It’s been been a crazy week. Take a deep breath. Maybe your anxiety is up or maybe you’re just straight-up sick of hearing about the Coronavirus or maybe you fall somewhere in between. Either way, take a deep. One more. Okay, stay with me, one more. It helps, right?
A lot of information is being thrown around right now and things can start to seem overwhelming. You’ve probably caught yourself thinking things like What the h-e-double-hockey-sticks am I going to do with my kids if they aren’t in school? Do I like, homeschool now (don’t worry, we’ve got a post for that)? What if the pizza guy’s first cousin’s Mom is a carrier of Coronavirus? Do I have enough toothpaste/chicken nuggets/toilet paper? What is happens if I can’t find wipes/ the juice boxes Aidan likes / TOILET PAPER? What if there is a confirmed case in my town, in my child’s SCHOOL? I have caught myself filling with anxiety plenty of times over the last 48 hours and I am a mental health clinician. Theoretically, I should have it under control. But I am human; a human with other tiny humans that depend on me to make important decisions for them.
There is a lot going on. But Momma, you can’t control it all. Here’s what you can control. You can control how you present this time to your children. They are taking their cues from you. If you are presenting as anxious, guess what? Anxious kids. Children are attuned to your energy, just like a newborn to its mom. You can present this time as a time to bond, a time to have adventures, and a time to discover new things! There are countless FREE virtual museum tours, story hours, and learning activities being made available to everyone with internet services (and companies offering internet service to those who don’t have it!). You can use this time to teach your kids about social responsibility (in an age-appropriate way). You can use this stressful time to show your child what compassion and kindness looks like.
You can’t control if Karen is supposed to be in self-quarantine but she’s in the bread aisle at Walmart. You can’t control if your April vacation plans are ruined. You can control what movie to watch, you can control turning the backyard into a nature scavenger hunt, you can control how your children remember this. You are the controller of you. Organize that junk drawer, binge something on Netflix, declutter that closet. Enjoy your kids. Turn off the news. Limit your media consumption. Put the phone down. Be present.
Momma, use this time to remember what’s important to you. Give your kid’s love and understanding; this is scary for them too. Even if they don’t understand what’s going out in the crazy world; they know that their routine has shifted. They may act out a little more, that’s what kids do when their entire routine is changed. Cut them slack. Cut yourself slack. Love each other. Go for a walk. Eat the brownies. And hey, Frozen 2 is on Disney+.