Adjusting To Our New Normal

Now that many of us are working from home, and kids are home, the term full-time parent takes on a whole new meaning and we are all adjusting to a new normal.   Normal parenting stresses of everyday life are lack of time, too much laundry, endless meals, endless cleaning up, fights about chores, bedtimes, lunchboxes (oh to have lunchbox worries again!), drops and pick ups and the list could go on and on.

But these are not normal times and as we navigate our way through Covid-19 and the horror it has unleashed, old rules no longer apply.  Most of us are living a new reality, with real concerns about our family’s safety and for many huge financial pressure.  ESRI predict unemployment will reach almost 20%..  Added to that, we have the whole family at home, all day, not meeting other colleagues or friends and the only break being a walk alone or with one of the said same family.  For most of us, that would have been unimaginable a few weeks ago.  And not getting to meet with people outside your family is tough for adults, not to mention how the teenagers must feel about it.

These are certainly adverse times but often adversity breeds resilience.  It is said that young people today lack resilience.  But I think we are seeing resilience now.  It’s the discipline to adhere strictly to government guidelines, it’s establishing a new daily routine, it’s getting out for some fresh air, it’s checking into remote classes every day when no-one is forcing you, its respecting that others in the house are trying to get work done even if you’re not and it’s appreciating that we are all in the same boat and trying to limit complaining about it.

I can see a big change even this week over last week.  I am amazed at how easily we can adjust when we have to.  That is not to say anyone likes it but in the past week I have seen lots of school work in the mornings,  board games coming out, creation of works of art,  cooking, racquets out, movies, a few walks and the dog can’t believe all the play time!  Plenty of flare ups too.  The 9 0’Clock news has become a focal point of the day, which really brings me back to my childhood. We have gone from frantically busy schedules to having time on our hands that we need to figure out how to fill.  For many active teenagers, this will be a first and hopefully the break will do them good.

For me, if we can do all we can to support our frontline from supermarkets to the hospitals, which is essentially staying at home, and hopefully come out of this with minimum loss of life, the takeaway from this will be to slow down and declutter my days a little.  Time is precious and I want to really focus on using it wisely.

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