Happy New Year! We all need the feeling of a fresh beginning in the New Year of 2021!
Dear Readers - Let’s be positive from this day forward. Celebrate however you can do so safely, for all our sakes!
We are not alone. Countries across the globe and their populations are knocking on the door of a recovery period that starts with a COVID-19 vaccination.
The world has forged onward before, after previous influenza-type pandemics in the past 100-plus years, from Spanish Flu 1918-1920, to SARS, the first pandemic of the 21st Century, and H1N1 Swine Flu 2009-2010.
Our current experience with the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has magnified our scientific knowledge and, our need for safety precautions to subdue it.
We will then return to our family gatherings, our sociable occasions, our travel plans and more.
For now, we have even greater awareness of how important it is to observe healthy, respectful distances and use a mask to protect others as well as ourselves, as we have the chance to get vaccinated in the coming weeks and months.
Meanwhile, our relationships and personal feelings still need attention:
My husband’s a good dad to our pre-school daughter and she adores him. He’s working from home. She follows him around, sits quietly when he’s on a call, plays alone when he’s on his computer. When free, he’ll sing songs with her, play with number and alphabet puzzles, read books and chat away.
But with me he’s silent and detached. I arrive home from a hard day’s work in mental health services and he chooses to just watch TV.
I have to get busy and cook dinner while my hungry child suddenly gets no attention and becomes cranky.
It’s hard enough to deal with the pandemic and all that’s changed in our lives, without having a partner who checks out rather than helps out.
How do I get him to pitch in? He thinks just being home with our daughter is what’s required of him. What about my needs to relax? Or to have a partner to talk to?
Tired Mama, Silent Husband
It’s pandemic weariness as much as a relationship issue, and you’re not alone. Both of you are working double-time like many others.
Your work dealing with people with mental-health issues is certainly even more demanding than usual, as people face issues of social isolation, job loss, Covid anxiety, and more.
Your husband’s daytime workload has expanded to include childcare which, though a wonderful opportunity for closely connecting with his child, is still an added job. Lucky for all of you that she’s so generally good-natured a child.
You and your husband are both tired and under pressure. But you can turn your relationship into a positive part of your life by making some things simpler.
You’re both still earning, so treat yourselves to take-out meals from a good neighbourhood restaurant with healthy choices, and don’t stress every day about cooking.
Change it up on the weekends when you’re not working, by cooking some meals ahead to lessen after-work pressure.
When you get home, take a half-hour to yourself and have a soothing bath or a joint bath with your daughter. Meanwhile, even if he’s tired too, your husband can order the meal or heat up what’s in the fridge.
Wait till after your daughter’s in bed, to ask about his day and talk about yours. If one or both of you prefer TV or reading, consider it mutual relaxation. Enjoy it together.
FEEDBACK Regarding the Grandmother upset because her adult children and grandchildren don’t bother to say thank-you for gifts she’s sent them:
Reader #1 – “My sister and I used to send birthday and Christmas cards with money in them to our niece and nephew. We would never receive a thank you.
“We both decided to stop sending them. As children, we were taught that it was polite to send a thank-you note after receiving a gift.
“Nowadays, all one has to do is send a response via email or Facebook. Takes no time at all. Instead, we donate the money to charity, where it is appreciated.
“No thank-you? No more gifts.”
Reader #2 – “I know one Grandma who sent out all the cheques but didn’t sign them! She certainly heard from everyone telling her she forgot to sign the cheque. They learned the lesson.”
Reader #3 – “The gift is in the giving.”
Tip of the day:
Simple changes can renew your partnering connections.