The Quarantine and Your Family

Mandated Togetherness & the Art of Doing Family

-AJ Hofstetter

My biggest victories over the Coronavirus quarantine haven’t come because of a blog I read (or wrote) of how to succeed during lockdown. I haven’t really taken anyone’s advice about how to make the most of this time. I don't feel like I've had the time. 

I think my biggest victory over the past month or two, besides a mustache and the annihilation of my home-project-to-do list, is the validation we’ve had as a family. Our family system works, even if it doesn’t make sense to people watching from the outside.

This season of mandated togetherness (with the exception of homeschooling) has actually been a relatively minor adjustment for us. We’ve had a small world for some time now. We aren’t overly scheduled. We eat dinner together almost every night and take care of Grandpa’s yard. We take walks and bike rides. We play games. We do projects. We have been doing these things for years, and now with the quarantine, we haven’t actually pivoted to something all that different.

Quarantine-To-Do List:  "Before"
Quarantine-To-Do List: "Before"
Quarantine-To-Do List:  "After"
Quarantine-To-Do List: "After"

I Think I'm Done Comparing

Everyone’s talking about quarantine as though it’s something we can use to get rid of the bad things in life. Now we can get in shape, spend time as a family, take more walks, be more intentional in relationships. But what about the good things in our lives? 

Doing family comes with an annoying tendency to compare. Do I read enough Scripture to my kids? How does that family keep it all together so well? That couple seems to be able to do it all. How do they do it?

These comparisons creep in to my mind all the time. But with government-issued-togetherness winding down soon (hopefully), I think I’m officially done worrying about whether we should look like someone else.

The quarantine has shown me that who we are seems to work. It’s not perfect and it’s even a bit chaotic at times. Sometimes having two four-years-olds feels like having an army of ferrets. Sometimes our house is too small and our street is too busy. But we’re also us. We’ve seen some things that we really like about who we are, things that really work. We’ve grown to enjoy what we have in a new way.

So what about you? What have you discovered about your family that’s worth mentioning? What do you like about how you family?