While checking in with other therapists, I reflected earlier today that for some families this pandemic may have provided families with more time spent together than ever before in the history of their family life cycle.
In families where both parents work, some parents may have only had a parenting leave after birthing or adopting a child. Then in subsequent years, families may only share a few weeks of vacation yearly. Whereas, during this pandemic, many families have spent many weeks together with more time to come. In some situations this spent time maybe stressful especially if there is food or housing insecurity. However, in families where their basic needs have been met, they have a situation where they are spending lots of time together! Couples may feel closer than ever before or perhaps more stressed. Children may feel cherished, ignored or pushed aside.
We have the opportunity to cherish this time together and eat more meals together, encourage children to contribute to the household learning new skills, play lego together, do crafts or build a puzzle. We may never in the lifetime of our children or family get to spend this kind of time together. This time is precious. It provides us as parents, children, siblings, aunts, uncles or grandparents to enhance our relationships. Even if we can be physically close, with the help of technology we can be relationally close. We can have phone calls or web calls, or text. However, we decide to communicate we need to be intentional about the importance of connection. Connection and relationship combats trauma. Like times when we were children and we remember the power going out or a snowstorm, we usually remember the relational aspects of the experience. We all need to ask ourselves- what memories are we going to make today? These experiences will help our children, our parents, our families combat the fear of a worldwide pandemic that in future years we will hopefully remember as close relational time.