After counting down to school reopening, it’s finally happening. The kids are heading back to school. But there’s still HBL.
I try to look on the bright side – at least I’ll get more “me-time”.
The past 50-something days has been a tedious and trying journey for me. Thankfully there’s a silver lining in this cloudy situation.
Weirdly enough, I’m starting to miss the circuit breaker.
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Somehow, through the daily challenges, I’ve began to see some light through the cracks in the tunnel (not sure where the end is though).
6 Gifts Gained from Staying at Home
I would even dare say that the circuit breaker has given my family a gift. A gift of:
1. Leisure amidst Responsibilities
With no HBL, there’s freedom to take things at our own pace. I get to watch my children grow and reach certain milestones and skills. For example, my 3-year-old learnt how to pee on his own in the toilet and mastered the balance bike. My youngest finally started walking and my eldest learnt to use chopsticks.
We’ve had time to read books together after breakfast and the kids loved their occasional family singing time before bed.
2. Resourcefulness amidst Restrictions
Beyond the pandemonium at home, my kids have turned their boredom into creativity.
With limited screen time and toys, I’m delighted that they can seamlessly enter the world of imaginative play with their Lego and the simplest of things e.g. discarded things like a bucket or cardboard box.
The fact that they don’t need me or many material things to entertain themselves is a “hurray” for me.
Sometimes our imaginations take us on crazy adventures. My eldest enjoys taking turns telling bizarre stories before bedtime. I’m convinced ingenious imagination is really bundled up in a child and we just have to fan it.
They don’t need gadgets to entertain them all the time. That being said, gadgets can still be good babysitters when we have meetings to attend.
3. Reflection amidst Ruckus
This is one form of escape from the cabin fever and endless demands.
The more I write, the more knots I untangle and the lighter I feel.
Reflections are a form of self-conversations and coping mechanism. I manage better if I can take stock of my feelings and struggles that I’m experiencing.
4. Rest amidst Restlessness
We are all restless at home but, on the plus side, is there’s no need for any rushing around. The kids get to wake up later and take longer naps. It works out to be a good deal for me.
The downside: We sleep later too.
5. Reliance amidst Isolation
On God and each other. Kids are not just dependents. They’re helpers too!
With constant practise, even my 3-year-old is better at helping out at the kitchen and wiping the surfaces. My husband has also stepped up his game – he’s been cleaning the whole house weekly.
6. Reconciliation amidst Differences
Especially among the siblings. Whether it’s a difference in age, personality and opinion, I’m thankful to see my kids trying to get along daily. There will be the usual squabbles and fights but because they’re together all the time, they get to practise the art of reconciliation.
Learning to take turns, give and take, fight and make up, are all part and parcel of being cooped up for so long.
It’s amusing to see how the eldest (7 years old) levels down to play with the younger ones while my 3-year-old levels up and the youngest (16 months old) usually becomes the unsuspecting target in a harmless play.
Heading Back to School
Sadly some gifts will be revoked once school resumes fully. Especially leisure and rest.
Without this circuit breaker, I’m not sure how those above can possibly happen. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise.
Don’t get me wrong, my home is far from perfect.
You can hear me yelling and children screaming a block away. Obviously I don’t possess the gift of patience.
But amidst the tensions and imperfections, I sincerely hope the simple and precious memories of family togetherness outweighs and trumps over all the negative ones.
Different families experience different gifts. What’s yours?