The only thing that I can say with certainty in the middle of this pandemic, which my seven-and-a-half-year-old daughter coined “Corona Season,” is that things are uncertain. What is on the schedule today may very well be canceled tomorrow. Precautions we are taking this week may no longer be recommended next week. Groceries may or may not be on the shelves. Friends and family members may or may not feel comfortable gathering together from one week to another, or from one event to another. We are constantly in a state of decision making based on constantly changing rules, regulations, requirements, and recommendations.
There are so many decisions to make in Corona Season! We make our decisions based on the information we have at the time, only to discover new information a week later that makes us re-question our every decision. At times, it seems that each problem we solve causes other challenges.
I don’t know about you, but every day I am reminded of how I took for granted the comfort and security I found in the predictability of our pre-COVID world. Uncertainty is exhausting.
As a mom, the start of school brought on a whole new set of decisions:
Should I send my children to in-person school? Should I keep them in virtual learning? Should we form a pod? Should we homeschool? What about sports? Are outdoor extracurriculars ok? What about indoors? Who should wear a face covering? What kind of face covering is best for my…preschooler? …highschooler? …football player? …trumpet player? Should we see grandparents? If we do, is it ok to hug them? How do I discern whether or not the mom of my child’s friend is open to a playdate? Is it even safe to have a playdate?
The other day, one of my son’s previous teachers asked me how my son was doing. He asked if we selected in-person or virtual learning. As I responded, I could see in the teacher’s eyes that he was surprised at our decision. At that moment, one truth dawned on me:
At this point, I don’t know if we’re doing the right thing. All I know is that we’re doing THE thing. And we’re doing it the very best we can.
In my mind, there is a “health wheel” that we are each steering. It has spokes on it like a Mercedes symbol. One spoke for “Physical Health,” another for “Emotional Health,” and the last for “Financial Health.” All three spokes are important to our overall health. Steering our families with this health wheel is a new and herculean task. Corona Season has many facets; and based on our individual circumstances and needs, we turn that wheel to prioritize one aspect of our health over another as we navigate the COVID storm.
While we’re all in the same COVID storm, our steering wheels are attached to very different boats. Some of us are on a cruise ship within a tight community of people, some are on a private yacht with a crew, while others are sailing a small boat with torn sails. So, when you share the thing your family is doing and you see in someone’s eyes that they are evaluating your decision…remember they are evaluating it based on the blueprints of their own boats, not yours.
I recently read a story about a sailor who shipwrecked off the coast of England around a century ago. He swam to the safety of an offshore rock, climbed up, and waited overnight for rescue. Upon his rescue the next day, a reporter interviewed him and commented, “You must have been shaking all night as you clung to that rock!” “Yes,” the sailor replied, “I trembled all night with fear and cold.” Then he added, “But the rock I clung to never trembled once.”
Sometimes I feel confident about the decisions I make for myself and my family. Sometimes I have restless nights, worrying that I’ve unintentionally caused my kids harm in my attempts to protect them.
Even in my worries, the rock I stand on never waivers. To quote one of my favorite singers, Lauren Daigle, “I stand my ground where hope can be found.”
Romans 8:28 tells us that God works EVERYTHING for our GOOD. That gives me great peace in the chaos of the COVID storm. It allows me to let go of the pressure of trying to do the right thing and to find freedom in doing THE thing to the best of my ability. I trust that if I do my best, God will fill in the rest!
And, moms I’m here to tell you that He will do that for you, too! So, I will cheer you on as you homeschool or pod-school; as you send your kids back into the school building or keep them remote; as your kids join football teams or quaran-teams. And, I promise that I won’t define your decisions based on the blueprints of my boat.
While you are busy mapping and re-mapping the course for your family, make sure that you regularly steer towards your emotional health. Take inventory of your emotions so that you can take ownership of them. Pay attention to how your thoughts and feelings are driving your decisions. You hold the steering wheel. You determine your course. And you know when you need a break. As Julie Richard explains in her new Fearless Mom eCourse, hold yourself accountable and OWN your MIND business.
This week, let’s all take a moment to cheer on another mom as she does THE thing to the best of her ability. While we cannot control how long this COVID storm will last, we can control how we respond to it. Let’s all commit to being a source of hope and encouragement for one another.
You’ve got this, Mom! You are a strong, nimble, and weathered captain now. Stay the course, and we will make it through this Corona Season together.