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Finding Our COVID Silver Linings

This is hard. 

You'd think that being safer-at-home would be a breeze. You're surrounded by your family, pets, and hobbies all of the time. There's no where to go and no one to see. All you need to do is chill.

Ha.

Instead, we're distance learning and teleworking or, if we're essential, figuring out childcare while we're away. It's nearly impossible to find a moment to yourself, because you have been in this same home for weeks with these same people who are always with you. To say nothing about the near-constant dread about getting ill or being unemployed. 

There's a lot that is a struggle right now. But there are also odd and unexpected joys. 

For me -- this is Adrienne -- I've been loving the feeling of not having to rush all of the time. If I want to run in the late morning and do some work in my jammies before I go, I totally can. And when I get back, I don't have to immediately do the world's fastest shower to make it to my office. Everything will eventually happen, mind, but there's no specific timetable. And that is lovely. 

Here's some of the other silver linings the greater AMR Team has found.

I've enjoyed watching my kids come together to play, imagine, and learn in brilliant moments of cooperation and creativity. It's given me hope that my biggest fear (I'm failing as a parent) is only a story I tell myself as I watch my children move through each day, curious and engaged. It's given me reassurance that the small things (helping with yardwork, building a garden, walking in the woods) are more meaningful than the big things (vacations, eating out, trips to museums). —Train Like a Mother Triathlon and Heart + Sole Coach Liz

The great pause has afforded me and my family the opportunity to focus on what matters most to us; quality time together, adventuring outside (in the neighborhood only for now), and being silly. And movement. Now more than ever I appreciate the connection to so many areas of overall wellness that movement (running in particular) provides me on a daily basis. —Train Like a Mother Sports Psych Coach Justin

The Gilleys before dinner.

My college-aged kids are around now and have offered to make meals! Add in my chef-type hubby, and my responsibility for cooking dinner is now only 1 out of 4 nights. We are eating well and thankful for the time to enjoy home-cooked meals together as a family! — Melissa G., Another Mother Retreat coordinator

For me, it's having both kids here with me and hearing/watching them connect. Whether it's heading out for a run together, one sibling piercing the other's ears (yes, this happened), or making goofy TikTok videos together, I am relishing the sights and sounds of my kids bonding. This was never time at home they wanted, but I am hopeful that there will be some good memories that emerge from their unexpected, extended time together.  — Train Like a Mother Traditional Programs Coach Amanda

Everybody recovering from so.many.walks.

We joke that our dogs are on the Coronavirus Fitness program; they get walked (at least) twice a day by various family members so lots of fresh air for all of us. Both Mason and Banjo give the unconditional love and snuggles we all need right now, and Banjo, the two-year-old hound, provides lots of laughter. The latest shenanigan: getting into the Easter candy. We found him with his nose in a bag of Starburst jelly beans. He looked up, disregarded us, then kept snarfing them down. —Dimity

My 15-year-old and I take a midday break from work and school nearly every day to go for a 3-mile walk/run. Not that we're all sunshine and happy chatter--usually she just grunts at me to cross the street when we see someone approaching. And yet and yet! Taking a midday 3-mile walk/run with 15-year-old daughter. What a gift. - Tish, AMR podcast co-host

I’m going to remember this season as the season of mundane magic. In other words, I am finding so much more joy in the mundane. A long slow walk, accomplishing a clean kitchen, or time to just be out on my back porch have a new sense of magic to them. — Train Like a Mother Nutrition Coach Ellie

This is the first time in my life that I've tried an exercise streak. I usually take 2-3 days off a week but not now - any excuse to get out of the house! I've either gone for a run or hopped on the Peloton every day for a little over a month now. I'm also trying to add in strength 3-4 days a week, which has always fallen by the wayside. Woo-hoo! P.S. One thing that is not going well? Homeschooling. I am not cut out for it!  — Katie, AMR Director of Marketing

We're sitting down as a family for dinner every night without the rush of evening activities to distract us. — Maggie, AMR Social Media Manager

Melissa (in gray sweater) and her Superhero clan.

 

My whole family (husband plus three high school or college age daughters) are all really into the Marvel movies. Me? Not so much. But they have taken on the project of bringing mom into the inner circle and we are watching the movies (marathon style, naturally) in the order they decide would be best for me to understand the story line. When I tossed an Ironman quote into a dinner convo their response was joyful, and I officially entered the Cool Kids club. I finally get their jokes and I kind of love having a new thing we can share.— Melissa T, Train Like a Mother Club Maven

I used to hate working out at home, but I have been able to do some killer strength training workouts with a couple of resistance bands that I snagged just before my gym closed. Not having a whole free weight room at my disposal has forced me to be creative. I may come out of this in better shape than before, despite not having access to a gym!  Also: my ten-year-old is having piano lessons via Zoom, and I absolutely LOVE being able to listen in and hear the interaction between him and his teacher. They are both having a blast, and it's so fun to hear. — Michelle, all-purpose BAMR

Sarah's fam loving her cooking.

