How to create a calm and happy home during this crisis

not so perfect mum

What day is it? Is it Monday? Tuesday? Wednesday? I don’t have a clue anymore as the days are blending into one, and I feel like I’m having a Groundhog day during this crisis.

Do you feel the same? Actually, what about the beginning of the year?

The Australian bushfires, Meghan and Harry, the Be Kind movement in memory of Caroline Flack, all seem to be a lifetime ago.

Reality check

I’m sure you’re like me wondering how on earth you ended up living in a time when there’s a pandemic. A time when you hear someone in a supermarket cough or sneeze, and you can’t believe they’ve come out without a mask on, or someone gets a little too close and you swiftly move away—crazy times.

If you’re still speaking to your household at this stage, pat yourself on the back and congratulations, as this is not easy. None of us signed up to living together 24/7. I don’t remember in my wedding vows agreeing to spend all day and all night with this guy. Certainly not!

Loss is everywhere

To add to this, we have the media full-on with anything from how to homeschool your kids, or how to use this time in the best way during this crisis – start a new hobby, set up a new business, begin writing a book, or learn another language.

On top of this, how to learn from this time, or be the best version of yourself. I get that all of these things could be done. I fully understand this time could be used in a very positive way and there’s no doubt each one of us can learn a valuable lesson —BUT I’m also a realist. For many this is a very sad and difficult time, whether it’s the loss of a loved one, job or freedom – we’re all experiencing some kind of loss. 

Your life – your choice

If you want to use this time to discover new things about yourself during this crisis, then great.

If you want to start up a new business or find your passion, then great.

If you want to learn a new skill, then great.

However, if you’re just about keeping your shit together, juggling your career, chores, homeschooling to name but a few, then this is equally great.

Full-on pressure

We’re already living in a world with far too much pressure. To look a certain way, be a particular weight, have successful children, live in the best neighbourhood, yoga once a day, eat kale, and quite frankly it’s all bs.

Many of us are led to believe by our culture, society, media, and the marketing machines that this is the way things SHOULD be, and this is just not true. There is no perfect way to look, perfect place to live, perfect children or perfect life, this is all non-sense.

So, if you’re giving yourself a hard time because you can’t get your children to do their schoolwork, or feel guilty because you have to work and can’t play with your kids, or you’ve bunged a frozen pizza in the oven for the second time this week, or you haven’t had time to exercise, or you just don’t feel good enough in one way or another, please hit the PAUSE button.

PAUSE and reset

You can’t do it all during this crisis, and your priority over everything is you and your families well-being.

Self-care, self-compassion and self-respect are vital. If you’re looking after yourself, you will be in a greater position to look after others. A calm and happy home is your number one priority beyond anything else. So if you are having a meltdown because your son doesn’t want to do his seven times table, or your daughter is not able to focus, then this is the time to get everything in perspective. I’m going to be for many a little controversial and say none of this matters right at this moment.

Let it go

LET IT GO, LET IT GO (I know you’re singing with me) is vital at this time, actually, it is essential throughout life. Hanging onto things like the past, creates a lot of unnecessary suffering, and this is the perfect time to bring this into your life. Let your children watch more TV or play on their consoles if you need to work. Yes, I said it!

Say yes more, be more flexible and relaxed about things. Not to say you’re not still keeping an eye on what they are watching or doing, but aim to let more go. The majority of us are too uptight and clinging on is not good for our children or us.

What we must show our children by our behaviour and actions is how we manage ourselves in a crisis. How we adapt, learn and become more resilient is one of the greatest lessons you can teach your kids. Particularly, as there will be more life challenges and curveballs to come in both your life and theirs.

Question time

A question to help you to connect with what truly matters is to ask yourself.

How would I like to look back and remember this time?

Will I be reminiscing over the wholesome meals I cooked every night? (I won’t be)

Will I be reflecting on how much school work my kids did? (No way)

Will I be thinking about all the exercise I did or didn’t do? (Hell no!)

Or, will I be admiring the way my family and I handled things during this crisis?

The answer to this question is down to you and one which will help you to keep all the mundane and unnecessary stuff in perspective, with the bonus of creating a calm and happy home—and who doesn’t want that!

THINGS TO REMEMBER

PAT YOURSELF ON THE BACK, YOU’RE DOING A GREAT JOB.

ALL OF US ARE EXPERIENCING SOME KIND LOSS.

YOUR LIFE – YOUR CHOICE.

HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON.

WELL-BEING FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY IS NUMBER ONE.

LET IT GO.

KEEP EVERYTHING IN PERSPECTIVE.

HOW WE MANAGE OURSELVES IN A CRISIS IS A GREAT LESSON TO TEACH OUR KIDS.

ASK YOURSELF..HOW WOULD I LIKE TO LOOK BACK AND REMEMBER THIS TIME?

ABOUT THE NOT SO PERFECT MUM

Teresa is the author of the forthcoming book “I should have bought a puppy; Parenting with heart, honesty and humour.” Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

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