3 Tips for Coping in Quarantine with Kids

3 Tips for Coping in Quarantine with Kids

Last week I got some great practical corona-coping advice which has upgraded my life considerably.
Robin Meyerson of Rabbi Nivin’s Personal Development Chabura suggested to me that I should try to think about how I can behave now so that, in the future, I will be able to look back and feel pleased with how I reacted to the current situation.
So I thought about it, and decided that years from now, when Corona is IY”H long behind us, I would like to look back and see that (this is what I wrote down) “it provided an opportunity for relaxed family bonding and for me to learn how to keep my heart open and feel joy no matter what the circumstances.”
Please don’t misunderstand me. This mission statement doesn’t mean that I’m actually there yet. When I was snapping at my 5-year-old this morning for wreaking havoc while I was trying to get his already-distracted 7-year-old brother to write his book report, I felt as far from “relaxed family bonding” as scientists do right now from developing an effective vaccination for Covid 19.
But this mission statement has been extremely helpful in keeping me focused on my priorities over the course of the day. Today, for example…After all my efforts, how was my 7-year-old’s book report? Truly awful. And after all my efforts (over the course of many years) to get my kids to clean up after themselves? It’s remarkable to me the extent to which they do not.
But academic excellence isn’t my main goal now. Nor is a clean house.
My main goal is that these months of intense togetherness will, “provide an opportunity for relaxed family bonding and for me to learn how to keep my heart open and feel joy no matter what the circumstances.” I’m not there yet, but I feel like this mission statement is keeping me headed in the right direction. Ignoring failures in areas I don’t actually care so much about and jubilating over victories that I do.
Robin also pointed out that all of us are experiencing ongoing mental stress right now, because of the new 24/7 family responsibilities placed upon us and abundant scary unknowns and tragedies that fill the headlines, especially in the Jewish community. If you are tired, if you’re finding you need more sleep than you usually do (like me), that’s normal!
And finally, Robin said that right now, when we mothers are spending our days with our children and husbands, and giving so much more than usual to our families, it is crucial that we invest in acute self-care, every day. To keep our gas tanks full so we have something left to give to our families. It’s exactly at times like these when we feel everyone needs us and we have no time for ourselves that making that time for ourselves is most important.

4 comments

  1. Chaya Baila Lieber

    Thank you, Chana Jenny. I needed that!

  2. Sharona

    This is SO encouraging. Thank you!

  3. Amazing how two awesome neshamot like you and Robin can be so far away physically and yet connect so deeply!

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