I have to laugh. Last month, I wrote an article that mentioned things going back to normal, and this week, things feel anything but. As COVID seems to be ramping up again, we are filled with questions as our kids prepare to head back to school. I have been thinking about how to retain more of a sense of normalcy for my kids than I was able to last year.
I heard a YouTube parent talk about how moms are the ones who set the tone of the house. Yikes! That’s a lot of pressure, but it’s also really empowering. As moms, we have the opportunity to create safety, stability and hope while instilling confidence in our kids, even in a world that seems shaken.
But how? Here are a few ways I’m working on.
Don’t lose control in front of your kids.
I wholeheartedly believe in being honest with our kids. I don’t think we should hide all of our emotions and fake our way through life. We need to show them how to work through things. At the same time, they are taking emotional and social cues from us. I have made it my goal to not get razzled or fearful by the news in front of my kids. Our babies shouldn’t be constantly scared or worried. They should enjoy life. If they see me distressed, they will feel it too.
Realize they may need to process things, and allow them space to do that.
As much as we want to protect them from the world, they are going to be exposed to uncomfortable situations. They also are dealing with social situations far from normal. I have noticed my kids getting upset easier and frustrated that things aren’t how they used to be. I am working through it with them, and trying to be patient when their behavior is less than perfect. They’re going through all of the same emotions I am.
Keep things as normal as possible at home.
This means different things for different families. For us, it means keeping the news off as much as possible. If you listen closely, most news stations repeat the same stories throughout the whole day, and often the stories can incite a lot of fear. I refuse to turn it on when my kids are in the room. I have resorted to checking in after bedtime or getting my news online. It has helped me feel a lot more normal and peaceful at home. We also are keeping play dates with friends and doing a lot of outdoor adventuring. This summer, we have made multiple trips to the creek and river, and my kids are begging me to go camping. I want them to remember this summer as one of the best ever, and I think it’s totally possible, even in a pandemic.
Other tips I’ve read about keeping things healthy at home in stressful times include consistent schedules, lots of affection and hugs, and reading out loud as a family.
So here’s to a new school year, even if it doesn’t look like we hoped, and staying strong for the little people who look up to us the most.
Katelyn Young is a local mom of three (her #crumblycrew) who shares real moments of motherhood as it relates to fashion, food and fun! Follow her on Instagram @_katelynyoung_ or follow her blog at thebejuledlife.com.