Reentry

Many people around the world are reentering and finding a new "normal" after several months at home. In today's episode we are talking about what this might look like. This includes communication about your comfort level in socialization, finding the silver-linings, acknowledging the experiences of others, recognizing resilience in your children, and making space for partnership.

Show Notes/Links:

  • White Fragility by Robin D'Angelo
  • Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad
  • Jasmine Bradshaw of First Name Basis
  • Hi, and welcome to episode 222. Today, we're talking a little bit about re-entry getting back into the world after the peak of the pandemic and finding a new normal. Hi, this is Denaye. I'm the founder of simple families. Simple families is an online community for parents who are seeking a simpler and more intentional life. In this show, we focus on minimalism with kids, positive parenting, family wellness, and decreasing the mental load. My perspectives are based in my firsthand experience, raising kids, but also rooted in my Ph.D. In child development. So you're going to hear conversations that are based in research, but more importantly, real life. Thanks for joining us.

    Hi there. Thanks for tuning in. I want to start by acknowledging and thanking Jasmine Bradshaw again for letting me share her episode last week in how to talk to kids about racism. And if you haven't already been over to her podcast first name basis, I highly recommend you jump over and subscribe. In the past few weeks, I've had the opportunity to learn from Jasmine and many other amazing black women. And I am excited to continue to listen to their stories and to continue to learn about race and to bring that conversation home and to take action on behalf of Simple Families, I'll be working more and more to highlight the voices of people of color in particular, within the minimalism and parenting community. I have a few collaborations planned and if you know anyone that would be a great fit, please email me [email protected] And if you follow over on Instagram, you'll know that's where I share more of my personal real life stuff.

    And I've been sharing a little bit about what this work has looked like within my own home and the conversations with my kids and my husband. I'll be actively working and learning how to be anti-racist and how to raise my kids the same last week, I read white fragility by Robin de Angelo. If you're not familiar with the book, the tagline is �Why is it so hard for white people to talk about racism?� And it was a great read, especially if it's hard for you to talk about racism. Like it is for me, a quote from the book that I loved was I need to build my capacity to endure the discomfort and bear witness to the pain of racism I have some work to do. And that rings so true for me. Now I'm onto reading another book called me and white supremacy. And it's less of a book that you read and more of a book that you do because it's an active, engaging process.

    So that one's going to take me a little longer, but I'm learning and I'm unlearning. And I'm grateful for the black women who have been using their voices to educate me and so many others about their lived experiences and about racism and how to talk about it. So for that, I say, thank you. Before we get any further into today's episode, here's a quick word from our sponsor. The sponsor for today's episode is StoryWorth. If you're looking for the perfect present for dad, this father's day considers StoryWorth. StoryWorth makes an amazing gift, especially if you don't have the luxury of celebrating together with your father. So what is StoryWorth, StoryWorth makes it easy and fun for your dad to share his stories with weekly emailed story prompts, he'll get questions that you've never thought to ask. And then at the end of the year, you and your dad get the stories bound in a beautiful hardcover book.

    I have found personally that StoryWorth is a lovely way to strengthen the family bonds and grow closer to the people we love the most. If you're looking for a clutter-free gift consider StoryWorth, you can give a meaningful gift this year get started right away by going to storyworth.com/families. You'll get $10 off your first purchase that storyworth.com/families for $10 off. Check it out. I think you're going to love it. All right. Back to today's episode, we're talking about reentry after the pandemic. Well, I should say during the pandemic, because we are still within the pandemic, but most parts of the world are starting to slowly resume life and get back out there. Now, here in New York, our numbers are looking better and better every day, and it feels like we've made so much progress. And my fellow new Yorkers have been committed to wearing masks. For the most part, people have largely been following all the recommendations and doing what we need to do.

    And it shows in this episode, we're going to be talking about finding your voice and your comfort level, identifying some silver linings, acknowledging the experiences of others, resilience and partnership. Let's start with talking about your comfort level and finding your voice because everyone has a different comfort level. Going back out into the world. What does reentry look like for your family? What does that look like for you? What does it look like for your kids? I encourage you to figure out what you're comfortable with and to speak confidently and to own it. If you and your family are going to continue to stay on quarantine until there's a vaccine and you won't be socializing, you'll be keeping to yourselves. That's totally your prerogative. And I respect your decision. You have to do what works best for your family. And if anyone tells you you're overreacting, or you need to relax a little bit, go with your gut, go with what's right for your family.

    Speak confidently about how you're choosing to proceed. The same goes on the other spectrum. If you're ready to jump back in with two feet and resume business as usual, just make sure that you're communicating that to people that you're socializing with. We are landing somewhere right in the middle. We're going to start socializing again. We have our first play date planned for this week. And while the adults will be physically distancing from one another, the kids are going to be allowed to play naturally. Now, is this the lowest risk scenario? No, probably not. Lowest risk would be no interaction or interaction strictly with masks and keeping kids at least six feet apart. But as with most things, we're landing pretty much right in the middle. So we will start play dates with a limited number of people. We only have three families that live closely that we can gather with easily.

