Hi Ladies! Thanks for getting this started Alicia! Haha I think I’ve been through a whirlwind of emotions the last few months, though am mostly landed in a place of peace at this time. We had our third baby in April, so while we would have been home a bit anyway with a newborn, the biggest stressor was not having physical contact (i.e. extra support of someone else helping with our kids) for a long while. My husband Jimmy was off work less than 2 weeks and then I was solo w the kids after that. I had a lot of fear and anxiety that I would lose my cool with my two toddlers (ages 2 and 3) while trying to care for a newborn. And I did sometimes. But God also has really stretched, strengthened, and blessed me these past months (and thankfully, we are seeing a few others now) and it has given me a chance to have more of a love for being home and for making our house truly our home. I realized how often I would just be out of the house with the kids before quarantine because of my fear of going stir crazy or being bored or frustrated with being home. It really had ended up (most days) being an empowering time for me as a Mom because of God helping me to recognize some of my own “stuff” that sets me off with my kids and starting to take control of my emotions rather than being reactive to them. I’ve also learned more about how I can set the tone in our home (for good or for bad) and how to respond in better ways to my kids (who are very different in personality, so it has meant learning how to cater my response to each child individually).
I think two areas that have really worked for me has been having a good (and yet flexible) structure for the day and having a set morning prayer time. Obviously structure is a key thing for kids, so it’s been helpful to implement that as much as possible. With prayer, I had been trying to get up before the kids to have morning prayer time, but that doesn’t work well at this phase in our family. And I would end up frustrated if one of the kids woke up earlier than I thought they would. So instead I have been having “kitchen timer prayer” where I set the kitchen time for 10-12 min and sit at our little prayer table (that we started as part of Cana 90 and have left it up!) to do the daily readings and morning prayer. It’s been a learning curve with the kids…they would interrupt me a lot at first, but most days now (after doing it the past couple months) they will say “Mommy doing prayers” and usually play on their own (the huge win is when they go in one of their rooms together and do “God bless” which means they sing some songs from our Making Music Praying Twice class and pray for everyone in our family. ♥️♥️♥️). It’s made such a huge difference having that consistent morning prayer and for the kids to see me doing it. And this past week or two, I’ll have them join for the last minute where we will say a little prayer together and offer our day to God.
Gosh, this is a long post! Thanks for sticking with me (if you read this far)! I look forward to hearing if anyone else has been aware of ways that God has worked in your family during this time, and maybe how to transform challenges into opportunities for growth and deeper faith.