I’m usually the first person to take advantage of any opportunity to get a break from my kids. I’m a stay-at-home mom by choice, but I’ve got three of these little monsters and it can be pretty overwhelming at times. Public school? YES. Babysitter? YES. Gym day care? YES.
I was not excited when I learned that schools would be closed to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. I completely support the decision to close the schools, but that doesn’t mean I felt prepared to be stuck at home with my kids 24/7. It basically sounded like my worst nightmare.
But my attitude is slowly changing as I realize that I needed to take control over our home situation. Right now it is unknown how long our schools will be closed, but based on what’s happening in other areas, it may go on longer than we expect. It became glaringly obvious that if I wanted to get through this period of time with my mental health intact, it would require some planning.
I took stock of our board games, craft supplies, and educational resources. I mentally planned out ways for us to keep busy and what would be the best ways to go about that. I normally don’t plan out things like this, but in the long term I knew we would all go crazy if I didn’t get ahead of this change.
I decided I was going to make the most of this.
It’s only been a few days, but I’m feeling my heart change because of these circumstances. I’m feeling grateful. Grateful for the chance I have to spend more intentional time with my children. Grateful for an opportunity to remember what is really important in life.
I’m realizing how quickly our lives can change. I’m taking more time to listen to my children giggle, to look at the twinkle in their eyes as they grin while talking to me, and to actually listen to what they are saying.
Let me be clear: I’m not grateful people are sick or dying. I’m not grateful that our healthcare system is being stressed to the max. I’m not grateful that people are, or are going to be, suffering physically, financially or otherwise, because of this outbreak.
But I am grateful that through this experience, I’m learning. I’m growing as a parent and a person. I’ve seen what I can really do, and what God can really do, when I’m put in a position where I have no choice.
I’m being forced to step it up. I’m gaining confidence in my role as a mother that I didn’t know I needed.
I’m grateful to see the good that humanity can do in times of crisis as we band together to fight against this threat with social distancing. I’m grateful to witness the beauty from the good deeds that are happening.
Are we all going to feel optimistic all the time about being forced to stay home? No. There will be days of just “surviving.” And that’s okay. I’m sure if you ask me next week how I’m doing, you’ll get a different attitude than the one I have now.
But we are doing it.
We are rising to this challenge and facing it head on with the strength and determination of the fiercest mama bears. Because that’s what we are. Mamas who will do anything for their children: no matter how hard, no matter the cost, no matter the obstacles.
Now is the time for us to show it.