I have so many thoughts. Wow. I’ll try organize them. But to preface and summarize
simultaneously; I have a weird feeling of calm.
I’ve spent the past few days cancelling life. And then life got cancelled for me which was kind of nice, actually. An element of relief. The kids are home. Indefinitely. No escape routes. No respite. And we are all in this together.
There’s a feeling of immediacy which I’m enjoying. Presence forced upon me by circumstance. Survival but in my own home with all my resources available to me - and it’s totally centering.
My head is usually filled with every conceivable worry: are they eating too much sugar? Are they watching too many shows? Have they been outside enough? Do they socialize enough? Am I giving them enough attention? Am I giving them too much attention?
Now all I’m worried about is just “getting through” the current hour.
I can’t start getting hysterical about meals. We might be living on noodles and pre-frozen cheese for the next month. I don’t foresee that happening but it is a maybe. So all panic about that which is not fundamentally essential is automatically eliminated. And a gratitude sets in. We have water and crackers and cheese and Wifi. We’re ok. We are blessed. Thank you 🙏🏻
Now of course, there are SO many luxuries I’m living with right now that are making this respite from normal life almost spiritual:
I don’t have to work BH; we live in a building with a massive garden and a handful of young families; I have a full time, live-in domestic worker, and I don’t require much by way of supplies because I use Bicarb for absolutely everything.
But then again no. As I was saying to my husband last night, these are not actually luxuries in their entirety as much as they are the results of conscious and strategic choices he and I have made.
I’ve never ever wanted a career as much as I’ve wanted to be a stay at home mother. So, from the moment I got married I made a decision, with my husband, to live below our means and prioritize having children and staying home with them above all else.
I’ve done a lot to this end.
I’ve done all of my own domestic work, I’ve made budget meals and budget wardrobes and budget budgets. I know we are blessed to be in this position but I also did everything in my power to try and construct it this way.
The work my husband does to ensure this life, goes without saying, and is unquantifiable.
Living in a block of flats is also a massive choice.
I’ve documented our journey to this point extensively, but living in a 1.5 bedroom flat with two children and another one on the way KAH is certainly NOT considered a luxury in MY community.
And yet, we feel as if we live in a hotel. We feel free.
The children have access to a safe and massive garden, equipped with jungle gyms and an enormous pool. There are about five other young families with children the same age as mine so today was almost like a holiday camp. Of course there are the obligatory squabbles and he said she said amounts kids but for the most part they usually all play together beautifully.
With regards to my housekeeper Brenda, I feel like this is a big one.
It is 100% the norm to have full time, paid help in my community; however for me it took seven and a half years of marriage to finally and completely accept this into my life.
Brenda was sent to me from shamayim (above) 8
months ago - no doubt. And then when we moved to our current flat we no longer had a room for her. This meant Brenda needed to move “home” and commute.
What I didn’t realize until 24 hours later is that home was a tin shack in an informal settlement. She just called it “M’kuku”. When I went to fetch her the next morning I took one look and told Brenda that she will never sleep there again.
Immediately I moved her out and into a spare room at my dad - exactly three roads away from my building. So effectively, even if the county becomes locked down, Brenda can still walk between our two homes and be with us “as normal”.
I think the bicarb choice speak for itself although today I am so so grateful for chemicals and have stocked up anyway.
In any event, for now, there is a sort of calm I’m feeling based on the universality of what’s happening. Perhaps that’s a choice too.