Parents, we’re all in this together!
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many challenges, one of those being how to manage distance learning with our kids. Whatever your personal situation may be, remember we’re all in this together. When I don’t have an answer to a situation in these times, I am finding that usually nobody else does either. So, for me, there has at least been some comfort in knowing we’re all “in the same boat.”
Some parents say that remote schoolwork doesn’t take up the whole day, and then you’re at a loss as to how to keep your kids busy the rest of the day. For others, being at home has brought many new distractions, like having access to video games or toys. As I write this from home, I can admit I have been resisting the urge to rearrange my kitchen cabinets for literally no reason other than they’re there, but that’s just my distraction! So how can we be successful during all of this? I have some ideas.
Stay connected to other parents. When you don’t have all the answers, turn to others in the same situation. Normally we’re all working on decreasing our social media time; however, I have observed parents supporting each other and asking questions via several local Facebook groups. My first tip is to just find ways to stay connected with other parents. Maybe it’s texting the parent of your child’s friend, maybe it’s a Zoom you start between Moms. Whatever you can do to stay connected, do that, as I said before — even if nobody has the answer, at least were all “together.”
Take good care of yourself! Next, let’s recognized that we’re all stretched too thin; however, that old saying is true about having to take good care of yourself before you take care of others. For me this is always a work in progress, as my life changes, learning new ways to practice self-care, recognizing changing needs, and figuring out how to fit it all in.
Nobody is perfect at this, but something that can help is scheduling fun or downtime, and scheduling time for tasks we’re also not excited about doing, so we don’t feel guilty later when we’re painting our toenails instead of doing the dishes (anybody?!). We need self-care, and our kids need us to practice self-care, and there is also so much power in being able to model this kind of balance for our kids or others. This also goes back to those distraction items, knowing you will have designated time for self-care or fun, helps some of us focus through the “work” parts of our day.
My message is simple. In a time of uncertainty, and isolation, we must find new ways to connect and do the things that make us feel good. Do whatever self-care is good for you: exercise, haircuts (we can do that now!! Yay!), fishing, painting, reading… and continue to challenge our kids to explore what they might value as self-care too. Lastly, remember our Behavioral Health department is here if you need someone to stand with you. And if you’re too busy to come in, we can always talk by phone. So call us at (585) 637-3905.
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