Life is strange. One day you could be living your best life and the next day that best life could come to a crashing end. COVID19 did just that, it abruptly brought our life to a sudden halt. Consequently, ending every plan and dream 2020 held…
At first the idea of staying at home for 3 weeks, sounded like a dream come true, such an unexpected and free holiday. No early alarms, no rushing for school or work, plenty of time to cook family favourites and time to enjoy each other’s company. Sounded like so much of fun! And fun was definitely had, well, at least the first 2 weeks or so…
But then, eventually reality hit home, and frustration started setting in. Especially when the lockdown extensions started, extension after extension, infections kept rising, death knocking on so many doors… And for those of us who were safely nestled in our homes, fear of the virus quickly faded into our distant memory, and frustration completely took over. Frustration that the dishes kept piling up, laundry kept needing laundering, children needed teaching and at the exact same time, the boss scheduled important meetings that you could not dare skip…
For me, my new locked down life was great fun at first, and it took me back to a time when the kids were so little and Japheth and I spent 5 years at home taking care of our cute munchkins… But all these years later, those munchkins have grown, life changed and suddenly lockdown took over. And it all became a bit too much for me to handle. I’m sure you would have noticed my silence on my blog, it took me a whole 3 months before I settled in to write again. Yoh, I struggled.
The difference between my stay at home mum experience and my lockdown mum experience, is that Deshni, the stay at home mum had it somewhat together, lockdown Deshni, crashed and burned under the pressure of it all. Seriously, I totally crashed and burned! ?
I always considered myself good at multitasking, I could always manage various things at once, and I believe I still can. But lockdown just pushed me over the edge. Helping the kids with school, working, running the household, fears of the ‘what ifs’ with the virus, all proved to be too much for me. I finally found my breaking point.
If there is anything that lockdown taught me, is that I can either be a housewife who can help the kids with their schoolwork. Or I can be a work from home employee who can just get by with doing the housework and cooking. But what I cannot be, is both. I cannot work, help the kids with their schoolwork, cook and clean and keep myself sane at the same time. I’ve tried and I have hopelessly failed. And it is a very rare thing for me to fail at something. (Ok, fine, I can think of a few things I’ve failed at, but who’s counting anyways! ?)
My breaking point came one Friday morning, I was at the end of a 6-week online course. That morning I had the last assessment to complete. With my house totally upside down, my kids completing their online exams without proper supervision, Japheth and I both busy with online assessments and a family who had gone through an entire week of suppers made up of this and that, I had a total meltdown.
I ended up missing the first 45mins of my 4.5-hour assessment. Thankfully somehow, through some tears and by the merciful grace of God I managed to finish and eventually pass. But it was at that point I gave up and realised that I have to stop fooling myself. I cannot do everything, and I needed to take a step back.
I take my hat off to all the mums who are currently working from home, taking care of their babies. Cooking, cleaning, and helping their older kids through school right now. It’s tough out there. Add in a mix of the stress and fears of the virus and the financial ruin so many businesses and families currently face, it can become overwhelming even for the strongest of us. All I can say is hang in there, sister… God got you.
There is nothing guaranteed in life. We must be able to take each day step by step or even moment by moment. We must be adaptable and flexible in these changing times. It is the only way we can survive. However, if we cannot adapt or cannot change, we will have to face up to being left behind.
For me, being left behind means I either step out of our business or I leave the kids to fend this school year for themselves, and neither is an acceptable answer. So, I have to be able to adapt to this new and strange life. I realised there are just some things I cannot do.
If you like me, find yourself with a workload that you cannot cope with, it is good to remember that you do not have to do everything. Do not overwhelm yourself, take it bit by bit, and break up that to-do list.
You do not have to return every WhatsApp. Or reply to every email as soon as it pops into your inbox. You do not have to fold all the washing on the day you washed it or cook a big meal for every supper. Neither do you have to run behind your kids making sure that they did their homework correctly. Kids need to learn responsibility, and nothing teaches that more than when they do not hand in a project on time. #ToughLove ?
Make sure you are doing what is important for that moment. Do those things first. Good time management and focusing on sifting vital tasks is what will get you through. And for goodness sake, please cut yourself some slack. Take a few minutes out to relax, watch some TV, bake that super sweet dessert you love. Go put on some make-up and straighten your hair so you can actually switch on the video for those work meetings (Your husband will appreciate that too… ?) and you know what, if you try hard enough, there certainly will be time to update your blog… ?
Time to adapt Girl, or get left behind… #LockdownLessonsLearnt
P.S. If you have been struggling through this lockdown and feeling overwhelmed or you have been struggling with adapting to the changes over the past few months I have attached a few scriptures that you could pray with to help you through this difficult season.
Scriptures for A Difficult Season
“I have told you these things, so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
“Be still and know that I am God.”Psalm 46:10
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”John 14:27
“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”Philippians 1:6
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”Isaiah 41:13
“Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.”Psalm 55:22