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Don’t sweat the extras during a pandemic

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Here we are in the middle of a pandemic and parents all over the world are feeling even more pressure to be June Cleaver. What?

I understand this time comes with a beautiful opportunity to create memories (how many hilarious TikTok dances have I seen between teenagers and their fathers?) - but it also comes with a lot to process, a lot of challenges, and a lot of grief.

If the constant creation of memories is your thing - then by all means GO FOR IT. Do the scrap books, buy the art supplies, hold the fort nights. But if you’re wandering through your time, trying to keep the kids fed, the house reasonably picked up, and your morale somewhat high- then you also deserve a big-ole-bravo.

The extras are fun, but not necessary. I highly doubt that lil’ Cindy will be sitting in therapy 20 years from now saying, “But my mom didn’t create any scavenger hunts for me during quarantine”.

Personally, I have thoroughly enjoyed the extra walks, the morning campfires, and the cozy movies here in my house. But I’m also aware that this is a Big Deal and our nervous systems may be soaking in more than we’re consciously aware of. So I’m not going to put any more pressure on myself to transform into the Mary Poppins of Pandemics.

The most beautiful memory I can create for my daughter is the sheer act of having done this thing together. Processing emotions together, having grace for one another together, being honest about how much we miss her school and her friends and teachers together. She is watching her father and I walk through our own feelings together. At the end of this we will know we can do hard, unexpected seasons together. And that’s the best memory I can give her.

To all the folks posting your awesome ideas and fun parenting moments: Please continue! I have made a mental log of some very cool projects that I hope to do in the future. Activities that may help pass the time and breathe some life into all of us. But here’s the mantra: If I do it- fantastic! If I don’t- no problem!

At the end of this, I want my daughter to have felt as safe, happy, and healthy as possible. Period.

Be free, parents.

This is tough territory and there’s a high chance you’re rocking it way harder than you even realize.

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