If there’s anything about the current COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that it’s affecting all of us. We’re all suffering in different ways and degrees, but no one is getting through this feeling light and breezy. Now that my family and I have been in quarantine for one month, I wanted to share what I’ve learned from our experience. Partly because one month is a good milestone for a post like this, but mostly because I’m so creatively drained that I can’t think about writing anything else. So here we go!
1. Working from home during a crisis is not the same as working from home normally
I already worked from home full-time pre-COVID, so alhamdulillah, I already had well-established systems and routines. I was used to that lifestyle. Used to getting the house to myself while the kids were at school and using Zoom before it was cool.
But now those routines are meaningless. The whole family is home, and now I have to balance my work with teaching the kids, keeping the peace, and keeping everyone fed. My beautiful block of deep work time has turned into snatching quiet moments whenever I can and get as much done before someone asks for another snack. And that means getting over feeling guilty for not being as productive as I used to. Alhamdulillah, I’m so grateful that I still have a job and that my team is very understanding. But yeah, it’s definitely something I need to adjust to.
2. I’m an inconsistent homeschooler
Somedays, I really embrace the challenge of educating my children myself. I have a timetable of activities for them that lasts the whole day. Worksheets! Experiments! Practical maths! We’re doing it all.
And then some days, I don’t even open the timetable. The kids can run feral and do whatever they want. Sometimes, watching Netflix with subtitles is good enough for a reading lesson.
And that’s fine. I want my kids to have positive memories about their time in lockdown. My son never liked going to school and is clearly the happiest he’s ever been. As long as they’re keeping positive, it doesn’t really matter if we don’t finish every single daily assignment from their school.
3. Letting go of pressure on myself
Day 1 of Quarantine: “I’m going to meditate and do body-weight training.”— Quarantine Troy Johnson (@_troyjohnson) March 17, 2020
Day 4: *just pours the ice cream into the pasta*
I love self-improvement. I’m always trying to be more productive and learn more things. But now, I just do not have the energy to do anything beyond work and family. Learning a new framework or following my content plan for Tech Sisters just isn’t happening. And that’s ok.
Everyone is coping with the pandemic in their own ways. Some of us are diving deep into new hobbies and skills and will emerge from quarantine completely leveled up. And some of us (me) are just doing what we need to do to get through this. No extra pressure, please!
4. All that conscious NLP parenting I’ve been doing has been paying off!
Alhamdulillah, I’m so grateful for how my family has been able to adjust to the quarantine. It’s four of us in a two-bed flat, so we’ve been really together all the time. Of course, there’s going to be friction sometimes.
But, thankfully, we all have the emotional maturity to get over arguments very quickly. They usually fizzle out within a few minutes or turn into a juicy conflict resolution exercise. A few days ago, my 5-year-old hugged my 7-year-old and apologized for bothering her so much and said she makes him mad sometimes, but he loves her anyway. Definitely my proudest moment as a mom! ?
5. Embrace change and uncertainty
No one really knows how this all began. And no one knows how long it will end or what will be the long term effects. But we can be sure that our lives are in a constant state of change, and that after every hardship comes ease.
To survive times of change and upheaval, we have to embrace it. Let go of the things that aren’t working for us and grab on to what’s right for us. And at the same time, we need to ground ourselves in gratitude and remembrance of Allah swt. Remember to have balance: Allah first, then yourself, then your family, and then your community.
I don’t know how this will end. I’m not even sure what things will look like by the end of the week. But I have trust in the wisdom of Allah’s plan. And if we open our hearts to His lessons, we’ll come out of this better people and closer to our Creator.