Hey parents, you're doing great.
We're in the midst of a global pandemic. We don't know when things will get back to normal. We don't know what's happening to jobs, the economy, when there will be medication or a readily available vaccination, or when it'll be safe to leave our homes. People are sick. People are dying. It's a scary, confusing, and weird time for everyone. But you're doing great.
You have kids to take care of. Maybe you're able to work from home, maybe you've had to sacrifice your job in order to provide childcare and keep your family safe, maybe you've been laid off, or maybe you have to go to work and risk your health and the health of your family. Life looks different right now, and that's really, really hard. But you're doing great.
Schools are closed, likely for the rest of the school year—maybe even through the summer and beyond. You're learning how to be a home school teacher, something you never realized could be so insanely challenging, all while keeping the kids entertained, fed, and making sure they're moving their bodies enough. You don't get a break. You're exhausted and feeling lots of feelings. Maybe you cry sometimes. But you're doing great.
Your kids probably have lots of questions about why they can't go to school, see their friends, or come within 6 feet of any human outside of their immediate family. Depending on their age, answers to those questions might seem impossible. They are, as it turns out, pretty impossible. You don't want to lie, so you give them some version of the truth, trying not to scare them or create some sort of germ trauma they'll carry with them for the rest of their lives. It's hard. But you're doing great.
You feel guilty about all the screen time. Don't. There are no rules in a global pandemic, except to keep you and your family safe and healthy. Let them watch entire seasons of TV shows and have movie marathons. Let them FaceTime their friends all day, make TikTok videos, or spend time alone on their tablet. It's fine if you choose not to homeschool for a day or two... or even at all. It's fine if you don't set up art projects and activities to keep their minds engaged every day. They'll be OK. Just get through today and worry about tomorrow tomorrow. You're not failing. You're doing great.
You have to go to the grocery store, the pharmacy, and maybe to doctors' appointments. You're going to run out of toilet paper. All of that makes you nervous. We're all nervous. We simultaneously want to stay away from and hug every person we see. We've never been as physically distant from our friends, family, and strangers as we are now, and yet somehow, we've never been as connected. And there you are, quarantined at home with your kids, doing great—even if you don't feel it right now. We're all doing great.