Mother Theresa provides the perfect advice for surviving parenting traumatized children during the Covid-19 stay at home order.
Written April 9, 2020
Yesterday was a rough day. Well let's be honest this past month has been rough. I'm not trying to throw a pity party for myself. Everyone is struggling in one way or another now, and I know some families are experiencing many more challenges than we are. We are home, healthy, and financially secure, and for that I am immensely grateful. But I am cashed out!
Parenting traumatized children during a quarantine is like running a marathon at sprint speed. You take all the emotions and behaviors and put them on steroids without respite.
We've had several "memorable" behavior moments so far. But just to share one of my favorites thus far though...Lilly tricked Marcus into eating dog poop by telling him it tasted like cotton candy. Yum... She then tattled on him hoping HE would be the one getting in trouble. Well that one backfired real fast...
We've had a few other doozies as well, but honestly it's the day to day relentlessness of just having to be constantly 'on,' nice, and grace filled that's draining. So yesterday was a day when I just needed to check out. So I did... The kids got extra screen time, the house was trashed, we had frozen pizza for dinner, and I skipped my workout in order to just sit in silence. But I had some much needed wins for the day as well--I laid in the sunshine, drank wine, video chatted with a couple of awesome people in my life, and shared some laughs with Chris. Totally refreshing!
I don't often allow myself a day when I "let things go" and I am incredibly hard on myself. Did I mention I'm a recovering Wonder Woman? The disease of "I'm going to do it all and make it look easy-itis" has run through my veins for a long time. I've been able to maintain this status for most of my life. However, it is unhealthy and impossible...especially now with the addition of our adopted two. But unfortunately, it doesn't stop me from still trying. Old habits die hard.
God is definitely using our life's situation as a crucible for me. All the garbage of pride and perfectionism are thrown into the flames and are being burned away. What's left is humility and an extreme realization that I CANNOT do this on my own and I was never supposed to. He gave me a team of people-an amazing husband and supportive family and friends. And most of all, God gave me himself. He always seems to place the right person, the right advice, and the right readings in front of me right when I need it.
Yesterday it was this quote from Mother Theresa. "I never look at the masses as my responsibility. I can only love one person at a time. I can feed only one person at a time. Just one, one, one. You get closer to Christ by coming closer to each other. As Jesus said, 'Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me.' So you begin...I begin. I pick up one person.... The whole work is only a drop in the ocean. But if we don't put the drop in, the ocean would be one drop less. Same thing for you. Same thing for your family. Same thing in the church where you go. JUST BEGIN... one, one, one! At the end of our lives, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made or how many great things we have done. We will be judged by 'I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in.'"
We're working here on putting our drops in the ocean. But honestly some days I want to retreat from the ocean back to sand where I can lie on the beach with a margarita in hand. I don't want to feed the hungry or clothe the naked...I just want to be left alone. But I just keep coming back to what Mother Theresa said. "JUST BEGIN." That's it. Take that one step. Do that one act.
So today is a new day. And I dip my toe in the ocean and "JUST BEGIN"...