This time in quarantine has been eye-opening, and probably life-changing, for most of us. With schools and many of our offices and businesses closed, one of the things we’ve all had more of is time…inside….around the same people…every…day. If you’re a parent, those same people are most likely your kids. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my boys during this time. As such, I wanted to provide some parenting advice that I would give moms and dads, should this situation ever happen again.
The Kids are Good. Seriously.
Here in LA, I know a lot of mom circles have this thing about rules and order. They LOVE them! We’re all guilty of being helicopter parents to some degree. One thing this recent quarantine has taught me is that there’s a time and place for hand-holding “rules.” Being at home with your kids 24/7 is neither the time nor place to stick to them.
My first piece of parenting advice is just that. During unprecedented circumstances, let the rules go. Your kids will be okay. And, with a little flexibility, you will, too! A little TV and some chocolate are completely fine. As long as it keeps them content while you get things done, I **promise** it’s okay. The reality is, something like COVID-19 threw us all off balance. You can’t expect your kids to do life as normal when the rest of the world isn’t.
I found during this time that my boys were completely okay with playroom activities in their rooms. To my surprise, they actually got more creative. I actually saw their independence and maturity flourish. When I required more of them, both of them happily obliged most times. Your kids will adapt to your new norm, as you have most likely had to do. Go with that flow, parents!
Let your “Mom Guard” Down
Speaking of having guards down, I’ve seen a huge paradigm shift in the global mom community. When T. Lopez and I started Mom Life Yo radio show, we were the outsider moms in leather jackets with buns in our hair. We didn’t have it all together, and I felt like we were seen as anomalies in some LA mom circles. During this quarantine, I have seen MANY moms FINALLY let their guards down on so many levels. It has been refreshing to see! That would be my next piece of parenting advice.
It hasn’t always been socially accepted for moms to be seen as chill and relaxed parent figures. I think the quarantine has allowed (or forced) many moms to reconsider what really matters when it comes to “good” parenting. This quarantine has softened the mom community in a good way. We are much more forgiving of everyday parenting follies. In the world before COVID-19 and quarantines, I feel like “mean moms” were more prevalent. Mom text and chat groups have grown to be super understanding, supportive of each other, and extremely action-based. We have learned to come to each other’s rescue, and it’s been so beautiful to experience.
My parenting advice to moms? Lean on each other. Share ideas. Vent frustrations. Be vulnerable. Only we know and truly understand the struggle. Let that be a new mantra for us all, both during quarantine and beyond.
Find YOUR Groove
I finally have some parenting advice for those who are working parents like myself. I so wasn’t ready for my typical longer-than-normal work days combined with 24/7 mommy duties. Most likely none of us were. The key for my life and sanity while quarantined was finding my own daily groove and molding life around what works best for me.
I learned to keep habits that I needed, change processes as required, and adapt however it was necessary to maintain my business and family. For me, that first meant pivoting quickly and committing to a new home office. I created a new daily routine that, as I mentioned earlier, meant a quick breakfast and some cartoons while I checked emails and in-progress design projects. It meant scheduling activities with the boys along with Zoom meetings. Yes, it was was a bit of a strategic dance. Once we all got it down, though, everyone understood the daily rhythm.
Honestly, I know there are many parents who may not maneuver their homes and families during extended periods of time as I did. And that’s okay! That’s my final piece of parenting advice for close-quarters living with kids. Know that your actions will affect your kids and vice versa. Process the time and experience in ways that maintain the best environment for you all, whatever that may look like. Learn what engagement looks like and feels best for your children, and teach them what needs to happen for you to be your best self, personally and professionally. Check-in with them often, and be sure to check-in with yourself regularly, also.
We all listen to the beat of our own drums. In close-quarters living, it is so important to recognize your rhythm and the rhythm of others. Accept theirs, and know that they will learn yours. In time, however long that time is, all of your drum patterns will sync harmoniously! Good luck, mom and dad!