Even the kids feel like it’s Groundhog Day. That is why I nurture a flexible routine for the week that is distinguishable from that of the weekend. For instance, making time for schoolwork and bedtime routines are important during the week, but children look forward to the weekend when there is no schoolwork, relaxed bedtimes, sleepovers with siblings, and family movie and games nights.
I have been gathering strength from the positive messages that Weinberg Fishman posts on social media, to remind us that this is not Groundhog Day, but temporary. Many of the quotes she includes have a Zen-like quality to them. Quotes like “Grow through what you Go through” and “Your Now is Not Your Forever” have become daily mantras to carry me through this storm.
Being patient with the children isn’t easy, especially when you’re the parent, teacher, cook, cleaner, babysitter, camp counsellor, and coach all rolled into one. Another Weinberg Fishman post is uplifting: “Have patience with yourself, patience with others, and patience with circumstances.”
Pointers from Solmon’s numerous daily reminders and strategies for tending to one’s needs at this time have provided guidance as well. But with all the demands, how does one find time for self-care? Well, another philosophy I embraced, promoting guilt-free parenting, is permitting my older children to play video games. Schafer made me realize how we have negative bias on gaming, assuming it only brings “brain rot.” But it’s actually very social, as it provides our children with the opportunity to “play” with friends. That is why I use it as a reward for schoolwork and chores, and we balance it with outdoor play.
Once this is all said and done, children will remember how they felt at this time. Parenting is messy, and if we are going to find any solace in these conditions, then we need to take the best care of ourselves as we can in order to be there for our children.