PRACTICAL PARENTING ◽ HOME
We have new contributors to this column – three moms that have nine kids between them! They range in ages 1-10 and these moms have plenty of stories and encouragements and frustrations to share! Each month, they will tackle a question that hopefully most moms of young children struggle with, and share some hope and insight into what’s working/not working for them. Hope you enjoy!
This month the question is how to handle the fears of the pandemic as a mom, what those fears are, and how to keep the fear from being part of the kids’ emotions, as well. It’s something everyone has faced since the world turned completely upside down and all the kiddos are home. Who would have believed schools would be closed, masks would be mandatory, and a new war would be waging – against a powerful virus?
“The conversations about the virus have been a big one at our house.” When the news first came out was the worst because my husband was traveling and it made me nervous. I sounded worried and panicked on the phone, as I was totally in prep mode as a mom – being protective over my kids!
That night before bed, my oldest wanted Dad to come home so he wouldn’t be sick. Hearing my fear caused him to fear. I realized then that our conversations about the virus needed to be in private and not in front of the kids. We could manage our convos with the kids better, after we talked alone. If I walk in panic or fear, they do. too.
The kids were excited at first about not going to school. But my daughter, age 7, was super sad about missing friends and not being able to have her birthday party. She had been planning it for months, but friends drove by and surprised her - which she loved!
“It’s been hardest on me as Mom.” Because of pay cuts, we can’t buy all the things I want to give them, or have the fun I want to share. However, our kids are troopers. We just do life. We talk about the Lord. I have to limit social media and news. – I spend a lot of time praying, we pray together as a family, then we stay away from all the updates – we have normalcy – and take one day at a time. I want them to know the hope of Christ in every area of life, not just the pandemic – but in finances, too!
“What if one of us gets the virus?” This has been my most troubling thought or fear. My oldest, age 10, had stomach issues and I was completely panicked. I was convinced she had COVID-19 and was beating myself up for letting her ride in the car as we delivered a meal to a grieving family. I thought perhaps she contracted it when the family came outside to greet us. She is fine, thankfully, but I totally worried for a couple of hours. I tried to stay calm in front of her, but ended up talking to my husband and my mom. This was a huge help in calming me down. It’s important to phone a friend or family member – sometimes it helps just hearing another voice from one that is rooted in faith, to help us out of our funk.
“I’m enjoying the innocence and joy through my girls’ eyes.” My girls are 3 and 1, and so we don’t have discussions about hardships. However, our oldest does understand that a lot of places are closed. She gets discouraged that she can’t go to church or see a friend. She knows the term “corona virus” but she doesn’t comprehend what it is. And the biggest difference both girls have realized is that during this pandemic, Mommy and Daddy are home more often! One day I will have to explain hard things…but not now.
We’ve most enjoyed our mini white boards –we all 5 have one – and we take the Three Marker Challenge! We write a bunch of objects on paper, like giraffe, shoe, bed, etc. and put these in a jar. Then we pick one out to draw. We have a bucket of markers and we have to close our eyes, and draw out only three colors. This has been our favorite family activity! We have to draw things in colors we didn’t choose and they come out funky and fun. We all love to draw!
We try to make a list of things we are thankful for, every day. Sometimes it’s a simple as a backpack or a rock my girls find on our walk.
We had a whole watch party event for Trolls, World Tour. We printed out coloring pages, made a concession stand, got dressed up for the “red carpet,” attempted to dye our hair and made troll hair, made a microphone, and had a dance party! (It’s a good movie!) It was so nice to focus on something fun – not school, work, or the news. Music and dancing just did something for all of our spirits!