Who could have imagined that we’d be living through a global pandemic in 2020? I’m sure I can speak for everyone when I say that this past year has been quite an experience. Listen, that’s not to say that there haven’t been some amazing moments and memories along the way. It’s hard to put into words the “silver lining” of it all because to be honest, it’s all been a weird, hazy blur. That being said, as the year comes to an end, I wanted to share my take on the positive ways this year has impacted my 15+ year relationship with my husband and three kids (and a few downsides that anyone in a long-term relationship or marriage can relate to).
Pro #1: Since the kids are home all day for Zoom school, my husband and I make a point every day (now he’s home too, rather than in his office) to get outside together and walk our dog. It’s one of my favorite times of the day because we can be outside, move our bodies, and connect for a few moments about our day without the kids nagging at us.
Pro #2: We’ve definitely gotten creative when it comes to finding times for “intimacy.” Since we both work from home now, it can be harder to find privacy, so sometimes I sneak up to his office and lock the door for what the kids think is a “very important conference call.” We always feel relaxed and de-stressed after our little midday quickies, and they have become something fun and spontaneous that we look forward to throughout the week.
Pro #3: Now that our kids are getting older (13, 10, and 7), they are becoming more independent at bedtime. While we still have typical bedtime routines some of the nights, many nights we let them do their own thing, and we crawl into bed early to watch our shows. TV content has been so great during the pandemic, and now that we don’t have to spend hours putting our kids to bed, I love getting cozy, taking some cannabis, and hopping into bed to unwind. The best is when we find a show that the whole family can enjoy and all five of us snuggle in bed.
Pro #4: Road trips! These have become a thing with my family, and after several road trips are now behind us, we’ve become pros. We load the car with plenty of snacks, the kids watch movies on their iPads, we listen to podcasts, and as a family, we’ve created so many funny stories along the way. There are so many majestic places nearby to visit, and I really believe that the memories we’ve made on the road in 2020 will last a lifetime.
Now, onto my list of not-so-silver linings:
Con #1: Having five family members home all the time can get exhausting, and sometimes it’s the smallest things that can send someone down a spiral hole. Like how to load a dishwasher?! This is a constant point of contention in our house. Apparently, I don’t know how to do it, and my husband is the master. Wink wink.
Con #2: If we don’t order in, I cook all the meals. My husband always graciously offers to clean once we are done eating, but conveniently has to “deal with one work thing” before cleaning up. Cut to 45 minutes later, I’ll just end up doing the cleaning myself.
Con #3: Screentime! The kids are on Zoom all day and are also spending more time on their devices after school and on weekends. I try to keep things in perspective, and I try not to be too hard on myself or them. It’s a weird time that won’t last forever. I also encourage them to draw, paint, read, and bake as “off-screen” activities as much as I can.
At the end of the day, we’re all doing our best, and the most important thing (that I have to remind myself mid-spiral some days) is that we’re healthy, safe, and making family memories we’ll never forget.