Today’s post comes from Cathrine Frederich
At this time, there’s much talk of the difficulties related to social distancing – all the people we cannot spend time with – family, friends, and acquaintances. We sometimes visit our parents, but we keep a good distance, and we don’t give hugs. We don’t visit friends or other relatives, and we rarely go out shopping. Of course I miss them all, but I also love staying at home and taking it easy. I experience the situation we go through as a sort of blessing in disguise.
I agree it’s sad and deeply tragic – all the consequences of the virus, and I do my part to hinder the spread. But in the middle of the chaos happening in the world, I am deeply thankful.
I am thankful for getting to spend more time with those who are closest to me, my daughter and my man, my core family. If it wasn’t for the virus, and the situation that the world is currently in, with the kindergartens being closed, and me having been temporarily let go from my job, I would have never got the chance to spend so much time together with the two of them.
Under normal circumstances, the average day of the week goes something like this – we wake up around 6:30, get dressed, eat breakfast, and brush our teeth, before we head off to work and kindergarten sometime before 7:30. After 8-9 hours, I pick up the little one from kindergarten. From the moment I pick her up and until her bedtime, around 7 in the evening, we have two and a half hours together, which, in my opinion, is way too short of a time. When we get home, we cook dinner, hopefully together, but usually the little one plays while I cook. We eat at around 5, and maybe we have time to play together for a little while, before her evening tv show starts at 6. After her daily 30 minutes of children’s tv, we only have half an hour before her bedtime, which we spend partly playing, partly getting ready for bed. Of course, this limited time we have together throughout the day is valuable, but many times the stress of getting out the door in time, and the tiredness that hits us all after long days at the office and, for the little one, in kindergarten, gets us all grumpy, making the evening schedule more a struggle than a joy.
We have now transitioned from having a maximum of four hours together each day, to having full days together. I appreciate this time more than I can say! We have our fights and our struggles, of course, but this is also a time where we learn to know each other better.
Now our days consist of getting up in the morning, taking our time, eating our breakfast in peace; we get dressed and watch some tv together, before we go for a walk in the neighborhood, play games and clean the house, together. We make lunch together, clear the table together, and find fun things to do together. Even if we are together all the time, we also find time to be alone. The little one has started playing more by herself, and gets to watch some extra shows on TV, while the pair of us drink coffee, solve crossword puzzles, work, rest or read a book. Cooking dinner has become much easier now that we can completely control when we eat. I take my time as I prepare the meals, knowing that the little one is not waiting in desperate hunger for the food to be ready.
I would say we are more balanced now. We have more time for each other. We don’t have to constantly stress about getting here and there, or finish our meals as quickly as possible in order to squeeze in some extra time together.
The very best thing about this time is that we get to know our little girl in ways we never did before. I see a four-year old who, at her own initiative, clears and cleans the table. She has learned to bike without the support wheels. She has learned how to read simple words, and she asks lots of interesting questions about all kinds of things. We get to see her discovering new things, noticing new connections that she’s never seen before.
Simply put, I am just thankful for having been given all this time together.