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Challenge: Pandemic Parenting

A year of reflection: What we learned, loved and lost

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It's been lonely.

But not in an enveloping, pit-of-despair way.

It's been subtle, peeking in and out of your consciousness. You've been surrounded by your kids and possibly your partner almost every waking hour. So you've been less alone physically then possibly any other point in your motherhood.

And you've fallen into a new routine.

You see friends and family from afar or behind masks.

Birthday parties of bounce houses and kids gathered around a birthday cake were traded for card showers or drive-by parades.

Playgrounds and playdates were off limits.

It’s been a different way of life, that's for sure. But from an introvert's perspective, it was almost a relief. At least, initially.

There was no reason to leave the house; no where to go.

We spent more time together than ever before as a family, making memories in a more simple way. We sought new adventures in our own backyard.

We bypassed some of our favorite spots and skipped traditions. We wrote our own playbook as new information came out and safety measures were put in place.

"COVID" and "germs" and "illness" became typical vocabulary just as hand sanitizer became staples in our lives.

We played it safe and carved out an alternate path.

But we missed our friends. We missed our family.

We missed meeting new friends and getting our hands dirty.

We missed singing 'Happy Birthday' to a room full of sweaty kids who were running on a high of adrenaline and happiness.

But we survived. We stayed safe and did our part to protect our loved ones and strangers.

For moms, it may have been lonely. It may have been sad. It may have been difficult. But it was a year of reflection. A year to reflect on what you have. Maybe what you lost. And what you hold dear as you look to a brighter new year.

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