It’s OK to Thrive

Coronacation 2020 is happening, and honestly, I’m here for it. While homeschooling four kids is not my cup of tea, and I LONG for hours of silence and solitude, this quarantine has revealed some things I am definitely not hating.

Zero expectations.

I am someone who constantly takes on the expectations of others, and in turn, will be emotionally devastated if I do not meet those needs. It’s a two-way street and unmet expectations have been the cause of many a heart-hurting in my life. I am loving the pulled-back socialization of quarantining. No external pressure to be somewhere at a certain time. No need to force my children to wear un-comfy clothing because it’s expected they look a certain way for a certain event. No forced early wake-ups, no forced early bedtimes. No outside activities with school or family to interfere with OUR family time.

Rediscovering joy at home.

I L-O-V-E to cook. If you don’t, go on and skip ahead. I cook every day for my family on the regular. However, I am often scrambling to get something cooked in the small amounts of time available to me throughout my day. Not during quarantine! I can take my time and feed my soul while cooking because my husband is home a lot more during the day and I’ve even gotten to reignite my passion for baking bread.

Time to Work.

At home obviously. We are taking this time when my beloved cleaning crew isn’t coming into our home, and choosing to teach our children the skills needed to keep a home clean. This isn’t something we usually have time for, so being able to take things at a slower pace has helped. We all work together so jobs can be accomplished quickly, and they are a bit more cautious about spilling on the floor when they know how hard it is to mop it.

Time together.

We have really worked on having a harmonious time together. This is not accomplished like 45% of the time, but for the most part, our kids are learning patience with each other, and we are ensuring each gets to fill their love buckets with activities geared especially for them. We followed our oldest’s direction and performed a scene from Alice and Wonderland. We spend time in the mornings bird-watching with our second. Our third just wants to be the boss and help prepare lunch, so she is our official lunch lady. Our youngest just wants to be included, and has filled character roles such as “baby”, “puppy”, “tiger”, “lion”, and “baby unicorn”. We have thrown the football, played catch, hit balls off of tees, flown kites, gone for walks and bike rides. And while being together ALL of the time often drives me to drink, it really has fostered a sense of togetherness we haven’t had before.

Sharing hard truths.

My husband and I have had to have some serious and difficult conversations with the kids regarding the quarantine. They have big questions and anxious hearts we want to put to ease. We reassure them of our financial stability, and they see us following through with increasingly frugal habits in our home. We need them to know they are loved and will be cared for, and that they can trust us as parents to handle this crisis well.

We are only at the beginning of this mess, and my attitude certainly fluctuates according to how my children are behaving that day, and new stressors from the outside, but I am really working hard to cherish this time together, learn my lessons about what my family needs to be happy, and begin to build my boundaries for use in our freedom.

Sarah is a 30-something mom of four children under six and wife to her high-school sweetheart. She returned to Acadiana two years ago following her husband’s completion of medical school and residency in Shreveport. After the move, Sarah switched gears from full-time pediatric speech-language pathologist and working mom to full-time stay-at-home mom to her brood. Her current hobbies include “speech-therapizing” her children, re-reading the Outlander series, catching up on her Netflix queue after the kids go to bed, completing XHIT videos at naptime, and taking her medication every morning. She loves and respects the sacredness of motherhood, but sometimes you just have to let go and laugh it out. Motherhood has been the most humbling, and empowering journey she has experienced.