Being a parent is tough in normal times, but throw in a pandemic and it definitely tests the most patient of parents. I wanted to write a blog to highlight how challenging these times are for parents, and to share some ideas and tips to hopefully help you through it.
Looking back to the first lockdown, which seems like a lifetime ago now! Things were somewhat more manageable for families and parents, the weather was glorious here in the UK, we had sun filled days and enjoyed hours in our gardens and went on walks through local parks with our families. However, nearly a year on and we are freezing and losing all momentum when it comes to finding new ways to amuse the children. Kids are bored and are mostly stuck in front of their screens homeschooling, whilst parents are battling with helping them, and maybe trying to work from home themselves, along with everything else that needs to be done around the house! Then the dreaded scream comes, “Mum, the internet isn’t working!!!” I mean, can it get any worse?!
Parents love their children and want the best for them, but sometimes you can’t pour from an empty cup. Trying to do the self care thing, along with keeping the kids happy and thriving can be exhausting. Lockdown has created so much anxiety, uncertainty and stress in many households around the world, parents often feel like they are failing, not doing enough, worrying about their kids academic success and in general feeling quite miserable at times. So what can we do to make this lockdown more manageable, here are some of my top tips:
- Be gentle with yourself – you are not superhuman!
- Limit your time scrolling through social media (all those fabulous parents who post pictures of what they have achieved today!) Social Media often lies to us!!
- Create a routine and stick to it – kids actually love structure, it makes them feel safe and secure
- Remember your kids are in the same boat as every other kid – they will all catch up on their return to school
- Find moments to laugh and enjoy the silly things with your kids – often kids just love simplicity. If you have older kids jump on an online game with them, learn a tiktok, you never know, you may love it!
- Find moments for you, take time out to drink that often cold cup of coffee, enjoy it and maybe even throw in a biscuit
- Connect with your friends/family – share your feelings, open up and allow yourself to have a moment of struggle
- And remember, you will get through this – the pandemic will end!
You’ve got this and your kids are most likely already looking at you as the most important person in their life. Try and enjoy the stillness of the world at the moment, and embrace the craziness of your household, but do find a hiding spot, for the ‘Just in case you need a break’ moments!
Ruth Cullinan MBACP (Reg.)