Isolation? I Wish!

Tips for A Little Time Alone

And so we begin week 59 of quarantine. What? This is only week THREE?

Last week as I was writing about solitude, I kept getting interrupted by my teenager, my dog, my husband, and my tween. Perhaps like me, you are quarantined but far from alone.

If this sounds familiar, I’m here to help. Here are 3 easy tips to get some time to yourself:

  1. Do the dishes. Nothing makes my family scatter faster than the magic words “You’re excused from the table.” A meal ends and *poof* my kids put their dishes in the kitchen and disappear.
    For a couple of days this bothered me. No one was helping me! Then I realized, hey no one … and stopped there.
    I smiled, listened to the quiet, and filled the dishwasher my way. Good times!
  2. Invite your family to watch Pride and Prejudice with you. I suggest the six part BBC mini-series with Colin Firth—a version surpassed only by the book itself.
    Last year when we homeschooled, I had the girls watch clips of it. They were not impressed. So we sent them to public school.
    Now that they’re back home, I just hint at turning on P&P, and they think of 41 other things they need to do right now.
    I figure this will be good for at least six hours of solitude! Yes, I know they may still interrupt, it’s just an illusion of solitude after all. Still, pop the corn. When they show up, I’ll pat the seat on the couch next to me and look pathetic. Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy, and I will be alone again in a flash.
  3. Suggest playing games you always win. At my house, before I can finish saying Boggle, everyone scurries back into their hidey-holes. If I catch someone trying to talk to me soon after that, I just wave a deck of cards and innocently inquire, “Hearts?”
    FYI, we do play family games, but we don’t have one we all love. This can be frustrating as a mom, but for the next few weeks, I’m going to see their dislike of “my” games as a win.

If these strategies don’t work for you, I hope they’ve at least sparked some ideas. Pay attention to when you’re alone and capitalize on instead of complaining about it.

Lastly, here’s a brief list of things to avoid like the Coronavirus if you’re desperate for alone time:

  1. Sitting down.
  2. Doing something you enjoy.
  3. Having an idea you want to remember.
  4. Reading.
  5. Talking or texting with a friend.
  6. Listening to a podcast.
  7. Going to the bathroom.

On the other hand, if you get lonely, these are surefire methods to get attention immediately.

Parents, it’s rough in here. But God’s got us. We’re gonna make it through week three!

The Bible Tells Me So

Isaiah 40:11 (NIV)

He tends His flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them close to His heart;
He gently leads those that have young.

“He …” God the Father, and Jesus the Good Shepherd (see John 10:14-18).

“ … tends His flock …” He’s not vaguely aware of us; He’s actively caring for our needs.

“ … like a shepherd …” One of the lowliest jobs, the one given to youngest sons like David in 1 Kings, yet God humbles Himself to take this title.

“He gathers the lambs …” Those who can’t walk or keep up aren’t left behind; God Himself lifts up His physical and spiritual young.

“ … in His arms …” Arms are Biblical symbols of strength. God holds us and our troubles in His more-than-capable, well-toned arms.

“ … and carries them close to His heart …” We aren’t slung over a shoulder or held at arms length. God snuggles us close to His heart. Warm. Safe. Loved.

“He gently leads those …” God guides without harshness, shame, or throwing His weight around. Gentleness is strength under control.

“ … that have young.” God’s willing and able to shepherd us parents. May we be humble enough to listen and rely on Him completely.

Parents of Tweens Thrilled by Social Distancing Guidelines

(a little satire from) Broomfield, CO

Wayne and Melissa Lancaster are thrilled by the government guidelines to stay six feet away from other people.

Ben Schonewille

When twin daughters Lori and Lana turned 12, the drama in the house became untenable. “At first when they’d get upset about something really important like the lag-time on their devices, we tried to comfort and connect with them,” says mom Melissa. “We even balanced stressful times with fun family outings and activities. Since the President’s recommendation, however, we simply keep our distance. It’s made parenting much, much easier.”

The couple is not alone as just a few doors down the Martinez family reported their boys are fun to live with now that they are on their own floor of the house most of the day. Instead of family dinners, Annie Martinez simply puts plates of food on the landing leading down to the family basement. The 9 and 11 year old boys reportedly are building a rocket with legos that will deliver desperately needed COVID-19 therapies around the Denver Metro Area.

The Lancaster twins, who were last seen surrounded by bottles of nail polish and slime, aren’t trying anything quite so ambitious. When asked exactly what his daughters are doing during this crisis, Wayne simply said, “I dunno,” and mumbled something like “I don’t care” unintelligibly under his breath.