Purposeful Mothering in the Midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic

We live in a crazy world right now. We are all adjusting our lives due to the coronavirus pandemic facing us.

Schools are shut down, church services canceled, residential facilities are on lockdown, and social distancing is now a commonly used term. We are urged to stay at home as much as possible to avoid spreading the virus.

We are all facing this in our own ways, but today, I want to speak to the mothers who now find themselves home with their children and facing a different kind of pace and lifestyle.

Now, a little disclaimer, I'm used to staying home with my kids since I homeschool. But even this is a challenge for us because we are used to our park adventures and library trips and getting out of the home when we need it. Also, I'm used to getting time away from the kids regularly to recharge and be refreshed.

This truly is affecting all of us in our own ways.

Together we are faced with the question of how can we mother purposefully when thrown into this new challenge surrounding us:

1. Set your expectations.

This has got to be where we start. Expectations are everything. If we expect everything to be smooth sailing, we are going to be disappointed. There are certainly going to be hurdles we must overcome as we adjust to a different kind of life in the coming weeks.

Manage your own expectations and you are sure to get through with a lot more peace.

I've actually written some about my journey of realizing my expectations were causing me unnecessary pain and struggle. You can read that here.

2. Develop a routine.

Children (and most adults too!) thrive on routine. So life will be easier with one in place. For homeschoolers, it might just look like sticking to your normal routine. That's what we are going to do. For those not used to being at home, I really like this routine from Macaroni Kid.

The key takeaway here is that life will go more smoothly if everyone knows what to expect. So develop a routine sooner rather than later to aid in that effort.

It's good to have some learning fit in there somewhere, if you are able. Now, maybe your school is working closely with you to accomplish this through non-traditional instruction. Awesome! If not, I shared this resource from Scholastic on Facebook for learning remotely. It's free and says it will have 20 days worth of material gradually added.

3. Create memories.

Our children are going to remember how they felt during this time. We can help control that. Are we contributing to a spirit of fear and anxiety? Or are we being present with them, trusting the Savior for each day's concerns, and making the most of the opportunity we've been given.

That's right! We can see this as an opportunity to create memories and strengthen our relationship with our children. It won't be easy. But we can do it!

Some ideas could involve picnics in the backyard, spending time cooking or baking in the kitchen, playing board games, doing crafts, reading books together, and even learning, like I mentioned above. Here's a list I found thanks to Google. I'm sure Pinterest is going to have tons of ideas as well.

4. Care for yourself.

This is so important! I mentioned above that I am used to having time away to refresh and recharge. Well, now that this option is mostly removed I'm going to have to be creative as to how I care for myself as well.

We have to take good care of ourselves if we expect to be present and active with our children. This is a hard job! You will get burned out quickly without a plan for how to care for yourself.

Some ideas involve a quiet hour (which we've done successfully with all of our children before), a nightly bath, reading a book, and even getting up early to exercise and/or read your Bible (recharge before the day starts!).

Most days after dinner I am just beat and done for the day. That's why I try to save our screen time for this particular time of day. It is the hardest for me. This is one simple way I try to take care of myself.

No matter how it looks for you, just be sure that you are caring for yourself in the midst of this chaotic time.

5. Give yourself lots of grace.

It is so hard to be "on" all day caring for your children. Yes, they are a blessing. But it is hard work! You'll find your rhythm, but don't be too hard on yourself in the meantime! Give yourself grace.

You are doing something new and challenging, but worth it!

We can be purposeful mothers even in the midst of this difficult time for our world.

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