Working from home, job loss, working in an essential service, school and daycare closures, a pandemic, a virus, strict hygiene instructions, stress from confinement, anxiety, uncertainty, social distancing, isolation, grief.... You have been obliged to adapt to major change in your life in a very short period of time.
You, your partner, your children and your family have had to reorganize yourselves to face this new daily reality. Your ability to juggle priorities and organize your family routine is taking on a new meaning. You have the skills. You can do this!
You have adapted through trial and error, dealt with crises and conflicts, and managed to establish a new routine. There have been many adjustments along the way. You have been concerned about your child's schooling, their socialisation, their overall development, their use of screen time... and the list goes on. These are normal preoccupations to have given the circumstances we are facing today that came on so rapidly and will stick around for an undetermined amount of time. With this drastic change, you do not have to put on the hat of daycare worker or teacher; you are a parent doing their best to be there for your children.
Be proud of everything you have accomplished in such a short period of time. Yes, I'm sure you are exhausted, and with reason. How much longer will this last? What will life be like after confinement? You will have many preoccupations over the short and medium term.
In these times of housebound living, have you had the chance to discover a new side to life with your children? Is there something that you can take from this unique experience? Take the time to reflect on this. Maybe your children are better at respecting your instructions because there is less running around with a crazy schedule. Or maybe during one of your walks outdoors you played a game of chasing the window rainbows and turned it into a counting lesson with your young child. Perhaps mealtimes have been an occasion for you to have more meaningful conversation with your teen. Take the time to appreciate these little moments. Could is be possible that you will miss this new life once life returns to normal? Who knows!
Try this exercise of appreciation with your child. You may be surprised by what you find.
Yes, you have had to adapt to major change. And you succeeded. What will you keep from this intense experience?
Nicole Fortier, psychosocial counsellor
GAGNIER Nadia et Stéphanie Deslauriers, Bien prendre en charge ses enfants pendant le confinement, Radio-Canada, Ici Première, Pénélope, entrevue, 15 avril 2015