Not much, how about you?”
England Dan’s song was stuck in my head as I ran this morning. I imagine there will be a lot of phone calls starting that way in the days ahead as we’re forced to slow down and reach out. (I made TWO personal phone calls this week, a 100% yearly increase in just three days! I’ve been on the social distance bandwagon for years, folks. Welcome to my world, everyone!)
In keeping with that spirit, I thought I’d hop on over to my neglected blog and share a few thoughts.
|Online schooling, desks optional|
Mary Katherine Ham shared a message on Instagram this week about parenting in crisis. She said we shouldn’t naysay our ability to switch gears as parents. And, let me tell you, we’re all switching gears right now.
I’ve had some experience with crisis parenting, and one odd thing about mothering is that, in some ways, the different stages and different struggles of parenting require different moms. And, yet, all that parenting is done not by different moms, but by the same mom, forced over and over again to adjust. The more extreme the swing in life experience, the more extreme the adjustment in the mom.
I’ve written in the past about the challenge of playing so many different roles, but this time is different. The very things we usually do to help each other through tough times - surround one another, get together, offer hugs - turn out to be AGAINST CDC GUIDELINES. So we’re left to change and adjust as parents without the kind of support we’d usually rely on.
A few thoughts from the trenches:
- Face reality. Acknowledge what’s going on, and, on behalf of those who, like me, are immune-compromised, please listen to the experts.
- Let yourself feel anxious, or whatever else you’re feeling. It can actually be helpful for your kids to see you name your emotions and work through them.
- Don’t try to be the same parent you were yesterday. Let things go, adjust. Do your best for your kids, and worry a lot less about what other people think.
- While Covid-19 is a big-picture problem, it will be the little things that start to drag you down. So be aware of how those small annoyances are preying on your mind. I’ve found that I sometimes discount the cumulative effect of minor problems, and that leads me to overextend and then, of course, run out of energy for parenting. (My kids, for their part, are oblivious to the fact that I encounter problems of any sort, so there’s no sympathy from that quarter.)
- Don’t do everything. Whatever you were planning to do, cut it in half. Spend the rest of the time doing something enjoyable or even nothing at all.
- Stay active and stay in touch with others. Social distance means physical distance, not emotional or conversational distance. We’re far more equipped to do this than at any other point in human history. Something to be grateful for!
If laughing at other people’s misfortunes makes you feel better, SHAME ON YOU, but read this to feel better.
And if you need motivation to stay home instead of taking your kids to the store, read this.
We’ll get through this together. (But not TOGETHER together, just figuratively together.) Stay strong! And drop me an email.