Even though the kids are now in High School I vividly remember what it is like to have little ones running around my ankles. I had very different kids but both super energetic. I love kids and love playing with kids but I am not one of those amazing stay at home mums with heaps of ideas who just know what to do. If you are having to adapt to a new way of life with your kids, here’s some ideas of things to think about.
Pinterest is your friend!
If you like me are stuck for ideas, let me introduce you to the wonderful world of Pinterest! https://www.pinterest.com.au/. Pulse has a series of boards that have great ideas of things to do with kids, but seriously, there are so many ideas! You can search for anything, games, activities, crafts, advice, for anything, for any age, for most hobbies! You will discover the missing creative bone you thought you didn’t have!
Let’s get physical.
Yesterday one of my colleagues posted about the obstacle course he made from bits and pieces in the yard. Today one of my friends is hosting an online dance party. There are so many websites with great ideas – super clean the house, hopscotch, skipping, what’s the time Mr Wolf?, Frisbee, kick a ball and the list goes on. Keeping physically active helps keep everyone mentally active, you got this!
Make time for you.
This actually matters, if you want to be great for your kids you need to be able to take time when you need it. Introduce a time out for you as a parent (of course make sure your kids are safe!), stop for the cup of tea. It is ok if the kids cry for a little minute in their bed while you take a quick shower.
Give up guilt for Lent / Covid 19.
We are in difficult times, feeling guilty about the state of the house, or that you haven’t done whatever, or how you fill in the hours, does not help. As Christians we are people of grace, on a journey of learning and growth and we will not always get it right. God forgives us, maybe you could forgive yourself too?
As a discipline be grateful.
This is really tough if the reason you are home is because you are out of work and you are stressed. Remember this is not going to last forever. Maybe see this time with your kids as a little gift of time, what could be some beautiful memories you could create?
There is a bunch of groups that have moved online, playgroups, mums groups, church groups. Find your people and connect in regularly, we need people, people. It is physical isolation not social.
Ask for help.
If this has taught us nothing else, I am hoping we realise how incredibly connected we are and how vulnerable we are. If you are struggling, talk to someone, sometimes a good cry is all you need to get perspective, sometimes we need more help. Just pick up the phone and be honest.
Pray and breathe or breathe and pray.
Sometimes we get so caught up we forget to just be present in the moment. To notice the amazing story our kid is telling us or the way they want to help us cook dinner. Breathe, pray, give thanks. When it is crazy and your at your wits end, breathe and pray.
God is with us.
God as Mother gathers Her chicks under Her wings. God knows what it is like to have little ones, a whole flock of them running all over the place, getting into everything. Lean into that loving God for wisdom, encouragement and support. You are not alone.
Karen Mitchell-Lambert is ordained in the ministry of Deacon and is the team leader of PULSE.