Watching young moms on Facebook battle their homes during the current COVID-19 chaos brought a few things to mind: First, we need to take a deep breath. There is only one thing for certain in all this and it’s that God is still in charge and wants the best for all of us. When things get beyond our control, we need to trust his words, “Be not afraid”. It’s not by chance this reminder is mentioned in the Bible 365 times, once to cover each day of the year. God is trustworthy and not capable of lying. He created us for a purpose and promises to care of us when we go to him. The evil one, who doesn’t want us to believe God is big enough to handle this, tempts us with anxiety and loves to put us into a panic.
Secondly, you are not a perfect mom. Neither am I, or any other human mom out there. Stop beating yourself up, thinking, “I should be able to handle this better.” Children only care about one thing: the assurance, protection, and love of their parents. The smile on your face will impart volumes! This is also a good time to remind them (as one of my children’s favorite VeggieTales songs say), “God is bigger than the Boogie Man.”
Lastly, don’t expose children to the news through TV, your conversations with others, or in the fear you express in your actions. Their little minds are too underdeveloped to comprehend or deal with the panic the news is creating. You are the hero in your home; the one they look up to and will imitate. Be brave in the face of your children so they will sleep soundly at night.
Make these weeks of quarantine a time your family will look back to with fond memories. Here are a few ideas to bring fun and order to your home:
1) Keep a routine. Children thrive on routine. Have certain times for bed, naps, breakfast, lunch, dinner, story time, schoolwork, and play. Again, routine dispels fear in them, and it will bring a sense of peace to you.
2) Be affectionate! Kids still need hugs, pats on the head, playful arm bumps and toe taps. Get creative. Make little hearts and write “I hug you” on them. Keep a bunch around the house with some masking tape. Randomly put them on your kids and teach them to put them on you and their siblings.
3) Get outdoors. Vitamin D helps with depression, which is easy to fall into when things seem out of control. A great outdoor game for many ages is scavenger hunts. Google “scavenger hunt ideas” for a plethora of ways to spark your imagination for all age groups.
Whatever you do with your children, keep focused on the positive: like the pains of childbirth that precede an amazing new life, this too will soon be over. And who knows? Maybe something new and beautiful will follow. Maybe our world will change enough to get back to valuing what’s most important in life – each other.
Written by guest contributor & friend of Birth Choice: Robin Saunders