When this whole coronavirus crisis started I was very nonchalant about it not because I did not take the matter seriously but because I knew what I needed to do to keep the risk of contracting the virus low for myself and family which was to stay at home and practice social distancing. But what I did not know was how I was going to manage my business and a full-time client case load while working from home with not one, not two, but three children ages 18 months to 8 years old. And yes! this meant remote learning for two.
The first 2-3 weeks was an emotional roller coaster. I truly felt I was grieving the loss of daily habits and routines that I relied on to manage being a momprenuer. But what I had to realize is that I couldn't continue to manage my household with the same rules and I needed to shift my mindset to mirror the shifts in the world around me as result of the pandemic.
How many weeks later (yes! I stop counting the days) I can calmly say that I'm embracing the hidden gifts and opportunities of coronavirus. Mothering is not easy on any given day! To see coronavirus show up and complicated the lives of many mothers is just so frustrating.
So, if you're wondering are you going to survive? Are you struggling to adjust to this new normal? Do you feel like you're straight up losing your mind?
Here are 5 tips to help manage the stress and anxiety of mothering during quarantine:
1. Co-create Daily Schedules and Routines
Prior to the quarantine, perhaps you were accustom to certain routines or schedule however, it's important to recognize that we are are not living in normal times therefore you can't apply old rules to this new situation. Creating new rules, new routines, and new schedules is key to surviving quarantine while mothering. Make it fun and collaborative. Invite your child to create a daily schedule that works for you and them. Beside, having their buy-in comes with many benefits for you.
Happy child, happy mom!
2. Find Outlet to Release Energy!
These little human have so much energy that they need to release otherwise this same energy may lead to increased tantrums and meltdowns. Children may not be able to express what they are feeling emotionally and physically as a result of the pandemic. Think about it, cabin fever is on the rise for many adults during this quarantine so of course our children are feeling irritable about it to but lack the emotional intelligence to communicate it.
Be proactive and keep them moving!
3. Self Care for Mom!
You cannot pour from an empty cup! Taking care of yourself indirectly takes care of your little one. Self care isn't selfish....it's love for you and your child. So please take care of yourselves during this challenging time. While you're thinking of self care, keep it simple and keep it real. Self care should be part of your normal routine. Think about what is feasible for you and your family even if that means taking 5-15 minutes a day for yourself. These minutes adds up and allows you to take the edge off.
4. Be Honest with Yourself!
We are living in very difficulties times. Understand that some things just can't get done and that okay! Recognize your limitations and have grace with yourself. I know it might be very tempting to compare yourself to other moms who seem to have it all together. Remember the grass isn't always greener on the other side and that everything that glitters isn't gold. So the next time you find your self becoming victim to the comparison trap, ask yourself "do I really know what this person is going through? If not, then you don't have all the facts that you need to make a true statement. Accept that you are doing your best, and that is enough!
5. Seek help!
Seeking help is a sign of strength and not weakness. No need to shy away because trust and believe there's another mother in your shoe who understands what it like to feel stressed and overwhelmed by mothering. In fact many women are seeking support now that support is available in the comfort of your own home. Virtual support groups are being more readily available. If you prefer to seek 1:1 support, many therapist are offering online therapy to meet the needs of the community.
You don't have to face this challenge alone!
Be well & stay healthy!