Hello, fellow Fearless Moms! I’m Leslie Morgan, and have been blessed to be a part of Fearless Mom since day 1. I have a wonderful husband of 19 years and 3 kids that range in age from 16 – 11. As you can imagine, we stay pretty busy and things are constantly changing.
Like most of you, we accepted the status quo of being involved in school activities, sports, birthday parties – you know the drill! It was “go, go, go” and we tried to squeeze in family time whenever our schedules would allow for it. We managed to have breakfast together most mornings. Dinner time was so hectic during the week. Family nights and date nights were few and far between. We often found ourselves wishing things would slow down, but we didn’t know how to do that. It felt like we could only cut out so many things before leaving our kids disappointed.
When COVID-19 hit, we were smack dab in the middle of a busy spring season. Suddenly, we were forced to stop everything! With two teenagers and a pre-teen under our roof – life as we knew it stopped. School activities and sports came to an abrupt halt and remote learning became a reality. While we could have been sad and worried in the face of these changes, we made the choice to embrace the pandemic as a “gift of time” from God.
We had been praying and trying for years to just slow things down so that we could cherish our time together before our older kids left home. Suddenly we were forced into a standstill, so we embraced it.
The way I see it is: we only have our kids under our roof for a short time. In our household, we want to use every moment together to create memories, shape character, and connect. We want a genuine connection so that when our kids are older and out of the house, they will hopefully want to be friends with us.
We jumped right in and chose to use this pandemic time together for just that – connection. We would draw closer to God together, fix some issues we had going on as a family, and re-shape our characters. It wasn’t perfect, but we persevered and ended up having a lot of fun together under quarantine!
We decided to have a family meeting to discuss how we as a family were going to handle this strange season. We told the kids that, “Yes, this was hard. Yes, we are sad that school and fun look different. However, we were going to make the best of it and we needed your help.”
We continued enjoying breakfast as a family most mornings and took turns planning 2 “family nights” each week. Once a week, one of the kids could choose our take-out dinner, and another night, a different family member got to plan a fun activity for us to do.
Many weeks, family night was spent watching movies and indulging in popcorn or creations from our homemade ice cream bar. Some weeks we went all out! We had “Spa Night,” “No Manners Night,” and “Formal Night.” “Dress Crazy Night” featured a funny parade down the street in our goofy get-ups. Even though “Wall Ball Night” was painful, dad and the kids loved it! This weekly ritual allowed us to connect as a family by having fun and creating memories together. I’m forever thankful for the fun season of reconnection that COVID-19 brought to our lives. I will cherish these family memories forever.
My challenge to you is to parent for the next 20 years, not just the next 20 minutes! Julie always speaks about this so well. This is 2020 Parenting with perspective. Picture your children as adults and picture the relationships you want to have with them. Ask God to help you parent toward those goals in the next 20 minutes and the next 20 years.