Christmas has not been what we had thought it might be.
Sitting in front of the TV, watching the UK Prime minster telling us that more restrictions were needed, was odd. Odd in that it’s become a thing we do now. Watch Boris make Announcements. Like we’re about to go to war. The surreal-ness is beginning to wear off. It’s what we do.
So I cried. And swore. And cried some more. It’s all very well “knowing it’s the right thing”. Or not. But that’s a different discussion altogether.
KNOWING something rationally, logically, reasonably isn’t the same as FEELING it. I FELT disappointment, exhaustion, grief, loss, anger, exasperation. I could go on. Through my tears I kept assuring my husband, “I just need 5 minutes, then I’ll be ok.” He said “I know” And then I cried some more.
Because the Christmas break had been keeping me, and my 2 boys, going. Through the dark, cold nights and mornings in the north of England. Through the not playing with friends in the park, so as not to spoil the school bubble. The not hugging friends as we wished each other “Happy Christmas!” The lack of meeting up with families we’ve not seen all year. The Lack.
We kept going. We would have 5 glorious days with Grandad and Grandma, whom we usually see every other week, but haven’t for months as it’s against the rules.
It would feel “normal”.
We’d planned to stay away from everyone else before and after, just to have 5 days of normal. For me, it’s a precious rest, with the 4 adults to 2 children ratio, in readiness for the coming long months of dark and cold.
And so, reason and logic were blotted out by the rush of sadness, disappointment and exhaustion.
10 minutes of crying, 5 minutes of talking, and then I went to tell the boys.
More crying, shouting, stamping of feet, anger. And then more crying.
My husband listened to me, so I could listen to my children, and then we all laughed too much at some silly TV programme and decided we’d make the best of it.
We could remember we were lucky to be able to go at all, that we were healthy, that we loved being with one another.
It’s ok to have feelings. We’re first and foremost emotional beings. When we’re allowed to HAVE feelings, we can move through them, and then we can think well again. Feel disappointed and then remember where we are grateful.
I have much to be grateful for. Too many things to list.
I’m really grateful to have learnt about the Hand in Hand tools that have taught me that it’s ok to let my children have their feelings. They’ve taught me how to partner with my children in the midst of those feelings, where and how to have my own feelings, and how to spot the closeness of connection that my listening to my children brings. I’m really grateful for that.
Due to the pandemic, I’ve taken my Hand in Hand work online. I’m running Online Starter Classes in January, Mondays at 10am GMT and Mondays at 8pm GMT Find me at katylinsleyhandinhandparenting.com Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org