First up – stop stressing about your kids schooling. If they fall behind because you cannot do what a teacher does, it DOES NOT MATTER. You are not trained to be a teacher – that takes four years and a million more of on-the-job skill. You are, however, a mother. Your job is to raise them as happy, healthy kids. So, ditch trying to do someone else’s job, and do yours. Instead of the tears over year 5 maths, encourage their passions. The most important thing an adult can have in his or her work life is a job they love, so, foster all the things your kids love. Music? Sing away! Soccer? Outside with that ball, all day if you like. Doing things you love and being AMAZING at them is life affirming! It gives enormous confidence, and how hard is it to give your kids the skill of self-confidence? Now is the time. Oh, and the other thing – see how inventive everyone is being with their businesses at the moment? Being adaptable is the greatest skill a person can have career-wise right now. That all important HSC mark worrying you? Once upon a time Nursing required the lowest ATAR there was – now who rules the world? Nurses. Things look very different on the other side of this.
So, once more – you are NOT a teacher, you are a parent – go and be a wonderful one.
Second. Connect with your friends. You love them. They fill your cup. And it needs filling, whether you like it or not. I know, talking to them on the computer seems a useless feat with it’s glitching, lack of hugs, and the mammoth effort of getting out of PJs, making your head look presentable, and managing the skill of stringing a few words together. Oh – hang on a minute… These same friends have seen you in this state many a time during the hangovers ‘n’ sleepovers days! So – off you go. Make it a PJs, bad hair life, slurring-themed Zoom party if you have to, but do it.
Third, stay healthy and do not get complacent – and ensure your loved ones do the same. Looking back from when I write this letter, ‘unprecedented’ is the right word to throw around. By the end of it everyone will know one person who became seriously ill from this thing. It will take a long time for the world to be safe from it again. We know this from other pandemics. And don’t think you are better off than when the Spanish Flu happened, because this beast has so far alluded all scientific attempts at a cure.
On this note, stay positive where you can. Wallow in those depths when they come, it’s important for your mental health to recognise that you are absolutely allowed to feel depressed, angry, meh. But, there is a lot to be thankful for in the moment you’re living through… The fact that you live in Australia and the sun steadfastly refuses to stop shining there. The fact that you are with your loved ones and in your home – you are not in a cold jail cell alone. The fact that you have the internet, books and Netflix – for God so loved the world he made Netflix for a time such as this! When you are able to see the positive, relish in it. Because it will help when the next down swing comes. Gratitude is your essential armour, put it on proudly and be strong in it.
Know this is reshaping our world’s priorities for the better. You’ve seen it already remodeling climate change. It will restructure how Australia provides for itself – little bubbles of self-sufficiency will rise out of all the closed borders and we will once more rely on our own farmers and manufacturers, enjoy the beauty of a holiday in our own country. It is going to show that kindness wins. The rise of the best in human nature is only an inkling right now, but, mark my words, we are a good species and this fact will grow, strong and forceful and unbeatable. THIS is what the world will get out of this. Humans are good, kind, clever, and grateful for their precious life on Earth.
You will get through this. And trust me, the Post-Pandemic Party is worth it.