I am taking this time to get stronger.  Since I have access, in my home, to bands, balls, workout equipment, I am spending more time stretching, doing Yoga and Mat Pilates, dryland strength and mobility work. Being at home more has afforded more time to spend on the little things that all add up to make me a better athlete. — Train Like a Mother Triathlon and Heart + Sole Coach Jen

My family members are expressing an unprecedented amount of gratitude toward dinners and treats I cook and bake, whether it's a simple spaghetti dish or a carrot cake. As 18-year-old Phoebe summed up why: "Dinner is the only thing we have to look forward to these days."  — Sarah

I am really proud of my night time self-care routine. I've consistently taken my vitamins, supplements, and NUUN Rest and gone to bed at a decent time most evenings! — Heather, Train Like a Mother Club Manager\

Having my 19-year old youngest daughter at trapped at home has been wonderful. With no other children at home, and no access to her friends physically, I’m relishing getting to know her as a young adult.  I’m sure she loves it as much as I do. - Molly, AMR podcast co-host

I'm sure that's true, Molly. I know I've been loving all of this time with my kids, one of whom will (theoretically) start college in the fall. This time has been a treasure. For me. 

So what are your COVID silver linings, BAMR?

12 responses to “Finding Our COVID Silver Linings

  1. After three years, I just finished grad school last October with my second Master’s. There were many times last spring I would be involved in a Zoom class for school and look longingly outside. For three years, all my outside projects were put on hold. Now, I have the opportunity to be outside, working in my yard. I am checking projects off by the week! It such a feeling of accomplishment.
    Also since my college age girl is home, I get to observe the relationship between her and her brother. I question my parenting skills daily, but when I see my 15 yo and 19 yo interact with each other, laughing and talking, I know I have done at least one thing right.

  2. With hubby still recovering from open heart surgery complications, he and I are doing exactly what we would be doing even if Ohio’s stay-at-home order weren’t in place. As sad as the pandemic is, we’ve found our silver lining. It would drive us crazy to miss events, but they aren’t happening anyway. I can focus on his care and he can focus on healing. There’s no rush to be somewhere else and no pressure to do “all the things” since “all the things” aren’t happening. We’re “thriving in place” instead.

  3. I love the slower pace. I knew I needed it, now I realize how much I love it. I like spending more time with my kids, sitting down at the dinner table every night, cooking yummy meals, doing strength workouts, and running pretty much every day.

  4. Truly not having to rush constantly is the biggest blessing for my family. My 15 and 13 year old kids were very active and I was their primary driver to all. the. things. I’m enjoying not rushing to everything. I’m also thankful to be able to bake right now. I scored a 25 pound bag of flour and the breads and muffins that I’ve created soothe my soul and make my family happy.

  5. Being able to spend all this time with my 5 and 3 year old girls! I’m a SAHM and 18 year teaching veteran of elementary school anyway but we’ve been having so much fun playing school and going on nature walks. I’ve still been getting up early to run because I love my dawn runs! Oh, my husband is working from home too! I’m enjoying him, although he’s been banished to the basement!! We need the kitchen to make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins!!

  6. I have found so many silver linings: no alarm clock, being able to run at 9 am when I am usually at work, everyone in my family sitting down for dinner every night (no one is off at something and missing or speed eating to get somewhere), I shower, do my hair and get dressed because I want to not because I have to, hot tub in the middle of the day, and my house is cleaner than ever and I am actually here to enjoy.

  7. I’m a SAHM so used to being home more than most but I’m so thankful to have more time to spend with my sixteen year old. It wasn’t long ago that I was stressing out at the lack of time I have with him left before he graduates… and now-nothing but time! Except for when he sleeps, which dear God, is so much! How are you so tired even you aren’t doing anything?!

  8. No traveling for work is awesome right now. I have more time to focus on my family and home. Also having my daughter home from school and being able to run with her.

  9. I have been working more than ever before — it’s finally settling down but for the last 6 weeks The days were 11,12, 13 hours long, plus weekends, almost all at work. (Yep, healthcare administrator here.) The silver lining: my family has learned to step up more at home and I have learned to hand off more to them. My teens also have been incredible about the impact on their lives and learning, and have been really sweet to me. I feel like the level of gratitude and appreciation has really increased in our home.

  10. Being able to play so many games with my family (sophomore in HS, freshman in HS, and sixth grader, plus husband). Hearts, Scrabble, Settlers of Catan, Risk, the daily Jumble. I get to attempt the crossword puzzle each day- we have TIME to do this. Dinners are no longer rushed. And my dog? He gets long, luxurious walks each morning instead of me hurrying him up so I can get home to start the day. He gets to sniff and pee all he wants. Silver, gold, and platinum linings.

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