Hey Mom and Dad,
Think back for a second. Think back to what life was like before all of this. Think past three-hour trips to Target or the perfect cup of artisan-brewed coffee. Think about what everyday life was really like.
For us, I can’t tell you how many days in the past that we’ve awakened, rushed like crazy to get two lunches made, get ourselves dressed and ready, and get the kids fed, dressed and out the door, just to sit in an hour of traffic. Then we dropped them off at daycare (which is amazing, btw) and still had to endure the heart-wrenching pain and guilt of driving away from them with tears streaming down their faces. There are so many days that I’ve wished with all of my being that I could just turn the car around and drive my babies and my hubby back home, cuddle up, and enjoy the day together. This time is a gift.
I am not saying by any means that it’s easy. It’s crazy hard, but today is a Tuesday and, as I sit here, my baby just woke up on his own, and I can hear his happy sounds coming from the crib. Jon just worked out and is now making a nice breakfast for the family. I’m having a hot cup of coffee, the sun is rising outside of my window, and I have a quiet moment to reflect on all of this.
It’s so easy to let life live us and never have a chance to stop and pause to think about what really matters. Here we are, getting the chance of a lifetime to reassess everything: how we show up for our families, how we parent, how we support our spouses, how very much we love our family and friends and how we can thrive in a crisis.
I know that I have learned more about myself as a mother in the past four weeks than I have in the past four years simply by having the time to reflect, assess, see what’s working, see what’s not working, and make changes. That has been the key for me and other moms I’ve talked to during this time. Do what works for YOUR family. Do NOT compare yourself or your family to others. Every child is different, and so every family is different, and every approach will be different. I’ve changed our schedule and variety of activities around at least ten times during the past four weeks trying to settle on what works for us and the personalities we have in our specific household.
My young kiddos had been fighting (muted-audio of course) over every daycare Zoom circle time we’ve had and it was stressing me out. So, bye-bye Zoom calls! I’ve found that if I run the kids around the yard during that time they nap much better anyway.
I’ve found that I get cranky around 5pm when I’m drained from the day and hungry. I’ve started having a snack with my kids at that time.
I’ve found that having anything more than one glass of wine makes me grumpy in the mornings…I may just push through this one… 😉
I’ve found that Rose has to have time for just her and I to play together while Dylan is napping, so she naps later, or doesn’t nap at all.
I’ve found that I need to stop expecting the house to be clean all day long. It’s just making me miserable. Instead, I do what I can to pick up, hit the really important things, and save the rest for another day. If the kids are having a dance party in a room covered in toys, I’ve chosen to focus on their sweet giggles and funny moves rather than my to-do list.
Be flexible and experiment with what works for you and your family. Now is the time to give yourself grace. You may be on social media and feel like one parent has it all together while you’re barely making it. First off, they don’t. They’re barely making it too, I promise, we are ALL barely making it right now. Also, there is a difference between perfectionism and thriving. Thriving doesn’t mean everything is perfect in your family’s surroundings, it means everything is perfect in your family’s hearts.
Until next time,
Keep raising extraordinary kids,