    So, like I said, we'll be playing together. The adults will be distanced and the kids will be allowed to play. Naturally. I've tried to have distance play dates with my kids, and they're very enthusiastic players, I guess if you will. And I spent the entire time nagging them, telling them six feet apart, back away, don't get too close, don't touch. And it was more anxiety provoking and exhausting for my kids than it was worth. And for me too, frankly, so I encourage you to find the balance that works for you that sits well with you and to share it with others who you're in contact with. When we initially planned to start play dates again, I reached out to these three families and I said, Hey, we're looking to start playing again. And this is what I envision it looking like. And I explained that I didn't want the kids to have to engage in faraway play.

    And if that wasn't something that they were comfortable with, that was completely okay. No pressure. Having the conversation in advance about your comfort level, is going to take away so much of the awkwardness that could come just showing up at someone's house and not knowing what they're expecting from you and not knowing what they're expecting from your kid's behavior. So talk about it, be open and be honest, if you're being extra careful, that's okay. And if you're being particularly uncareful that asks yourself, do you have a duty to disclose that to the people that you're around? I also encourage you to find your silver linings. This period of time has been incredibly difficult for so many across the world, but I encourage you as we're starting to re-emerge or what feels like re-emerge look for silver linings within your family. Is life feeling slower?

    Are you feeling more connection with your kids or with your partner? You might have to dig deep to find these silver linings, but I think that you'll find some, I think there will be some there in finding those silver linings and being grateful for them will help you to move forward. If you feel like this slow less busy life has really served your family. Well, ask yourself. If you can preserve some of that, you don't have to go back to the speed that you were living at before. If you've had extra time with people that you love, how has that benefited your relationship and how can you keep that? How can you continue that as much as possible? It's also important to acknowledge the experiences of others because we've all experienced the pandemic so differently. It might've felt like a three-month vacation for some people.

    It might have been the worst three months of your life, for other people. I know, particularly here in New York, it has felt traumatic for a lot of families. And as we start socializing and seeing each other again, I think it's important to talk about what that experience has been like for one another and acknowledging and holding space for those feelings and give yourself lots of grace. If this has been an incredibly pressing three months for you, you haven't always acted the way that you want to act. You haven't always parented the way that you wanted to parent forgive yourself. Your children are incredibly resilient and forgiving. It's important to see our kids resilience

    Be as there's a good chance that they're going to be able to bounce back out of this much more quickly than we are. Kids can handle so much more than we give them credit for even though they are resilient, they may express anxiety about returning to the world about resuming playdates, about germs, and be open to hearing all those feelings. They've seen and they've heard a lot the past couple of months, there might be some misunderstandings. There might be some confusion. So be sure to listen to their fears, listen to what they have to say, and be encouraging, but not forceful. Mostly. I think they're probably going to surprise you. If you fallen into habits of using more screen time than you like, you can reclaim normalcy just because your kids are watching six hours of TV a day right now doesn't mean it has to stay that way you can scale back. I promise, take a deep breath. And the last thing I want to touch on is making space for partnership.

    When we've been forced to prioritize things like safety and security, sometimes relationships can take a back seat. So how can you start to make more space for your partner and for the connection and relationship that might not have been getting the time and space that it deserves? So it's important to keep it healthy. 2020 is definitely going down in the record books for so many reasons. But I do think from this year there will be growth and there will be transformation. We will be able to prioritize the things that matter the most to us, things that we may have lost sight of. That's why I think it's so important to find those little bits and pieces of things that you've been grateful for. Maybe it's extra time spend in nature. Maybe it's extra time reading books at bedtime, or being able to sit down together and have breakfast as a family. Can you preserve and continue any of those small things that you've been grateful for? So to go back and recap today, it's important to find your comfort level and your voice around your comfort levels so that you can speak confidently to the people within your community and what you're okay with and what you're not okay with. When it comes to socializing.

    We also need to find things to be grateful for in this time, which may be easy or may be hard for you, depending upon what the last three months have looked like, acknowledging the experiences of others during this period of isolation is critical and lifting each other up. Your friends and family members have probably been through a lot too. And it's not going to be something that we'll forget and quote, unquote, get over anytime soon, if someone intimate to you has lost their job, lost a loved one, lost Their temper too many times.

    They might need to talk about it. Can you make space to talk to someone about their experience the past couple of months, in particular, this includes those doing social justice work and leading the anti-racism movement. Remind yourself that your kids are so resilient. You will find more balance. Give yourself grace, give yourself time, and make space for partnership. If you feel like it's taken a back seat the past couple of months, how can you change that? Thanks so much for tuning in next week on the podcast, I'm going to be talking a little bit about homeschooling had many people reach out to me and ask about my experience homeschooling what next year is going to look like for us recommendations. So you can look forward to that next week. Thanks again for tuning in. And I'll talk with you soon.

Denaye Barahona

Dr. Denaye Barahona is a loving wife and mama of two. She partners with families to tackle the challenges of raising children. Denaye is a minimalist who claims to be a decluttering expert (don't let her near your closet). She loves to travel, talk health-and-wellness, and give unsolicited advice. She has been featured on the likes of The Today Show, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The Minimalists, Motherly, Becoming Minimalist, and numerous other media outlets. Denaye holds a Ph.D. in Child Development and is a Clinical Social Worker with a specialty in child and family practice.