lot. We know that we can rely on God, and throw our anxieties on him through prayer. He is there for us, our rock. The power of prayer can help provide us peace like a river flowing over us. I know I am not as strong as a rock.
We all can only do what is best for our own families. So we need to stop comparing ourselves to others, their situation is different.
I hope you are all doing well.