When families were required to stay inside their homes, a lot of things from our daily routines changed. A lot of us may have been used to waking up at the wee hours of the morning to commute to work or spend late night weekends outside. Now, working at home lets us sleep in more and enjoy more time with our families at home. We have developed new habits, rediscovered what really matters, and made our home the center of all these.
Family connections further flourished at home as parents and children had more time to bond and show love and support for each other. Being home quarantined with them, it is when we get to rediscover our loved ones’ unique traits and different “love languages,” as Gary Chapman coined it.
With the lockdown putting a halt to families’ normal activities, we found comfort in the company of our loved ones under one roof – from finding solace that we’re all safe inside our homes to being able to spend time together and try to live a normal life with our convenient access to the outside world because we have reliable internet at home. For Monica, a 23 year-old brand associate, the new circumstances at home brought them closer and got to know each other better.
“Usually, I never see my mom or brother more than who they are at home. But reconnecting with them recently and delving deeper in their interests, besides being family, I also see them now as friends and confidantes,” shares Monica. “I realized that we actually have similar quirks, humor, and even work ethics as we try to make some space and understand each other’s responsibilities. I now have a better view of who they are wholly, which made me appreciate more the innate connection that we have as a family.”
She added how mealtimes at home now, suddenly had a different meaning. “Cultivating our family relationship really centered around sharing meals together. Being together at the table more often now has created meaningful discussions and conversations to learn about each other more and what each of us are going through,” she says.
Words of Affirmation
Communication is important in every relationship and the same goes for families. And spending months with her family, 23 year-old Alexa learned that talking and truly listening, has helped in understanding her parents and siblings more. She says, “While the quarantine has indeed helped in bringing us closer, I also realized that sometimes, I also need a breather from them. And whenever we get into an argument, I learned that walking out of a conversation, never solves it.”
Ultimately, what the quarantine has made them realize is the value of listening. With this love language, not only is it important to exchange stories and speak kind words to each other, but likewise, to hear what their loved ones have to say. She mentions, “Listening is a complex skill that needs to be developed. I noticed how my siblings want to be listened to and that they need to be heard and understood, since they don’t see the friends they usually confide in. Despite the social distance, we try to make time and reconnect with our loved ones with simple video calls.”
Hugs, holding hands, subtle pats on the shoulder are some of the most common manifestations of this love language. However, this can also be as simple as cuddling and sitting close when watching movies and doing self-care routines together. Working girls Julia and Sab recently discovered that physical touch is their family’s love language.
It is not uncommon for families to have subscriptions to video streaming platforms like Netflix, and Sab mentions how she and her sisters have been gathering in the living room to watch their favorite shows. They even recommend series and movies to each other more often given that they now have time to binge watch at home. Meanwhile for Julia, it has become a routine for them to play games and do skin care at night.
Acts of Service
Actions definitely speak louder than words. At Sophie’s home, her family has established a routine during quarantine where she was surprised to discover how in sync everyone in the household is. She says, “We’ve sort of established a flow within the family. Sometimes, we don’t need words or we won’t voice it out but there’s an understanding that someone will always do their chores and we would silently help each other out.”
Sab also shares how she was touched whenever her sister would be whipping up a dish or merienda in the kitchen. “I cannot cook, but I am amazed that my sister can! She has been trying all sorts of recipes since quarantine started such as doughnuts out of pancake mix, kimchi rice, and my favorite fluffy scrambled eggs. And with all the ‘quarantine eats and trends’ she get to watch and learn on YouTube, she’s able to try trendy recipes like Dalgona coffee, ube cheese pandesal, and sushi bake.”
Gifts are also a meaningful expression of love, be it a store-bought present or a handcrafted item. For 23 year-old Ken, he mentions how his family has been shopping online and buying things for each other. He says, “I learned that my family is full of impulse buyers on Shopee and Lazada. We often buy each other things that we need and want at home.”
Meanwhile, Michelle opens up about how since the lockdown, her mother has been able to cook for her more at home. Sometimes, they even hang out in the kitchen and bake their favorite pastries together.
“The things I learned from baking class, I was able to apply at home. My mother and I have been able to create pandesal, cupcakes, homemade pizza, and even baked sushi together.”
In its recent ad, PLDT Home showcases the different ways how families embraced changes in their lives as they rediscover the strongest connections at home. The quarantine somewhat brought us together and allowed us to rediscover what truly matters in our lives – our family and home. Watch how PLDT Home sheds light on family relationships in the new normal in this video at their official YouTube channel.