Having spent over 6 weeks in our ‘bubbles’ of either limited family members or no family members at all, it seems timely that as we emerge from level 3 lockdown and into level 2, it’s just in time for the International Day of Families.
Some of us will be racing to hug family members we haven’t seen in person for over a month. Others of us will be relieved to have a break from our, otherwise fabulous, family when they head back to work or school. Some of us will be coming together to grieve for loved ones lost, and our hearts are with these families.
Whatever you feel about your family, Covid-19 the virus has undoubtedly made our morality feel all too real. The subsequent lockdown has then caused us to consider how we live, both in terms of what brings us joy and our financial security.
It is families who bear the brunt in any crisis; sheltering members from harm, caring for children, providing income for food and shelter. In a crisis like we’re experiencing now, family stability can help us get through, but a crisis can also put that stability under threat.
International Day of Families
International Day of Families was introduced in 1994 by the United Nations to promote awareness of issues relating to families around the world. While it’s a day to celebrate families, it’s also a day for raising awareness on struggles facing families in different areas of the globe, specifically in terms of reducing poverty.
This year the focus is on promoting education and overall wellbeing of family members. This feels particularly pertinent after a month of home-schooling! It’s not just about schooling though, it’s also about educating parents (grandparents and siblings) on the welfare of their children, creating lifelong learning opportunities and supporting working parents to achieve a work-family balance.
As we head out of our bubbles, re-establishing a ‘normal’ life might take time. Some of us will have struggled with balancing work and family when work and family life are happening in the same room. We will be glad of re-introducing structure and our own space. Others of us may have found it easier having everyone together. All of us will have managed the best we can under exceptional circumstances.
Moving to greater freedom is a long way off for many countries as they try to limit the impact of the virus. Here in NZ, we can start to get back to doing the things we love; getting outdoors, playing sport and meeting up with friends. It won’t entirely be like it used to for a while yet, but it will be a start. We have shown that as a country, we care about each other and that we are willing to make sacrifices for the common good. That’s something of which we can be proud. It feels good to be a Kiwi right now.
Many of us will be feeling grateful that we had our families with us through these unprecedented times. It will perhaps give us a new appreciation for how lucky we are to have them and motivate us to look after them as well as we can both financially and otherwise. Start by giving them a hug on Friday for International Day of Families.
A couple of relevant websites