As we emerge from quarantine and the dust settles it’s time to take inventory of where things sit. Are we OK? Are the kids OK? What the heck did we just live through? It’s easy to get caught up in what the internet tells us parenting should look like. Sure, theoretically we know all understand the right things to do but how do we do all of that and stay sane?
Here are my tips as the worlds “Okayest,” mom:
The YouTube Babysitter:
You call it lazy I call it resourceful. If working through a quarantine taught me one thing it is that there are several incredible resources out there for kids created by trained professionals. When the Corona Quarantine first started, I tried for one week to create activities that mirrored my daughter’s daycare but lacked all the fun visuals and toys required to do so. Then I discovered Circle time with Ms. Monica on Youtube. She does an excellent job filling the circle time void Claire had been missing and I get 15 minutes to respond to work emails. There are many other similar resources out there ranging from kids Yoga to foreign languages.
Document the Crap You Accomplish:
I have always been a checklist kind of person but even if that is not your cup of tea this tip is still for you. As you read this, I bet you are multitasking and doing something to keep your household afloat. So, document that. For one week document all the cleaning, you did all the meals you prepared, EVERYTHING. You will find your week didn’t disappear you simply flew through it because you are freaking amazing.
*Mama’s pause here because there is another important outcome from this tip. If looking at your list leaves you feeling overwhelmed use this as a baseline to start adjusting in your schedule. How can you share this workload with others? It may be as simple as asking hubby to put the dishes directly into the dishwasher to cut down the 5 minutes that takes you before you can clean the kitchen. You CHOOSE to do everything on this list so you can also CHOOSE not to do them if it is better for your mental health. ASK FOR HELP LADIES.
Crocks Instead of Socks:
As I write these words I cringe but hear me out. It’s summer and while kids have more free time we are still as busy as ever, please reference crap accomplished from the previous tip. That means you need to cut down on the things that eat up your time. I have one tiny human with two tiny feet who typically wears socks every day. Laundry time is maddening because I spend additional time matching up those tiny socks when they come out of the dryer. During summer months get some time back in your day by getting a pair of shoes that protect the tiny feet but do not require socks. Here is a link to some that will not break the bank and are not completely egregious. If your kids come back later resenting the choices you have imposed upon them, show them your school pictures from when you were a kid that should do the trick.
Teach Little Ones Wine=Coffee:
As a former pre-school teacher, I can promise you that your kids are sharing everything. I mean EVERYTHING they see with their teachers and there is no filter or context to accompany it. Often, they exaggerate so remember one glass of wine might be shared as, “My mommy can drink one million glasses of wine.” Cut to the side-eye you get from your daycare professionals at pick-up that day. One night I was enjoying a glass of wine with dinner, something I rarely do. My toddler asked for a sip and when I declined she said, ” Oh, Mommy’s Coffee.” She knows I share my water with her but not my coffee. The autopilot in me almost corrected her as I typically try to increase her vocabulary but then I thought better of it. If Claire assumes anything of mine I won’t let her try is Coffee I am fine with that. Adopt this tip and never be the “One million glasses of wine,” mommy. You are welcome!
I could go on about the less than perfect parenting techniques I have come across during my time as a mom because real life is not as easy as following all the guidelines we have been given by society. There is no way we can achieve parenting perfection during the madness that has been 2020. I hope you hear the sarcasm in my tips and realize it is ok to just be you. If you take nothing else away from this post remember that what is most important about parenting is how you love your kids. You are already giving it your all and they will feel that so cut yourself a break.