Hey there, mama. You’ve been staying home with your kids for a long, hard couple months. You’re exhausted and are looking forward to nothing more than a girls’ night out in the post-quarantine world. Chips and salsa, sangria, and clothes that aren’t yoga pants—if they still fit—are in our future soon. Mental note: I need to figure out where I stashed my makeup.
Getting together in real life with friends and family again is going to be so, so good.
More like this: For the mom who’s really missing her work right now.
But here’s what else is in our future soon: making up all those missed doctors appointments, dentist appointments, orthodontist appointments. Haircuts and sports practices. Youth group and scout meetings. Play rehearsal and Bible study. Dinner at the grandparents house. Small group gatherings. Sleepovers and play dates. Park outings and library runs. Coordinating carpools and making quick runs to the supermarket for that one ingredient you need for dinner tonight.
It’s going to be good, but it’s going to be a lot. We’re going to be overwhelmed by this change from a routine where we’re home all the time to one where we’re going all the time. We’re going appreciate the freedom, the chance to be out of the house and with people again so much—for a minute.
One thing I’ve learned from reading the Old Testament this year, it’s that people love to complain. As soon as Israel gets their freedom, they gripe at Moses that they were better off as slaves in Egypt. Like them, it’s going to hit us that staying put was nice. Real nice. Not running and going and doing all the time.
More like this: Why we’re so drawn to ancient family traditions
I’ve also learned a few things from watching ’80s cartoons, like “knowing is half the battle.” So, let’s mentally prepare for our freedom. Let’s tell ourselves ahead of time that it’s going to be awesome, but parts of it are going to be overwhelming and hard too. That’s life. It’s messy and wonderful and hard and beautiful all at the same time.
So, as we create new rhythms in coming months, let’s bring with us the beauty of what we’ve gained in these months of staying home. Compassion and a willingness to help others. Resourcefulness and patience. Looking one another in the eye, and putting down our phones. An ability to face the darkness and become the light our families need us to be. An appreciation for simple joys.
Maybe, then, we can move forward into the hardness of life with gratitude for the beauty of it, rough edges and all.