Parenting During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Parenting is no easy task, and when its paired with restrictions and lockdowns during a pandemic it becomes even more difficult to show up resilient for our kids. As parents, we’re expected to fulfill the role of a teacher, principle, laundress, janitor, chef, servant, entrepreneur, wife/husband, and organizer all at the same time. Parents are being asked to do the impossible; with homeschooling, online learning, working from home, launching your business, and all the financial uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, everyone and everything needs your attention at the same time. Your family needs you, but it’s easy to forget that YOU NEED YOU as well.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the outside noise and as parents we try our best to be there for everyone and we try to fulfill many different roles, we start feeling like what we’re doing is not enough, that we need to be doing more, be more productive, focus on work, build the business, support the family, and be there for our spouses and kids all together. It’s difficult, and we need to recognize that that is okay. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, it’s okay if you only completed two things on your to do list, it’s okay if today did not go as you planned it to; understand how difficult this time is right now and be okay with feeling it.
“It’s hard, but you’re doing an amazing job.” Says Coach Sonia Zarbatany, a Montreal-based mom and business/life coach. “If you need help, call for help, if you need connection, find connection, find community, ask other moms, really connect, we miss connection, so go get that connection, and connect with your family, connect with your kids, have fun with them. Your business will wait, it will be there, and you will carve time that will be just productivity time … If you feel aligned with just being a mom right now and just being an ear for your kid right now, to check in with them and spend quality time with them, that’s alright.”
“It’s the challenging times that make us who we are.” - Coach Sonia
We take better care of our children than we do ourselves and in the process, we forget to check in with ourselves. So, be kind to yourself. Eat well, rest up, take breaks, and do something relaxing and fun. Practice mindfulness, take a deep breath, notice your thoughts, notice how you feel emotionally, are you happy, sad, angry, or frustrated? How does your body feel? Notice anything that hurts or is tense. Simply checking in with yourself will help you feel relaxed and grounded. Quite the noise, check in with your thoughts and feelings, figure out what you need first, what makes you happy? Get back to your center and create the new identity that is in alignment with who you are, then turn to your children, take care of them and feed them with their love language.
“What matters right now is how you ride through this journey, and how you stand for your family, and how you stand strong as the superhero, as the supermom, as the super-you that you are.” Says Coach Sonia, “It’s the challenging times that make us who we are.”
Recognize that you are not alone in this, it’s a difficult time and you’re going to be in the uncomfort and uncertainty of it all and that’s okay, it’s not going to last forever. You already have within you all the tools to be resilient and to adapt to this new normal. The identity that was tied to your job, finances, relationships and family no longer applies, and you are being asked to create a new identity for yourself. So, it’s time to prioritize; make sure that everyone is safe and has their basic needs met, then go back to the drawing board and determine what you and your kids can realistically accomplish in a day. Try to structure your days so that everyone is productive, and you’re not overwhelmed, even if it means that each child does their schoolwork at different times.
It’s time for you to recharge, to create your new identity, get clear on your values and align yourself with them. “It’s time to pivot to the new mom, to the new women, to the new you … and we as a community will support you because that’s what we do. The next generation of women, the next generation of leaders, the next generation of daughters will rise up and support each other.”
Remember to stay connected and reach out to family and friends if you need help or if you need some time to relax and take care of yourself. There are many online resources available that can help you navigate through this journey, these include the Government of Canada, the World Health Organization, Boston Children’s Hospital, and other organizations that are referenced below.
You’ve got this!! We will be resilient!