A blog by Marjorie Pierce, LICSW and the Director of Operations for Achieve TMS East. She has her MBA with a concentration in Healthcare Administration from the Isenberg School at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She is also a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and received her Masters of Social Work from Boston University. She has 20+ years of experience in Behavioral Health.
Someone once said before I had children, that parenting is the hardest and most rewarding job you will ever have. Let’s face it, parenting is hard when there is not a global pandemic going on, never mind when we are in the middle of one AND quarantined. There is not one book or a one size fits all rule to parenting. Right now, things are even more difficult. Parents and caregivers are dealing with their own stress, anxiety, and worries. In the midst of it, many are home with their children who are also facing many of the same feelings as their caregivers. I am going to share something for you, as the parent, and for you, as the human.
For your children, it is a balance. You need to provide a routine and structure to their day but flexibility is also key. Your children are going through a stressful time and have been separated from the place and people that take up half of their week. School is their family away from home. Keep this in mind, with every decision you make. Keep them active but give them down time. Spend time with them but let them have contact with their friends via phone, social media, etc. Try to keep a positive outlook and avoid too much news and media. They don’t need to know every detail. What you share should be age-appropriate.
For you, it is a balance. You need to provide a routine and structure for your day but flexibility is also key. You are going through a stressful time and have been separated from the place and people that take up half of your week. For many of us, work is our family away from home. Be patient with yourself and show the same amount of compassion to yourself that you do for others. Make sure that you have time for play, downtime, and rest. You will be a better you and show up for your family in a much better way.
When all else fails, remind yourself and your child that this too shall pass. We may be experiencing a new normal right now but eventually, COVID-19 will go away. All we can do is live in the present and pay attention to the gifts that present themselves even in the midst of uncertainty, anxiety, and fear. And lastly, like we tell our children, reach out for help if you need it. Mostly, people are good and are there to help.
Marjorie Pierce, Achieve TMS East