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In pandemic parenting, this is what I'm most grateful for

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Here we are again.

Schools moving to online, businesses having to make huge adjustments, winter activities being postponed/canceled, illnesses increasing, a community continuing to hurt, my heart in my stomach.

What. A. Year. But in the midst of this pandemic, one thought has continually cut through the noise: I’m glad this hard season is happening while my kids are still in my home.

The initial drumbeat conversations about COVID-19 approaching, and my three kids feeling apprehensive about going still to school – I’m glad it was me who got to walk through that uneasiness with them.

The shock that school buildings actually closed, the uncertainty of what was next – I‘m glad I got to be in those moments with my kids.

The trip to the grocery store with my teen. We weren’t prepared for the empty shelves and frantic people. Are we missing something? Should be hoarding toilet paper and water too? The surreal experience – I’m glad that it was me pushing the grocery cart next to my son.

The state basketball tournament canceled, spring basketball called off – one son trains year-round for those moments and the disappointment hit hard. I’m glad I got to be there for him.

The uncharted waters of online school, figuring out the technology, organization, what time works best, the location in the house they prefer to learn…watching my kids unravel how to set themselves up for success – I’m glad I was there to help them sort it all out.

The increased understanding of our civic duty. As the safer-at-home days ticked past, we stayed home when we wanted to go out. In it all, the understanding that their actions matter to the greater good of society grew – I’m glad I got to be with them as they learned those life lessons.

New words in our evening prayers – praying for our community, loved ones, healthcare employees, and essential workers. Praying for protection and healing and a vaccine/cure for COVID-19. A renewed reliance on the One who knows in the unknown – I’m glad I got to say those prayers with my kids.

The struggles, the conflict over missing schoolwork, the parenting while working from home, the too-much-together-time bickering, the continual hum of anxiety that accompanies a pandemic – I’m glad it was me there to help navigate this new normal.

Our family rediscovering what to do with all the time, a renewed love of fishing, family walks, the epic monopoly game, quarantine birthdays, and so many family movies – I’m glad I got to collect those sacred minutes with my kids.

Then as the states opened back up, analyzing how to stay safe, but not live in fear; how to contribute to our local economy and help our community heal; how best to see loved ones and tiptoe back into our beloved activities – I’m glad it was me leading those conversations with my kids.

aedec62e531aaa764cb563604aea90f4bd178f12.jpgPhoto by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Now here we are again: round two. After getting a taste of almost-normal (with masks and 6 feet space), everything’s shutting down again. COVID is continuing to devastate health and businesses and families and communities. The harsh realities of living through an actual pandemic are weighing hard down upon us...

In this journey, as moms, we can so easily pick apart our roles, feeling like we should do more of this, or we must lead our family more in that way… Yet, most of the importance of motherhood lies in one simple action: walking through life with our kids.

Just being there to help them navigate it all.

And as my kids’ mom – I’m glad it gets to be me.

Cheryl writes encouragement for moms raising tweens and teens at Empowered Moms and Kids. Never miss a new article - join the email list here or catch Empowered Moms and Kids on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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