Parenting is a wild adventure of cosmic proportions. There are big emotions involved with loving and caring for a piece of your soul outside of your own body. It’s truly the best adventure of my life. However, it isn’t always picture perfect. In fact, it’s never picture perfect, just perfect for my family.
That description is based on a “normal” year. Add in a pandemic, virtual school, shutdowns, and modified holidays. These past 13 months have been a time of hardships; but it has also been a time of discovery.
Parenting and life is all about taking the good with the bad.
Here are my top 5 parenting lessons that I’ve learned and loved during pandemic parenting.
1 -Letting things go
Listen, I am a planner. I prepare for every possible outcome and then some. This has always been my way of controlling things that I cannot always control. However, 2020 happened and I had to let a lot of things go. I didn’t plan well for 2020, but it allowed me to let more things slide with my children. I became more relaxed as a parent, even if I wasn’t more relaxed as a person. I’ll get there.
2 – Quality Time
I’ll be the first to admit, I was overwhelmed with the extra “quality time.” It was hard to make the most of it at first because no one knew when or if an end was near. It was a lot of pressure on families of all kinds at first. Eventually, I decided to pick one or two things per day to truly focus on with each kid. Narrowing it down helped me be less overwhelmed and more enthralled by the idea of endless “quality time.” Eventually, we opened up our circle a bit, which let my husband and I get a bit of a break at times.
3 – A village is a huge component of raising children
I realize that I am truly fortunate to have a huge village. I have neighbors, friends, and of course plenty of family. We spent three months without any of them. Without any help at all. I almost broke. By broke, I mean “check myself into a hospital for a mental breakdown/exhaustion broke.” When we finally slowly starting expanding our circle of people, I felt such a huge weight lifted off of my shoulder. You never know how important people are until they’re not there. Thankfully, their ability to not be there was only temporary. I know others who were not so fortunate.
4 – Parenting is a labor of love
Okay, technically I already knew this one. However, there was a lot of extra labor and extra love going into parenting this year. From juggling virtual school with my six-year-old on top of teaching my toddler through play, in addition to my normal household tasks. Oh yeah, I also decided to start my own blog with a Facebook page, Instagram, and Pinterest right at the beginning of the pandemic. However, it all taught me to do what I can, when I can, each day.
5 – Children are Resilient
While my children definitely had their setbacks and mental health struggles, they adjusted much more easily than I did. They bounced back from each setback and drastic change even stronger. They indulged in the alternatives. They FaceTimed family members and friends. They created. They played. They found new hobbies. They knew that their constant (mom and dad) would always be there. They found comfort in us and we found comfort. Our children taught us resiliency, while we taught them faith, love, and hope.
What are some things that you have learned through parenting during this challenging time?