The visuals are compelling.
Heart warming photos and videos of families together in isolation making memories are all over the internet. (A place we have been spending a lot of time lately.) They are sweet. This gift of time is strengthening families in the midst of a very stressful situation. The images representing unity and family being drawn together are a beautiful thing. In a way, I hope those times of bonding never end.
Still though, I wonder, amidst the myriad of posts declaring “Everyone is home” and “Families are all spending time together” if there are more than a few moms feeling left out. Many families have been presented with the opposite situation. One or more members of their family are essential workers of some kind. It is impossible in actuality for everyone to stay home.
Not all families can be together.
To those mamas who are forging through this time trying to keep your family (and yourself) all together, God sees you. He knows you and He has not forgotten. He sees the hours that you are putting in. Sometimes, with no relief. Though the world may have seemed to have shut down, your home is as lively as ever. It’s work. Hard work. And it doesn’t end.
What makes it even more challenging is to be bombarded with the appearance that you are the only one who doesn’t have everyone home. All of the posts drive it in harder that you are not spending those family times together. And it hurts. Can I cheer you on? You are as much of the heartbeat of our country as the ones who “go” to work. You are essential. Your photos and your memories may look different but they are no less valid. Though in a very different way…. your family is also “in this together”.
The family memories and bonds that you build will be etched in your history. Whether you yourself are at work or, it is your husband who must go, you carry on. You represent a different kind of mother during this global situation. A mother who can move forward despite feeling alone. Despite the lack of “staying home together” photos. You are doing what is before you and what is needed. You are committed. You are loved and appreciated. I wish I could tell you that one on one!
Where do we go from here?
Now don’t get me wrong, none of us would want to take those moments away from the families that are bonding. Those are precious moments. As Romans 12:15 says, “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep”. Let’s not forget though, the families who aren’t able to be together.
No matter which group is representative of you, be kind. Keep an eye out for the quiet and hurting though they may not be obvious. Recognize that we each have unique situations. The stay home orders have a ripple affect that touch us all.
If your heart is weary…
- Remember that this is temporary. The future will hold more days to spend time as a family.
- Find a friend you can share your concerns with (Sometimes our husbands can get overwhelmed too. There are times you just need another mama!)
- Make memories with the ones you have near you. Though everyone may not be present. Don’t miss the present of today.
- Journal your journey. Someday, when this is all past, you will enjoy looking back at how you managed. You are part of history in the making!
- Take time to relax. That looks different for each person. And that is OK! What brings you peace and renews you?
- Surround yourself with the truth of God’s word. There is information coming at us from all directions. We don’t always know what or who to trust. However, we do know that we can trust Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. And we can trust His word.
Some resources for you to check out
- If you are on facebook, please join our discussion and encouragement group called Less Than Perfect Christian Mamas
- Needing a place for you or your children to record your thoughts, prayers and memories of this time? Check out “My Stay Home Journal” from Tricia Goyer available here.
- Are you longing to learn to talk with God and to be encouraged as you grow in your prayer life? Check out this blog and the Praying Christian Women podcast.
- If this situation has caused you to evaluate your overall response to the calamities that may come your way, check out the new release from Kathi Lipp called “Ready for Anything”
- Though you may have not previously been a homeschooler, you are managing education, marriage and family life now. I hope this post will encourage you as you juggle it all!