When my kids look back at this time in their lives, I hope they remember it as being fun or, at the very least, not so bad. My parenting style during quarantine is pretty similar to how it was when we were out in the real world, except these days my kids get whatever they want.
“Mom, can we have eggs, toast, pancakes, waffles and a bowl of cereal for breakfast?”
“Sure, no problem.”
“Mom, you’ll wash the dishes and clean up all the toys we left out without us helping, right?”
“Yup, you got it.”
“Mom, let’s take a break from doing school work and ride bikes for the 15th time today?”
“Mom, can we watch YouTube Kids for 3 hours this afternoon instead of doing those last few assignments?”
“Yup, you bet.”
Whatever makes my kids happy and helps me stay sane, that’s my motto. I don’t know if it would be considered good parenting, but I basically say yes most of the time; and then when I say no, my kids go nuts and don’t really know what just happened. But you know what, most of the time, they’re happy, good kids, who are nice to each other and other people. I know in my heart, I’m raising good kids, or at the very least, ones who will not take no for an answer.
I think my saying yes, possibly too much, isn’t like a normal parent wanting to give their kids everything. The reason for me, if I had to analyze it, is because I have a different perspective than most. I lost a child a few years ago, and I was never able to give her everything she wanted. She never got to ride a bike, or eat every type of breakfast possible in one sitting, or play with her twin sister who lives on for the both of them. She never got to do some of the great things her sisters get to do during quarantine, like cook and bake with me, have dance parties, do scavenger hunts around the house, set up nail salons in the bathroom, go on nature walks or watch some of my favorite childhood movies like "Troop Beverly Hills" or "Mighty Ducks," even at $3.99 a pop.
Don’t get me wrong, some days have been stressful, and I cherish the moments when my kids are asleep at night. But instead of stressing about things like homeschooling or the constant cooking, cleaning and laundry, I decided to let go a little and came to the realization that sometimes things can wait. Sometimes it’s more important to have fun. Sometimes it’s more important to make memories and have experiences. I know this is more difficult for families working from home right now, especially those with high stress positions. I also know this is more difficult for the amazing people on the front lines. But no matter what your circumstances may be, if you just do your best, I think your kids will be able to look back at this time and remember it as being fun or, at the very least, not so bad. I hope that is what my kids will remember.