Lockdown ramblings Part Seven – Relationships count

Lockdown ramblings Part Seven – Relationships count

There’s so much written about relationships as they are so important. We are born through relationship, every day of our lives is touched by relationships and our death is made harder through the thought of separation from those we love. The reason for this blog is that relationships have become such a focus of healing and recovering for me and my family. I’ve decided to write a book about relationships as a result and here’s some of the introduction.

Our story will unfold throughout the book (and I know many people reading this know already) but in brief we are an adoptive family – through adoption my husband and I (12 years ago today as I write this) became a family of five. We invited and wholeheartedly welcomed three individuals into our lives that would change our future relationships forever.

So much has changed since that first day on 19th May 2008 when they came to live with us. I have learnt so much about early childhood and the part relationships have to play in our development. I’m still learning how my relationship with myself is impacted by my relationship with my children as they navigate their journeys of recovery. My Dad passed away 11 years ago and 2 months ago my Mum joined him. To some degree the most important relationships in our lives – gone. I know there is more to learn about relationships and every day is an opportunity to deepen those connections around us.

As I write this, we as a world are facing the Covid-19 pandemic, unprecedented in our time (as we keep hearing). This has opened the jumbled box of relationships and chucked them in the air. We are somehow more together in our crisis and yet disconnected as we struggle inside our four walls of lockdown. This book, about relationships, has been on my heart and in my mind for a few years, but now seems the time to start.

So, in my lockdown ramblings I asked the question “what’s your single biggest challenge at the moment?” – many replies have come in and the running theme that stands out for me is relationship. Whether a parent with a child trying to home school, or a teacher missing their class and worrying about how coming back to school will work. It is a time of heightened anxiety for sure. I heard someone last week say that a crisis reveals and magnifies what is already there. I can certainly attest to that! The anxiety and disconnection in our house that is under the surface in ‘normal’ conditions has been intensified during this pressured time. We know that many of our vulnerable children and young people struggle with school and the expectations, but having to manage that during a time of immense concern is near impossible.

I wrote a blog post some time ago about control and influence. When our children were younger, I could control their actions (to a degree). The older they got the less control I had over them – but in its place came influence. I can influence some of their thoughts and actions – but you can’t influence if you are not in relationship. Relationship is key.

So, I would urge you – whatever your challenges might be now – to look to build relationship with each other. Whether that’s your children, partners, friends whoever. Those in your house cultivate and treasure the good moments – you may have to let go of some of the irritating things. I know for some reading this you are in extremely challenging circumstances and a call to do more is only adding more pressure – so do less! The best times we’ve had during lockdown have been hanging out together with as little pressure as possible. Don’t get me wrong it’s not easy and I know many are experiencing pressure from outside of the home. We can only do what we can do. What you are doing is enough. Just stay close, try to support each other and reach out to others for help too.

Nicola Marshall
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