Parenting during a Pandemic
Parenting during a pandemic is bullshit. You guys. I am the person that people always view as ‘having her shit together’. Not like in terms of looking nice or being supermodel svelte (Go to my Facebook page. You’ll see.) But in terms of things like getting my kids dressed and ‘homeschooling’ in times of quarantine, people tend to think I have it all figured out. I DO NOT. Nor do I want to, honestly.
Y’all. My kids are still in their pajamas at almost 7 pm. FROM LAST NIGHT. Our ‘homeschool’ for the day consisted of my yelling at them to complete ONE worksheet that was sent home from their respective schools. I have been drinking wine since 3 pm. I think the only person to go outside today was my husband when he walked the puppy. There is stuff EVERYWHERE and my house looks like Target puked in it. My life is a motherfucking disaster right now!
Life is a mess, but…Meh.
However, I am calm. Not just because of the wine either. I am calm because I know that we are doing exactly what is asked of us during this pandemic. And also because I literally don’t give a shit what other people think of me. We are staying at home. #Winning! Everything else can go suck it. Social norms, expectations, and yes, even my kid’s academics can wait. This shit is REAL. And guess what? ALL kids are in the same boat right now, so I’m not concerned at all about mine ‘falling behind’.
We’re fine. We may not be the happiest, but we’re fine. We have plenty of food, water, and entertainment. Regardless of how scary this is, we have everything we need. And almost everything we want. There is nothing else I can do. So I choose calm. This is the one thing I can do for my kids… remain calm. Yes, I watch press conferences and check the news. No, I don’t hide it from them. After all, it doesn’t matter what’s said on the TV, it matters how I respond. Aside from making sure we are physically prepared and doing what’s asked of us, my emotional response is the ONLY thing I can control.
A pandemic is not something to scrapbook about
Then there’s the crowd that’s all about emotional protection and making this a positive time for our kids. Well… ok. To a point. Yes, I am going to spend time with my kids and make sure they know they’re loved. We will laugh, snuggle, and have as much fun as we can. But if they look back at this as one of the best times in their life… WTF?! It’s a motherfucking GLOBAL PANDEMIC! They should be scared! It’s ok to get bored! I want them to have negative feelings about this shit!
Hell no, I am not protecting them from this shit. Even at 5 and 7. It should be a big fat negative in their life with the silver lining that their parents loved them and did everything they could to make it LESS scary/painful/boring. I don’t want my kids wishing for another pandemic. They need to understand how hard this is on those less fortunate, how many people might die, and why they are not at school. I want them to know that they have family members at great risk and that what they do MATTERS. Which is why we’re at home. And why it’s ok to not be happy all the time.
There is no wrong way to do this.
Well, there is. It’s called being an asshole and hanging out with your friends. But aside from that, if you’re staying home (LIKE YOU SHOULD BE) you literally cannot do this wrong.
Whether your Mary-fucking-Poppins-ing the shit out of this and baking croissants and teaching your kids how to play the mandolin OR throwing goldfish into a screaming hoard of children wearing 3-day-old pajamas while you chug wine… you’re doing great mama. You cannot fuck this up. So stop worrying about it.
Stop pressuring yourself! Parenting during a pandemic is unprecedented. If you enjoy schedules and teaching your kids THEN DO IT. If you don’t… THEN DON’T DO IT. Netflix and YouTube can handle it if you don’t want to. There is no book on this. There will be someday I’m sure… but for now we’re all just winging it. And that’s ok.