If you read the blog title and automatically thought of the Marvel reference, welcome, my people!
At what point does saying “I give up” lose it’s credibility. I know I am not the only mother who feels like she has said this phrase way too many times, in my head and out loud. What if we shared every single “I give up” on social media? I can just imagine the comments:
“There there…don’t let a bad 10 minutes label it a bad day.”
“Yes…you give up…we KNOW!!!!🙄”
“Did someone hack your account? Your status updates are all the same.”
“You give up, huh? Obviously not praying hard enough.”
These comments might not surface during our world’s current situation, because there is more solidarity with the “I give ups” among people trying to cope with all of the changes.
As I said in my blog last week, the Covid-19 pandemic is capable of heightening anxiety in parents everywhere. I have heard stories of parents stressing to re-create a full school day for their kids. Some parents are adjusting to working from home, some parents are stressing over daycare and babysitting, because they canNOT work from home. Some parents are waiters and waitresses who are not able to work. With the stress of hanging onto the last few rolls of toilet paper, and any of the above scenarios, I know there is potential for a wave of guilt to sweep our world.
I truly admire the way the school in our city came together and provided resources the best they knew how. Our schools even came together and provided meals for families. THAT is the America that makes me happy and proud. NOT the greed that drove people to empty grocery store shelves. I wonder, however, how administration letters were worded when contacting parents about said, resources. In this world where we communicate by text messages, the tone can be misconstrued many times. I wonder if the letters made parents think that they were responsible for sticking to ALL school resources and educating their kids 24/7, so that they won’t fall behind academically. I don’t think administrators intended on adding to our stress, but sometimes the wrong message can be sent, because we are human, and we sometimes interpret things differently. Whether they are printable worksheets or working online, I wonder if there are some parents out there thinking “They told me to make sure he was practicing his sight words. They said to make sure he practiced typing for 20 minutes. Oh no! He didn’t wake up until 10, and he played outside all day! I screwed up!” Breathe. No, you did not screw up.
Trying to shift gears to be employee, parent, and educator has the potential to be overwhelming. Yes, it is important to make sure your kids keep learning, but please know, that there can be small nuggets of learning in things that are not solely academic. The first day of my kids being home. I started with 2 hours of playtime. Don’t think that playtime isn’t important. It is! My kids were planning, thinking about solutions, and sharing their desires and dreams with me through their play. That is valuable!
Don’t be guilty if homeschooling is getting weird and complicated and you decided to take a break and binge watch all day. Don’t be guilty if you have a friend who is posting positive outcomes from their homeschooling experiences. “OH! You’re crushing the homeschooling, huh Mary, well my kids can quote a whole episode of Phineas and Ferb, over and OVER again. So there.” Try not to slack on your self-care either. If you need to spend some time alone in your room reading or napping, there is nothing wrong with that. Don’t even feel guilty if you have a week long staycation, especially if one of these quarantined weeks was going to be spring break anyways.
As for me, I am currently taking this one day at a time. I plan to use some of the materials the school sent over, but I am not going to stress about my kids falling behind, because I know that there are learning opportunities in many things. A good friend of mine said that she doesn’t want her kids to get into bad habits, like, sleeping late, watching tv, and going through the next week without any reading or writing. She says that teachers do not deserve us sending kids back to school and having to start all over. I agree. Don’t feel like you need to school them all day long, but don’t give up on the importance of reading and writing either. It can be as simple as writing a letter to a family member or writing down a monologue they have memorized from their favorite movie. Snail mail is becoming a lost art, so teaching how to address an envelope is a great learning opportunity as well. It is the first day of spring, so preparing a garden or talking about the changes of the season can be beneficial from pre-schoolers to high schoolers. Having your kids help with the chores is educational, and not child labor, no matter how many times your teens may roll their eyes. Put on some music and have a dance party while you wash dishes and sweep the floors.
There are many great resources out there. I have shared a few below. I also listed some books I have read over the past few months that have helped encourage me. I love that there is a movement of women writing books to encourage moms. Do not let the guilt push you down. If you feel like you are surrounded by grief and panic, don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends. No doubt, they may have similar struggles, and there is worth in working together to benefit you and your kids.
This past week, my city has had a record rainfall for this time of year. Yesterday, I stared at my backyard, gazing at the drenched grass and my tulips that are about to burst open. It was a gray day, with very little color. There was a veil of fog draped over the mountains. “That is beauty.” I said to myself. I automatically thought it was so strange that I said that. After all, gray is a gloomy color, and I had an English professor who labeled days like these as “vampire weather,” a symbol of darkness, isolation, and despair. Rain for our part of the country is always a blessing. The more rain we have, the less dust storms we will have. I saw the gray day that the rain brought, but I saw beauty before the color appeared. About 30 minutes later, a rainbow brightened the sky. Not a faint half rainbow, but a full, vibrant rainbow. There was more purple illuminated than I have ever seen in a rainbow before. My husband and I walked outside, gazed at it and embraced. “You have to think that is for us,” he said. And I truly believe it is. The Bible says that God will “heal our land”. Use this time of isolation and uncertainty to connect with God and to put your trust in Him. You may give up more than 3,000 times, but He will never give up on you.
He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth.
Psalms 72:6 KJV
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV
I set My rainbow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. It shall come about, when I bring clouds over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the clouds, When the rainbow is in the clouds and I look at it, I will [solemnly] remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
Genesis 9:13-14, 16 AMP
And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
Revelation 4:3 KJV
Recommended Self-Help Books:
1) The Proverbs 32 Woman, by Kerri Pomarolli
2) Fierce Faith, by Alli Worthington
3) Girl, Wash Your Face, by Rachel Hollis
First of all, there is no harm in experimenting with challenging your kids. Read aloud from a chapter book just above their reading level, or see if they are ready for times tables. See if it interests them. If it doesn’t. No worries, but it may make them feel proud to sound out big words or learn something that won’t be covered until next year. Give them a block of time to read on their own, because they do this frequently in the schools.
Also, many museums and zoos have live streams and educational resources at their websites.
I have this on VHS. I loved it when I was a kid. https://youtu.be/CyTWTrUU8IQ