My teen recently had her wisdom teeth removed. Ironically, this surgery was first mentioned in the beginning of 2020, and was pushed back to the summer as not to disrupt the school year. This was the latest date the oral surgeon would do the surgery, so it needed to happen, even in the middle of a pandemic and with rising COVID-19 numbers in our home state of Texas. So, we did the surgery, something normal in very abnormal times.
I think what’s so very challenging as a parent right now is figuring out what feels normal versus what’s outside of the norm. I find I’m frequently asking myself, would this feeling be here during “normal” times? Is this emotion COVID-19 related? Are these feelings and emotions showing up because of another life stressor?
I’m also raising two kids who do not have a lot in common and in many ways are complete opposites. This has also added to the stress of navigating this unique time in history. What feels right to one kid might not feel okay to the other. One is craving time with others (my extrovert), while the other is fine isolating at home (my introvert). This also comes out with COVID-19, as one is okay with leaving the house with precautions in place, while the other is not ready for this change in our routine at this time.
The excessive boredom is also a factor (for parents and kids alike!). Where is the new line drawn around creativity and entertaining oneself versus being entertained and zoned out on technology? One of my kids recently commented that they feel like their daily excitement is around planning what they are going to eat for their next snack or meal. I bet we all can relate to that on some level right now; I know I can!
Then, there’s the constant togetherness. Our summer vacation has yet to feel like a summer vacation given we’ve already been doing this for months on end (groundhog day anyone?). At the end of the school year, one of my kids stated that at this point everything everyone did in the household was annoying. Exactly, and that just about sums up how most of us are feeling at this point, right? Happy summer! Oh, and be sure to also leave time to grieve the loss of your family vacation and other fun family plans as well; I know we are doing that over here!
Parenting is hard to begin with and has definitely been made harder by the recent pandemic and other ongoing events in our world today. Remember to be gentle with yourself, mom; you’re doing the best you can during this difficult time!