Life has changed so much from what it looked like at the beginning of March when we saw the end of summer and our season begin to move into autumn. Here we are now in April with blustery days and snow beginning to appear on maunga in the south.
As we secure ourselves in these times, at home with our families, and particularly as we come to what we hope is towards the end of our isolation, it can be a good opportunity to reflect, pause and picture ‘what do we want for our families at the end of this?’ This is a powerful way to help create a map to navigate uncharted territory as we rejoin our communities, our wider whanau, our work colleagues and life outside of our bubbles. What small changes can we make as a family that will take us closer to our hopes?
I’ve heard many parents, (especially Mum’s) saying “I’ve got no time to myself” as we navigate our children, home chores, meals, dishes (did we ever make this many before our stay at home time?!) our partners needs and for some of us work time too. Where is the time for me? An important part of being there for our children and families, is to remember to breathe. Respiration (re-spirit-ation) is essential to centering ourselves, breathing into each day, connecting with the spirit within us so that we can be the centering point for our children. Is this done by taking a walk alone at some point in the day? Could you carve out some time meditating or a gentle yoga session before the rest of the family wakes each day, or has gone to bed each night?
One of the most important learnings our children will take from this time is how we faced this adversity. Are we holding the center for our children, giving them the surety that with each day we face, things are going to be ok? Are we staying calm and resilient through the turbulent ride, meeting whatever comes toward us with a ‘we can do this’ approach? Our children self-regulate with, and from us. How can we get ourselves as adults, to a place of calm so that our children can safe-harbour with us?
It is of little wonder that we will find ourselves being comforted having set a rhythm to our days. Even if this is by sharing all mealtimes together at set times during our day. Adding rituals to our days also brings safety and surety for ourselves and our children. Rituals don’t need to be big things, in fact the little rituals in our home are the ones that centre my children the most. A sharing of ‘rose, thorn and bud’ at bedtime with each of my children as I tuck them into bed, sitting in the same chair at meal times for the month (changing on the first day of the next month), a daily walk before dinner around our neighbourhood all bring a secure sense of ‘this is how our family does this’ to our children. It creates belonging.
In times like these, our buttons tend to get pressed with more frequency. Tempers are quick to flare (well they have been in our home), blowups have happened between us in situations that we may, in usual circumstances have had a calmer response. It’s totally normal. In stressed times, we have stressed responses. What’s important here is to repair and reset. Modelling for our children, what it is for us to own ‘losing it’. “I’m sorry for losing my temper (insert here whatever it is that is outside your normal self; yelling, using mean words etc). “What I meant to say was….” “I’m sorry for yelling at you, what I was trying to say was….” Resetting and rebuilding with, and in front of our children shows them how to repair relationships. An essential part of being human.
Rest is critical in these times. Working through the enormity of what is happening on earth is huge. It will affect us in ways that we may not understand (yet), and having deliberate time set aside to rest (and I’d add play in here too) gives us the space to process in a deeper way. Rest is the beginning of connecting with ourselves. Resting and connecting helps us to move through the trauma, and into grief, where we can then move through the myriad of emotions going on for us. ‘Seek times of rest so wisdom can be born’ – Steiner.
Working and connecting on computers and in the ‘virtual world’ as we have been compelled to do during this time brings challenges. Video and audio drains the etheric (energy) forces from us, and to rebalance these, we’re encouraged to look to nature, light, warmth and water. Take time to go for a walk outside, sitting in the sun, washing your hands are all ways to help replenish after time on screens.
As we wait for news on how and when we will integrate back into our communities, know that I (and the Four Seasons Team) are here for you, dear parents, do reach out to connect.
with love and warmth,
Simplicity Parenting Family Life Coach