I am amazed at the interaction in my house after our family meeting.
Once the dark grey emotions (to the point of wanting to vomit) disappeared, post the Lockdown announcement, I went over to action. I was experiencing physical symptoms of anxiety. Naming my emotion helped me to deal with it and I decided to put the energy behind the emotion to good use.
I was thinking about what we needed and how much thereof? Ouma helped to compile a shopping list. I was a responsible shopper, thinking about taking only what was needed as the shop will remain open. No problem.
On the day before day 1, our family had a family meeting where we focused on the following:
- Describing how we want to engage with one another to create a conducive and safe emotional space for all to connect and re-connect.
- We need to agree on common routines to make life easier for all.
- Breakfasts will on somedays be hot and other days cereal. On cereal days everyone will help themselves.
- Everyone takes their lunch.
- We agreed on a time for supper when we will dine together as a family and phone the inlaws.
- Everyone will put dishes in the dishwasher.
- The kids will be doing some chores: Putting dishes in the cupboards, mopping the floors, cleaning the driveway and helping with the preparation of meals.
- Negotiations were needed to determine screentime and place.
- I will be doing the buying for the twenty-one days (Lock in Faith period).
- If someone tests positive, that person would remain in the main bedroom.
- We will limit time on social media platforms to check the “people in a positive relationship with COVID-19”.
Moving onto Day 3, we realised that we need to re-affirm the ways of engagement as experiences of frustration emerged.
- The children had to re-negotiate screentime and place, as the value of fairness was being compromised.
- The children engaged us to chat and play.
On reflection I’ve noticed the following:
- In the process, we are all more aware of our emotional reactions and stress responses, as well as a sense of loss.
- By keeping the communication channels open we do try to listen to one another and respond with more grace than usual.
- Children are getting tired of screentime and want to play.
- Wollies, our Maltese, is the reason why the plants refuse to grow.