Summer Break is here! The changing of seasons usually puts me into reflection mode but especially in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic and today’s “new normal”. As the world continues to social distance, life is not the same as it was back in February. I’m not the same person either. My personality, lifestyle and intentions have done a 180 the last few months. Join me as I share the changes in my new pandemic personality.
We made it through homeschooling!!! If anything that has made summer even SWEETER. Hanging out with my kiddos and doing whatever. No need to hop on a video conference or turn in an assignment. It’s true bliss, I tell you!!!! I’ve actually come to find that I really enjoy teaching the kids but on my own timeline. I’ve even bought them some caterpillars in a cup last month so they could see the lifecycle of a butterfly up close. One thing that has changed is my MOTIVATION to teach them. Not just because the school says I should do this or to post on social media but because I actually want to. My daughter and I have started baking recently. A LOT. During the stay at home orders, we made several loaves of banana bread, peanut butter cookies, chocolate cake, snickerdoodle cake, etc. If it had sugar and looked good, we were willing to make it. The best thing was to hear her say, “Mommy, baking with you makes my heart happy!”. 😍💓😂 It has been so special to bond with her in this way. I hope that she will look back on our time baking fondly.
I will use “baking” and move into my next point. If I look back to the beginning of the year, I can see I was still self-conscious and VERY type A. Afraid to make mistakes and still trying to do everything perfectly. 🙄 Baking, cooking, and homeschool have really boosted my confidence level and retaught me the lesson that mistakes are okay. Lighten up Jasmine! Especially homeschool. Homeschooling your kids (not by choice) will grow a person but really isn’t that all of the parenting?
Back in February, I started to stress a little bit about the summer. It’ll be my first summer with three kiddos at home. What are we going to do all day? I actually had already enrolled my oldest in summer school. Not because he needed it or wanted to. It was because I was already bracing myself for the stress of caring for my kids all day. It has its moments but through homeschooling, I’ve changed. The responsibilities of helping my oldest son complete assignments, a preschool teacher to my daughter (we went over a magnetic calendar and read books for 20 minutes a day), and caring for my infant son have truly grown me. It probably was within the last month or so where I got the hang of this whole “three kid thing” and peace in my parenting. Not that it was peaceful here. Most of the time it was (and still is) quite noisy but I am at peace within myself. Trusting God with the next day or hour or 10 minutes ahead. It wasn’t always perfect but I came to find new meaning in my calling as a mother. And now that I have the knowledge through the experience of teaching them day in day out with little outside interaction during the stay at home order (which I never would’ve thought possible) I understand that I really can do it. I can take care of these kids in the summer. I’m unenrolling my son from summer school because I’m over school (and so is he). We need a break!
I know I can do this parenting thing and anything. And will I make mistakes? HECK YEAH! I am not perfect and I don’t need to be. A few weeks ago, I was trying to take a video of our first caterpillar that was ready to make its a cocoon. In the process, my oldest put his hand right in front of my phone and spun that cup of caterpillars like it was a Beyblade (overrated spinning top toy for kids) trying to get his hand out of the way. This caused the cup to fall over, onto a chair causing the upside-down caterpillar at the top of the cup to fall to the bottom of the cup. 😡 I was mad. Livid. Furious. Insert whatever synonym for angry and that’s what I was. My husband (calmly) talked to my son about what happened and why while I headed out to do errands. Was it a big deal? Not really. Did I overreact? Absolutely. My son later apologized for knocking over the cup. I apologized for getting super mad. We forgave each other and moved on. I am a flawed mom who loves her children fiercely and makes mistakes. What matters is how you handle them.❤️
Another concept that has been reinforced in me is intentionality. I’ve shared my love of Christ in many of my blog posts. I’ve continued to draw closer in my relationship with the Lord through prayer and devotions. During the beginning of the stay at home orders, I found my time with the Lord to be an anchor to keep me steady throughout my busy child-filled days and it still is. As we weren’t going to church, (since it was closed) I realized that I needed to be more intentional with not only teaching them scholastic things but spiritual things and share my faith with them. We have a ridiculous amount of children’s Bibles in my house, we faithfully take our kiddos to church weekly, we pray before meals and at bedtime but I wanted to do more. I was inspired by the book The Dare to Discipline written by James Dobson that I’ve been reading with some moms at my church. Through reading that book, I started to think more about how I wanted to raise and teach my children. I realized that as much as I do devotions in my own personal time, it was time to start sharing that routine with my six and three-year-old. For the last two weeks we’ve been reading a book called Think, Act, Be Like Jesus by Randy Frazee. It’s a 90 Day devotional which a bible verse, simple explanations, and short prayer. It takes maybe 5 minutes to go through. My kids are not always fans of doing it but I can remember feeling the same way as a kid. However, I know that doing devotions as a child made it easier for me to get into that routine as I built my own faith in my teens and into adulthood.
All in all, as awful and unexpected as COVID-19 has been, I can say that for me personally, I am proud of the person I am becoming through this experience. ❤️
Have you guys learned anything about yourselves since the pandemic? Especially during staying home? Tell me in the comments!