This article is a part of Kuju Journal series: "FINDING YOUR #KUJUMOMENT - a moment of rest & rejuvenation - in the midst of the anxiety and ambiguity of 2020"
Insanity. If you’re a parent right now with kids at home, this word makes sense to you.
And the reason is simple: You’ve gone from sending your kids to school to becoming the school. It’s hard enough to get through a tough work day and still have energy at day’s end to be fully present with your kids. To add to all of that, the responsibility of watching, feeding, and caring for your kids during the work day basically feels impossible.
This should make the reason for a #KujuMoment very obvious - because we need some rest! And peace, and quiet and solace. But this article is meant to highlight a deeper importance that we all experience some form of a daily #KujuMoment: the emotional well-being of our children.
I have two kids - one who is almost 4 and a 9-month old. At the beginning of shelter-at-home, I was fortunate that my wife was on maternity leave and therefore had the time to care for the kids - it was still difficult, but she didn’t have a full-time job requiring her attention. Yet after a few months our kids became bored and we could tell they didn’t just want to play with us all the time out of casual desire. They needed to play with us at both an emotional and mental level. And this made it even more difficult. It caused us to revisit the question of what we thought being a good parent really meant.
So how did we deal with this? With incredible difficult and emotional and mental endurance. We sought our different nannys, considered “podding up” with close families we knew, and even considered living half the time at the grandparents.
Despite all the drama embedded within this wild journey, the point of it is not what we ultimately decided to do; rather, that the earnest need to maintain our mental and emotional health, for the sake of our children. We initially thought it was about time management, organization, and being radically efficient with our days. We were wrong. It was truly about the mental wellbeing of the entire family, which started with clear decision-making and discussion between my wife and I; and deep discussion on the pros and cons of commitments we would need to make depending on our decisions (we’ve committed to a cohort contact list out of respect for the other families in the preschool, and we abide by it)!
a #KujuMoment for the whole family
During COVID it’s obvious our kids need us. But so do our relatives, our spouses, and for some of us, the communities in which we live. How can we be there for them? We need to be centered and calm - on the inside - so we can tackle each day head on and make sure it does not tackle us. But how?
By experience your #KujuMoment every day - that is a critical moment of rest & rejuvenation every day to position your heart, mind, and soul to take on the day before you, or even recharge in the middle of it. It could be 5 minutes of quiet in the morning, or a midday run, or just 5 minutes with a book to settle your mind. Whatever it is, get there and do it. It will not come to you automatically and you likely will need to create space for it. You can use this time to reflect on the positives in your life and let that inform your mental posture. Or take the time to think about those you love and what you could do to help them, or maybe just send them an encouraging message? And if a great cup of pour over is what you need to stay awake while you do it, well, that’s what we’re here for right?
Yes, kids at home is crazy. Homeschooling is crazy, especially while you’re working. But if you can find your #KujuMoment each day and be intentional about it, these challenges will still be tough, but you shall overcome them. And ultimately, your kids will feel more loved, more confident and more ready to tackle each of their own unique challenges each day as well.