Lessons Learned and Bonds Strengthened As Families Stick Closer to Home

Photo by Corryne Wooten on Unsplash

 

So far, 2020 has brought us all more challenges than we could have imagined last year.

And whether by choice or due to state-mandated lockdowns, we’ve all been spending a lot more time home recently.

The good news is, there are a lot of benefits to spending more time at home – so many, in fact, you may make it your “new normal” by choice!

Throughout all the media coverage of an ongoing pandemic and social unrest, many news outlets and social media platforms have been giving us ideas on how to stay active and engaged while staying at home perhaps more than we ever have.

Kids have been out of school and many parents have been working at home over the last couple of months.  While the adjustment may have been challenging, a lot of good has come out of it for all of us.

Although many of our responsibilities have still been there – and some additional ones, like the addition of homeschooling the kids – it’s been a different kind of busy.

Of course, the most noticeable and important change has been that we’re refocused on our families.  We’re being creative in coming up with ways to stay engaged, active, and playful as a family unit.

Many states are reopening in phases, but things are not quite back to normal – and may not be for some time.

We’re all a little leery of eating out in a restaurant right now, so we’re cooking at home.  Because of this, we’re probably eating healthier, and we’re bringing back the lost tradition of family time around the dinner table.

The kids are learning to cook and set the table, a welcome change from eating fast food in the car while we travel to daily sports practices or dance classes.

Through all the closures and tragic effect on businesses, the home improvement stores – ever essential – have seen business boom.  Many of us have refocused on making our house a home, tackling those projects we kept putting off because we always had somewhere else to be.

Movie theaters, amusement parks, and indoor play areas are still mostly being avoided by parents due to concerns over close contact and frequently-touched surfaces.

While it may not be good for business, it’s been good for families.  We’ve put our heads together to create fun, interactive movie nights at home.  We’ve made our own indoor and backyard obstacle courses to allow the kids to run off all that energy.

We’ve made cardboard forts, even entire towns, with all those boxes from online orders we’ve placed.  We’ve learned what it means to play together as a family instead of having our faces buried in a screen.

These are all great things to come out of a not-so-great couple of months.

And then, there are the more practical positive aspects of spending more time at home.

We’ve probably been able to relax a little bit more the last couple of months.  It seems that being forced to stay home has made us slow down a little and realize that all the schedules and appointments and craziness aren’t as necessary as we may have thought.

We’ve had more time to focus on what’s important and what our kids are really doing when we’re too busy to be as present as we would like.

Many parents have taken this time to teach kids valuable life skills, have them participate in all those home projects, start a family garden, or read – real books – together, as we’ve realized there really isn’t much on television worth watching.

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We’re working on hobbies that we’d all but given up because we were always on the go.

We’re saving money by cooking and entertaining ourselves at home.  And while we want to support our local businesses and keep our economy running at full-swing, we may have suddenly realized just how much money we waste.

Perhaps more than anything else, we’re talking to each other.  We’re calling friends and relatives to check on them.

We’re connecting by being apart.

While none of us want our freedoms and choices limited – and we all pray for our nation to get back to health, safety, and normalcy – we’ve all learned a little bit about who we are and what really matters.

So, if you’re still sticking close to home, take heart that you are doing a lot of good by slowing down and bonding with your kids, and even yourself – a self you probably haven’t had time to take care of in a long time.

The responsibilities and frenzy of life will always be there, but maybe we’ll all take things a little more slowly from here on out.

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