It takes a village to raise a child… right?
With a pandemic that is still going on our village has been curtailed (if it was even there to begin with). Add in non-stop changes to consider; mix in a little isolation, a pinch of decision fatigue and you have a small sense of where parents are right now, unbelievably tired and going on anyway.
For instance, my Christmas 2021:
Our extending family wanted to meet up, easy right? Connect the bubbles that hadn’t seen each other for a long time. Then the Omicron variant let’s say…expanded. My sister and her fiancé were flying in; they found out they were close contacts. Antigens tests became a daily ritual in the hopes they could be cleared to fly.
Then came the onslaught of questions, conversations about what would happen if…
- Curve ball – a person on the outskirts of one of our bubbles got covid.
- How would each of us navigate that?
- Do our plans change, get modified or just cancelled?
- What was everyones comfort level? (Spoiler alert, they were all different)
- Where would people sleep if one of us tested positive in the middle of it all?
- Was it even worth the bother?
Decision fatigue on a whole new level. Just to get together for Christmas.
- A parent who had to make a decision to fly across the world during the height of the spread of the new variant because their parent was very ill
- Cancelled plans because they or their family was in isolation
- A elder parent in poor health so one adult is solo parenting the kids while the other is the point person (in another county) for the needs of the elder
I outline this because many of us are not sharing these important parts of our lives with each other as much any more. There is so much going on it can be really tempting to keep our heads down and plod on towards the next and the next. If this is you, I get the temptation. I really do.
Where do you find your joy, your village, your community that will witness and share in your moments throughout this challenging time?
Our village is who we have during these times. They witness our day to day, provide perspective and walk with us. The small connections that keep us delighted, happen when we connect. Someone noticing your offhand remark or your child’s growth. Sharing the everyday observations of your garden growing or needed to repair the shirt you’re wearing. Perhaps even the puke stain that you just didn’t notice because you haven’t been among adults for a while.
You have been innovative this whole pandemic – childcare closing at the last minute, home-schooling through school, restrictions, birthday work arounds, curve ball after curve ball.
Whatever happens up ahead I encourage you, plan in the little joys now.
- Leave a voice message for your friend
- Send a silly gif
- Ask your neighbor a question
- Post a card
- Garden together
- Take someone for coffee
- Reach out and connect
Knit together your village.
However small the gesture to the others around you take a moment for it often.
Flex this muscle and it will get strong. Keep planting the seeds. Each one has the potential to grow into the community you want around you.
Now is when these moments count.
Consider taking a moment (by giving a moment) daily.
It’s a simple How To, all effective things are.