I’ll tell you this #Torches, this was NOT how I wanted to spend my March. It truly was not! The world is FOR REAL on fire now, and I did NOT see this coming, fam! I truly didn’t! But, we will make it thought his together. As always, because I’m here for y’all, allow me to make your self-quarantine, mandatory OT, crazy shift a little more bareable.
First thing: STOP PANICKING. Please stop panicking. Being in a damn frenzy is not going to help anybody. Including your children and families. Take this old school! This is the perfect time to teach your kids about hygiene–and how real handwashing is (with SOAP AND WATER, not just sanitizing the germs–you gotta kill them!), and how to clean a house! No school clothes on the beds. Change the sheets every week! Tell them why you gotta wash in hot water when the seasons change!
This is not the time to be sexist! Get the boys in on it too! Lysol, bleach, and ammonia kill damn near everything. Don’t panic! Clean! That’s your first line of defense.
Second thing: meal time and meal prep. For right now, my Torches, I gotta be real with you. Me and my kids like to eat. And these grocery stores and this budget and my piggy bank money are not agreeing! So, I have had to get creative! This is good time to teach the kids how to make basic stuff, and teach them that not everything needs to come out a box to be wet up with milk (side note: PLEASE DO NOT DRINK UP ALL THE MILK!)! Make them breakfast, have them help, TALK TO THEM. Food is a whole truth serum. And you will be amazed at the ministry waffles, pancakes or cheesy eggs make on kids used to running past you in the morning to catch buses or get in cars.
Third thing: passion projects. For my kids, I don’t let them veg out in front of screens filled with Netflix, TicTok and YouTube videos. I encourage them to do stuff they like, and ASK what they like! I call this “Tactile Hour”. No screens, no battery-powered anything, but letting their imagination dictate what they do next. There is no secret that I am a freelance writer, editor and keep the lights and fires burning over here, Torches. So there is a power in letting my kids see me work, building what I have imagined since I was about 13. I am a believer in children seeing the people in their world do things outside of work and pay bills. I believe it inspires them for the greater.
Last thing, mane: be patient and support people you love. That’s all we can do at this point. Support the folk you know are going to be hit hard with this. The folk with small children. Check on them, drop diapers off. Make meals and invite folk over. Rebuild community–it starts one family at a time, dear ones.
Y’all that have been waiting for a day off, well this an effed up way to get one–but we here. You have been wanting more time with you kids? Well, we here now. You wanted more time to pray–here it is. You think how your business is handling folk is horrible (it just might be!), and you think–know!–you can do better? Write the business plan, and do your research!
And you wanna write? Well, you got time. Start the blog. Research the book. Start.
There may be madness abounding, dearest ones. But suit up, wash you hands, and keep going.
Artist Mom Note: If you have a child that is interested in the arts, and you see them performing during this time of quarantine, don’t ignore that! Don’t ignore the ‘little songs’ they make up, or the plays they put on! Speak to that and encourage it! This is how the Arts continues to next generation.