By Joanna Taffe, HFP Parent
Dear pandemic-surviving parents,
On the best day, parenting is hard. Your preschooler takes a nap-day. You build an epic block tower that keeps the kids busy for hours- day. There has been minimum screen time day and the baby isn’t crying all day- day.
The kind of days that seem to happen less often than the harder ones; but when they do, you are so proud of your parenting, but still exhausted… and it’s still hard. Now throw in a pandemic, social distancing, and a kid or two… and hard doesn’t cover it. It’s almost not possible to feel like a champion parent.
But I’m here to tell you (and myself) you are doing just fine. You are doing your best. You are loving your child and you are keeping you child(ren) safe and also teaching the social responsibility that comes with being a human… or should.
I write this after a night waking up every twenty minutes to feed my newborn, while my 4 year- old is screaming that he is bored for the 1000th time today. My head is pounding and the T.V. is about to go on for the fifth time. Along with that, I have guilt for not constantly stimulating my son’s growing brain and body.
But I am trying to focus on the space between. The space between the guilt of things or the thought that I could be doing better: The flower petal “fight” we had earlier, the discussion on how mummification scared him, the shaving cream painting…
Not how I broke down in tears when he had his fourth meltdown and started saying he didn’t love me, or when I lost my temper and yelled (only to be responded to with laughter). I focus on the hug we shared after or putting his baby sister down for one minute for once, and holding him or playing trains for the 100th time, and watching him talk to the baby.
I know this will end. Things will go back to normal- or maybe a new normal… I hope a new normal. And I will be able to take my preschooler to school, to hand him off to grandma for a couple hours, to do outings that make the day fly by and have play dates…. Oh play dates how I miss you.
But for now, I’m focusing on the good. I’m trying my hardest each day, as I’m sure you are. And honestly, you’re doing just fine. Hang in there! ❤️