To say the least, I have found it more than hard. But still, I feel my husband and I have been blessed and taken care of because we both have been allowed to keep working-from-home. He works full-time and I work part-time, which means that I am trying to juggle 4 hours of work while at the same time having to keep my 9 and 6-year-old daughters occupied.
Now that the March break is over and real life has kicked in full force with this terrible new reality life at home has become complicated. I am now faced with having to homeschool both girls full-time (and patience is not my strength) probably till the end of the school year. Most parents in Canada are in the same boat and though homeschooling is popular in Canada it is certainly not for everyone. So here I am, feeling like Ms. Beade in Little House on the Prairie, trying to figure out how to teach a 3rd-grader and Kindergartener at the same time, wondering how is this even possible.
After all the frustration, disorganization, stress and tears from them and me in this first week of home-schooling, I have come to terms with the fact that I will not be able to cover every curriculum task and daily expectation or even everything planned for a specific day. The girls have their own learning paces and I have to go with the flow. It’s just too stressful for the three of us.I’ll cover only what is possible to be managed by the girls and me and take it one day at a time.
Emotions run high during difficult times for all of us and children are sensitive to it all. Our family situation gets complicated with the fact that grandma and grandpa are far away and alone. The worry about their wellbeing is never-ending and prayer is what keeps us going when fear gets the best of us.
I have also re-doubled our cleaning and sanitizing schedules at home to prevent sickness and infections of any kind. Somewhere in our already crazy schedule, we have to fit in cooking, laundering, going out for fresh air (especially now that the weather has improved so much after a long, cold winter) and playtime. Our daily Bible readings, as a family, still happen but are now being prioritized above all else in our home schedule. Our studies focusing on the signs of the times and answering questions and doubts that the girls have with the current situation have been slowly becoming the best part of our days.
When the day ends and the girls are finally in bed, I am often left with almost no energy. The days feel longer being cramped at home, doing all the above mentioned and the result is that my writing and reading routines have been deeply affected. I am currently struggling hard to keep up with my work in progress and my regular reading routine. So I decided to separate at least 1 hour of writing/day and I have lowered my word count goal from 1500 to at least 500 words.
The best time for me at the moment, with my crazy schedule, are early mornings before anyone wakes up. I write from 6 am to 7 or 7:30 am if I’m lucky but I haven’t always been able to reach my goal.
In normal circumstances, I try to schedule reading one nonfiction book about the craft of writing, every month, and one good piece of literature that I try to read like a writer. I also read for pleasure (usually contemporary romance). I waited almost 3 months to borrow Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane but since I got the book in mid-February, it has been impossible for me to do any reading whatsoever. My books rest in a pile on top of my night table and as soon as I snuggle in bed ready for some downtime, I stare at them. I usually grab one and open it up where I left off but as soon as I start reading, I doze off, exhausted.
Under these conditions, there is only so much we can do as mothers, wives, professionals and writers. Feeling overwhelmed is something that was bound to happen with what’s going on.
I think it’s time to just take a breath, make a real pause and realize that we should really be focusing on what matters the most: strengthening our faith. This is a chance to stand still and observe. We’re been shown who’s really in control of everything. As we wait for things to develop, as exposed in the Scriptures, let’s not lose hope that maybe one day this situation will improve; but if it doesn’t, let’s be ready to respond as the Lord expects us to.
Meanwhile, we have to do our part staying home and healthy, caring as much and as we possibly can for our loved ones and those who need us, near and far.
We need to remember that these menial things that go on in life and that overwhelm us all, will one day have no relevance for we will be shown what God has planned for us all.
For now, keep strong, focus on what matters, keep yourself and your family safe and for the sake of your own sanity set aside a little time for yourself and what builds you up.