Go into un-lockdown – by Mette Theilmann

Most families will be struggling with the lockdown regulations so trust yourself and BE the person your family needs!

Things have changed so much in our lives so what was once ‘normal’ is just not any more!

This is a new situation for all of us. We have no blueprint or previous experience to draw from so it is natural to find ourselves feeling a bit lost or out of control.

We have been forced into this new situation without any choice. But that does not mean we have no control over how we want the lockdown to be and how we come out the other end.

Social media is bombarding us, urging us to ‘use this opportunity to learn something new, catch up on all the things that need to be done, do more, do do do’. We see posts of people showing their busy lockdown lives, cleaning up their clutter, learning French, building a fence etc. And we might feel, ‘I should be doing that too!’….

But don’t you think that our ‘normal’ life is already busy enough, or even too busy. We live life at 100 miles an hour, where there is too much to do but too little time. If we are not physically on the go (doing chores, driving, working, household chores, supporting family life etc.) we are mentally on the go (thinking about what we need to do next, or what is next on our busy agenda).

Maybe this is our opportunity to pull on the brakes and re-evaluate our busy life and go in ‘un-lockdown’.

Definition of un-lock: free from the restraints that are holding us back. So in this situation, what is holding you back from being the family you want to be?

How to go into “un-lockdown”:

Keep the end in mind: ask yourself (and your family) ‘how do we want to remember this lockdown?’, ‘What memories do I want my family to have from the lockdown?’, ‘How do I want me and my family to come out the other end?’

  • When I support parents though the lockdown they most often say, ‘I want to come out the other end more connected, less stressed, stronger as a family where we support and respect each other and work as a team’. Maybe you want to use this time to introduce family structures where you all support the daily running of the family and all do your bit to keep the house tidy and prepare meals etc.
  • So use this lockdown time, where you are together, to come out as a stronger and more connected family.

What do I want to un-lock: stress, disconnection, anger, too much pressure on myself and kids, unhealthy perfectionism habits etc.

Have a family meeting where you agree to your normality: sit down with your family and have a chat about how you want this lockdown to look, a way that doesn’t cause stress or battles for you all.

  • This is new to all of us so be kind to yourself and your family, take the pressure off and lower your expectations. For young kids, do they HAVE to study EVERY DAY or can they do something every second day? Start small so they build up confidence and success (start with 10 minutes study and then build up from there).
  • Agree to some ‘downtime’: lots of kids suffer from anxiety, stress & low self-esteem, often triggered by too much pressure and busy schedules which allow little space for downtime.
  • Agree to BE more together and DO more ‘stuff’: Maybe make a family bucket list of things that can connect you as a family: cooking together, movie night, board games, ‘eye spy nature walk’, looking through family pictures etc.
  • Make ‘connection’ the keyword to everything you say and do!
  • Don’t let social media bully you: you don’t have to follow other people and what they do with their life. Your life and family is right here and that is the most important thing right now. Believe me, most families struggle with the lockdown so trust yourself and BE the person your family needs…

Why is this important to me and my family: once we allow ourselves to just BE we take the pressure of needing to perform and can start focusing on what really matters…

  • We teach our kids that it is OK to STOP, BREATHE, live slow and enjoy it.

How to keep it up after the lockdown: the lockdown will be over at some stage. We are creatures of habit so will naturally be drawn to old ways. But have a good chat with yourself and family:

  • What have we learned from this time together? What do we want to keep going with and how? Maybe we will continue working as a team and helping each other with daily chores. Maybe we will rethink the amount of activities we have in our lives. Maybe we don’t need to plan each moment in our family and fill every empty gap with things to do. Maybe you have enjoyed the time together and will keep up some family fun time on a regular basis.

Keep calm and BE kind to yourself and your family. Enjoy what you can and let the rest go…at least just for a while. We will get through this, but how we come out the other end depend on the choices we make now.

I am running free online parenting workshops during the month of May and June: ‘Raising a Family Though the Lockdown’.

I am also running FREE online parenting workshops during the lockdown CLICK here to see more.

Mette Theilmann
Parenting and Life Coach
Co-Founder Real Networking