Parenting is a tough job and the stakes are high. To borrow a phrase, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” As a parent, there will be many times in your life when the job feels overwhelming. It should come as no surprise then that like everything else, parenting has become even more challenging during a pandemic. Not a single one of us left the hospital with a new baby and a copy of Tips for Pandemic Parenting.
Parenting is a 24-7 job. With that said, remember that you can’t take care of your children if you don’t take care of yourself also. For many people, that’s easier said than done. We tell ourselves that our children come first but then we forget to double back and take care of ourselves too.
The pandemic will be with us for a while, and even when life returns to a more normal version, you can help yourself by keeping these tips in mind:
- Don’t compete with other families to be the best parent. Every situation is different.
- Don’t be a martyr. It’s a very unrewarding job.
- Develop a support network of family and friends. Together we’re all better.
- Guard your sleep. A rested parent can make better decisions than an exhausted one.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Nobody is perfect.
- Plan regular “me time” to do things that bring you calmness and pleasure.
And most importantly:
- Keep your sense of humor! Kids are funny. Take the time to look at the world through their eyes and pay attention to the little things.
Will some days still feel impossible to get through? Absolutely. But as some people say, “The days are long but the years are short.” Don’t let the challenges of parenting rob you of experiencing all of the amazing joy that being a parent can bring to you.