Greetings from rainy, dreary, Buffalo NY on this Monday that feels like a…well, I’m not sure what day it feels like anymore. It kind of feels like a getting-back-into the swing-of-things Monday after a long vacation, except that everyday right now feels like Monday after a long vacation. And I’m not sure there is a really a swing of things to get back into for the moment, at least not one that is consistent.
How are you all doing? Are you hanging in there? Are you maintaining your sanity?
My sanity feels like it varies moment-by-moment, day-by-day, right now. One minute I’m relishing the fact that I’m baking cookies or taking a long walk with my kiddos at 3:30 in the afternoon, and the next minute I feel like some sort of crazed lunatic who needs to brush her hair and teeth and who is frantically looking for a quiet closet to hide in so that I don’t have to answer to one more “MOOOOMMMMM!!!”
At the beginning of March, when I sat down to plan for the year, I had an agenda for the words I was going to write in this space: My March posts were going to revolve around the words “rest” and “quiet”, in April I was going to focus on the word “renew”, which has been my personal word for the year…ironically, I’m not sure what that means right now, though I do have a deep peace that God will continue to speak to me about it.
But since the whole wide world feels inside out and upside down right now, my thoughts on “renewing”, while probably relevant on some level, don’t seem the most useful words to offer right now.
So, in lieu of thoughtful words or suggestions on finding rest (there is some for the finding, but if you have kids at home with you during this time of quarantine, it’s complicated at best), I’ve written 10 “It’s OK If…” statements to help you get through your day. You can think of this as a #metoo list for us moms trying to navigate being housebound with our kids all day everyday!
If you have one you’d like to add, I’d love to hear them…leave them in the comments here or on my Little Writer Momma FB page under the post link!
Without further adieu here are 10 "It's OK" Statements to Get You Through Your Day:
1. If you feel like one day makes total sense with your kids, and your schedule, and your meals, and the happiness of the whole household feels like something out of the movies, and the next day feels like a total belly flop and no one in your house seems to like each other…It’s OK!
2. If you haven’t found a new rhythm yet…at least not a consistent one. One day you feel strong and competent and in a groove and four hours later you feel like you’re trying to run a three legged race with your Great Uncle Louie who absolutely despises running…It’s OK!
3. If part of you feels like all of this extra time with your kids is a sweet gift one minute, and 12 minutes later you’re ready to pull every hair out of your head because the dishwasher needs to be loaded again, and the hoverboard hum is driving you a little nuts, and your 7-year-old tried to pour herself a cup of lemon-aide and now it’s all over the kitchen table, which was where your 12-year-old was doing her homework and so now there's that to deal with…It’s OK!
4. If you feel like it takes every ounce of your adulting energy just to sign into Google classroom for 3 different children, and make sure they’re doing the right things at the right time in the right way with the right passwords. If this sudden home school gig, while cool in some ways, feels super confusing in others...It’s OK!
(And hey, no homeschool jokes here from the good-at-it homeschoolers! Traditional home schooling is a very different thing than being suddenly plopped into the middle of your child’s academic year and now trying to navigate their work, but not with your own agenda and lesson plans—you’ve become the facilitator of their teacher’s agenda’s, which are mostly good, but kind of tricky sometimes, especially with multiple children!)
5. If you start some days feeling like Mary Poppins and end it feeling as cranky as the Incredible Hulk…It’s OK!
6. If you’re going days on end without putting on make-up, or “real” clothes, and you're not sure if that's normal or if you've completely lost yourself forever…It’s OK.
7. If your 7-year-old is still wearing her turquoise flamingo night-gown at 4:30 in the afternoon, and you kind of feel like you should tell her that it’s important to put on actual clothing everyday, but then you think, “Hey, she’s a kid, she’s not going to wear her nightgown until 4:30 in the afternoon for the rest of her life.” At least you hope not. And if she does, you think, you’ll love her anyway. It’s OK!
8. If you’re feeling a little or a LOT stir-crazy. Like you LOVE your kids, but right about now you’d really LOVE to meet a friend out for a glass of wine or a cup of coffee to talk about the craziness of all of this. It’s OK!
9. If some people’s Facebook posts are starting to get on your every last nerve…the soufflés they’ve made, the languages they’ve learned, the dozen books they’ve read, the art masterpieces they’ve painted, the exceptionally creative ways they’ve connected with their children through gorgeously curated craft projects while you’re throwing your kids old play dough you just found in the basement and telling them to use their imaginations to make something out of it. It’s OK!
10. If you vacillate between wondering if life will ever be the same again, and part of you thinks that might be a good thing, but part of you is mourning all the things you loved about your previous life…It’s OK!
Oh wait…I have one more…
11. If you get that long awaited board game out for the long awaited family game night and next thing you know child #1 is pouting because they don’t want to play, and child #2 is throwing plastic game pieces across the table and her perpetually moving body just knocked the whole thing out of place, and child #3 can’t stand the chaos of it all and yells at child #2, which makes mom raise her voice and yell at all said children, and then dad throws his baseball cap on the table with a sigh, and your oldest wisely assesses the situation by saying, “Well, so much for family game night!”
(Of course those kinds of things NEVER happen in the Littlewood household. Ever! Wink. Wink.)
Alright friends, I’d love to hear your “It’s ok" statements!
Love you all.
If I figure out how to find consistent and intentional rest and renewal in the middle of all of this, I’ll be sure to let you know.
In the meantime, I will say my prayer and journaling time in the morning, before the kids are all up, has become more important than ever.
So, if I could suggest one thing, it would be to take a few minutes for yourself in the morning. Read your Bible. Work through a Bible study a little bit at a time. Read a few pages in a devotional or a book that encourages your faith, and then journal and pray about it. I promise it will help to center you.
Note: I didn’t promise it will make your day easy peasy, but it will help to get you off on a good start, which is always a good thing (;