Parenting in A pandemic
I started so full of hope, so ready to conquer this season and soak up the time together as a family. I was going to be more patient, slow down, shelter my kids from the worries of the world and just be present. I think a lot of us started with the greatest of intentions. We were so cute in quarantine, we were getting dressed (that's changed FOR SURE), we were so excited to homeschool, creativity was flowing, we were NOT going to let this season break us.
Fast forward 9 months and we are still in quarantine. The "cuteness" of it all has faded. The reality has set in. My patience has withered and feels like I can't even access that part of me anymore. There is less laughter, less creativity, less patience, less hope. So this particular morning, I decided we would do a cute little family yoga moment and attempt at getting back into some discipline and healthy routine. We started sitting with each other and just sharing where we were at emotionally and we never got to the yoga.
Ivy has always been the encourager, the strong one, the kid who is the most adaptable and can thrive in most every environment. She hasn't been herself lately.
Yet I found myself being consistently short with her. Telling her to put on a happy face. As if she has no reason or right to be upset. I didn't even realize that I was diminishing her emotions until she came to me and apologized. She told me "Im sorry. I have no right to act depressed." She told me she didn't even know why she was acting that way, that she felt like she couldn't even control it. And at that point it hit me like a bag a bricks.
She has every right to feel her feelings. She has every right to be hurting, to be sad, to be angry, to be confused. She was ripped from her routine, her comfort, her classroom. Our family is going through it and she can feel that too.
I don't want to teach her to put on a happy face. I want her to be safe to express how she's really feeling. Of course I WANT HER TO BE HAPPY. It kills me when I can't fix it. It kills me that she misses her friends and I cant just schedule a playdate, and open schools back up for her. But instead of just shutting down the feelings I need to say THAT. Even instead of pointing to all the reasons she "should" be happy I need to LISTEN. I need to validate her, understand her, and just be with her in her emotions.
Its not about being able to fix it, or have the right things to say, but rather just sitting with her in whatever she is feeling. So this morning I sat, I listened, and I asked her how I could help.