We’re well into this pandemic in Canada now, and what a crazy time it is.
Government officials are speaking to us every day. Numbers are thrown around in ways that are often hard to visualize. Our futures are completely unknown.
When will school continue? Will it resume this year at all? Are we flattening the curve, or will this continue well into summer? Is this going to happen again? Or maybe this is our new normal.
What we do know is that we need to work together as a nation, and internationally, to get through this chaotic time. Many people are doing the right things: staying home, avoiding everything, and only purchasing necessary provisions. Others are not.
How are we coping, as a family with two working parents and tween daughters? (All of whom should be at work and at school.)
At the beginning of this chaos I was very overwhelmed. I would get teary many many times through my day – even at work. My girls were at my parents for the beginning of March Break, and then they were home alone for a while when the news was “breaking” more often.
The closing of schools was no surprise to us. The idea of my girls being left to their own devices for an unknown number of weeks caused me a lot of stress. Especially not knowing what was going to happen at my workplace.
When I was asked what I wanted to do, the answer was simple – I want to be at home with my girls.
I was laid off from my workplace (with the expectation I would check my emails and phone messages – and that I would return when we’re through this) last week and my emotional state has been so much better since. The uncertainty now is will I be on EI, or the new government package, and when will that money start appearing?
Related: How I deal with my anxiety
My husband is still working – he’s in IT and EVERYONE needs his expertise these days. From setting up VPNs for offices to work from home, to troubleshooting overloaded home computers, he seems just as busy as always. Except now he’s sitting on the couch doing most of these things remotely with his clients, so we have to find quiet things to do some days!
How are my daughters coping?
They both miss school; the social connections, as well as the learning. We are learning at home, but it’s very different (and not consistent at all!)
I’ve printed worksheets from various websites (including The Toronto Zoo) and we do some math, some vocabulary, and some writing.
This week I had the girls do projects. They were to research a country and create a little presentation for me. I recorded them sharing their presentation and posted them on my YouTube channel, so you can swing over there to see what they came up with with two mornings of work.
We go outside a lot (when it’s not raining) and take walks through the neighbourhood. We’ve been cleaning the house, baking and cooking, and spending time reading.
Honestly I’m enjoying this routine right now. It’s slow, mindful and easy. And it looks like I will get to enjoy it for at least another month.
How do we deal with the uncertainty of the future?
Plainly speaking, we don’t.
The girls don’t ask too many questions about “when”, and I’m happy for that. We’ve discussed all that is going on. Some days we watch Justin Trudeau address the nation, and other days we choose to be oblivious to the newest developments.
Besides an income, there is nothing I need to know about right now. My job is waiting for me when the kids get back to school (or summer camps, if that’s where we’re at time-wise.) Keeping us safe, fed, and mostly happy is all I’m striving for right now.
How are you coping during this uncertain time? What are you doing (or not doing) to keep your family happy and healthy? I would love to hear some of your strategies and ideas for staying sane and living your best life during the Covid crisis.