Parenting Through the Pandemic
Ahoy, Cresthill Families and Friends!
Captain Cresthill here—with some thoughts & tips for parents during this difficult time!
When someone is pregnant, there is lots of planning involved – the color of the nursery, the choice of car seats and strollers and, for some, even the choice of daycare, are all things that are resolved before the baby is born. So, you get to thinking that you think you have it all planned out and you are ready to take on parenthood.
Until it happens, and that beautiful little angel just goes about his/her own agenda with no regard for your carefully crafted plans. They begin crying when hungry, crying when whet wet, crying when tired, or the most dreaded: crying for no reason. You then slowly come to realize that children do not come with instructions, they do not follow plans, and that parenting is truly a learn-as-you-go type of endeavor.
Sound scary? Now, imagine throwing in being quarantined at home during a global pandemic, not being able to call upon family or friends for support, AND having to work from home and actually be productive! How on earth does one cope and make everyone happy?
The truth of the matter is: it’s impossible. The sooner you accept that not everyone is going to be happy at the same time, the better chance you have of surviving during times like these.
The COVID-19 virus is a scary thing that is claiming many lives and causing others to become severely ill. That fact, in and of itself, is enough of a stress inducer—even before you add in the logistical problems it introduces.
So what to do to make life easier (or, at least, tolerable) during these times? In an article appearing in the American Academy of Pediatrics Journal, there is a list of 10 Tips to Help Keep the Calm at Home, some of which are begging to me highlight:
1. Take care of yourself – be sure to eat healthy, get enough exercise and take breaks. Find ways to decompress and if there is another parent at home, switch off with the parenting responsibilities. (AAP, 2020).
2. Prevent boredom – bored or frustrated children are more likely to act out. Their little lives have been disrupted and they can’t play with their friends. Create a healthy and productive schedule for both you and your child. To this, I would personally add this: try to keep your child on a schedule as close as possible to the one they have in school. Awaken them at the same time, have breakfast close to the same time and especially nap time – keep it as consistent as possible. (AAP, 2020).
3. If you are feeling overwhelmed, remember to take a breath and ask yourself these questions: does the problem present an immediate danger? How will I feel about this problem tomorrow? And is this situation permanent? Most times the answers will deflate the panic. (AAP, 2020).
There is a plethora of information out there giving tips on how to survive this pandemic as a parent, and one of the most common tips is schedule all of your work calls around nap time. That is great, but what if you have a child that doesn’t nap? The key here is to schedule quiet time.
In an article by Brooke Lea-Foster, appearing in parents magazine and entitled “How to Master Working From Home—While Under Quarantine With Kids”, she addresses this important factor. It is not only adults that need the quiet time, but it is good for the children as well, so they have set boundaries.
Yes, these are scary and stressful times and everyone is worrying about how they are going to get through it and get everything done that is expected of them. But try to look at this situation as a gift – enjoy that baby, toddler, preschooler, etc. This is an opportunity like no other to see firsthand all those milestones that are reached and see those smiles when they wake up from nap. It’s not just about getting work done, it’s about being a parent and getting through this pandemic with as few scars as possible.
As always, sending love, light, and learning your way.
Positive Parenting & COVID-19: 10 Tips to Help Keep the Calm at Home. (2020). American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/family-dynamics/communication-discipline/Pages/Positive-Parenting-and-COVID-19_10-Tips.aspx
Foster, B. L. (2020, March 31). How to Master Working From Home—While Under Quarantine With Kids. Retrieved March 31, 2020, from https://www.parents.com/parenting/work/life-balance/how-to-master-being-a-work-at-home-mom/