We’re a couple of weeks into school in my home, and I finally have enough distance from the beginning of that to write about it. While my husband and I had opted to have our kids return to school in-person, the school had decided on a hybrid solution where our children would have two days in-person and three at home. Those at home days took every ounce of my capacity because I am not a teacher of children. Adults I can teach and train, but kids are a whole other world. (Shoutout to all the teachers navigating this – you are my heroes!)
My husband, Paxton, and I both work from home right now and thankfully had agreed to tag-team the at-home learning. One morning, in particular, was especially stressful as my kids all had to be online at the same time, our internet went down with all of these devices trying to be on at the same time, and our youngest (a kindergartener) was having difficulty waiting patiently.
I must have had a facial expression that I was losing it and falling out of relational mode because Paxton looked over, and gently reminded me to breathe. And then he said something profound, “We’ve never done this before. The teachers have never had to do this before. Our kids have never had to do this before. It’s going to be okay. We’ll get through this.”
I felt a wave of relief wash over me as the anxiety left my body. I took a deep breath and felt myself keeping my relational circuits on. I then said, “You’re right. I needed that reminder.”
Things have since improved and we’ve reached a place where my children will be returning in-person full time in a couple of weeks. (Hallelujah!) It’s been a tough time navigating capacity and relational mode for each of us, but we start in the mornings by trying to make sure we aren’t rushed and have all had something to eat. My kids also know that they are welcome to take breaks and ask for help. While I often feel overwhelmed and don’t handle each morning as well as I would like, I have noticed my capacity growing and I am able to stay in relational mode for longer periods of time.
When I feel myself snapping, or after I have just snapped, I will take a deep breath and repeat the message my husband shared with me. “It’s going to be okay. We’ll get through this.”
And I wanted to share that with you, my friend. Especially in this season of the unknown and things changing seemingly overnight. Let’s take a deep breath down in our bellies, show ourselves some mercy, and say, “We’ve never done this before. It’s going to be okay. We will get through this.”1