You’ve probably seen hundreds of memes related to the Covid-19 virus that have recently flooded the internet and social media. What makes a meme work is that there is some universally understood truth behind their meaning.
If I could reduce all the quarantine-related memes into two categories, the two truths I’m hearing are:
- This is hard.
- This shouldn’t be this hard.
One example of this that I’ve seen is how many people are posting that we shouldn’t feel “stuck” at home, we should feel “safe” at home.
But here’s the thing . . . I feel both.
Being more than one thing
One thing that I don’t love about the internet is how polarizing it can feel.
- You’re either a helicopter parent or an absent parent.
- You’re either an annoying workout fanatic or a pizza-binging slob.
- You’re either weird for not hating the quarantine or you’re not a good enough person to enjoy this “extra” time at home.
Here’s the thing—and this is true for pretty much any scenario—it’s possible to be in more than one category—even seemingly opposing categories.
- You can be a parent who loves their job and their kids.
- You can be a fitness guru who enjoys the occasional pepperoni pie.
- You can be anxious, scared, and frustrated right now, and still be positive, hopeful, and grateful.
It’s okay to not be okay
It’s okay to not be okay with the state of life right now.
Because this isn’t how families were meant to live – in isolation. Our kids need people other than us in their lives. We aren’t equipped to meet their every need. (Although this might be news to our kids!)
It’s okay to grieve right now. You’ve lost something that matters—we all have. Your kids have. We’ve lost our lives as we once knew them. And that’s no small loss.
It’s okay to be worried right now. If there were ever “a great unknown”, we’re in it. It’s completely logical to be concerned about the future.
But also . . .
Searching for silver linings
It’s good to search for the silver linings. Whether it’s sleeping in a little later or dinners at home for the first time in a while, searching for the positive is a critical coping skill to have right now.
It’s immeasurably valuable to have opportunities to connect with our kids in ways we wouldn’t have without the quarantine. Homeschooling probably isn’t what many of us had in mind for more family time, but watching their minds at work is a little miracle all in itself.
It’s incredible for us to be able to rely on our faith during uncertainty – which is for sure right now. It pushes and stretches our trust in ways we didn’t know possible. The end-result of any type of growth is a better, more-refined parent and human being.
It’s okay to feel it all right now. To feel it all within the span of a day, even.
In the meantime,
- Acknowledge what’s hard.
- Grieve what’s lost.
- Admit that you don’t have all the answers.
But at the same time,
- Fight to find the good.
- Be present with your family.
- And keep holding on to your faith.