Dear Parents, please stop complaining about being quarantined with your kids, the ones you made and brought into this world. You chose to have these babies, remember?
I understand that our current lifestyle is difficult, stressful, and uncertain. However, it isn’t your child’s fault and you should not take out your frustrations on them because believe it or not, they are struggling as much as you.
We are entitled to our feelings and opinions about our current situation and I am not taking that away from you. Rather, I want you to stop and think about your actions and comments you make when you refer to being quarantined with your child.
“I’m tired of them.”
“When is school going to open back up so these kids can get out of my house.”
“Anyone know of a daycare I can send my babies to?”
“I’d rather be quarantined at home alone than stuck with these crazy kids.”
These are just a few statements that parents have been making about their children and as a mom myself, it’s toxic and concerning that you feel this way towards your own child.
I am a stay-at-home-mom but that does not mean I am more used to this lifestyle than you are. Yes, I am at home with my children than majority of parents are and I am grateful to have that opportunity. Nonetheless, I still experience stress, anxiety, and frustration while caring for them. But, I would never beg someone to take them away because I’m tired of them or over it, I would never make them feel like they are a burden, because time is fleeting and they will eventually grow and become independent and leave our home on their own.
Furthermore, I want you to stop and think about teachers and caregivers, they deserve more recognition than what you usually give them. Now, parents are understanding how challenging it is to educate a child, teach them, and keep their attention. Now, you have the chance to experience first hand the kind of child you raised, are they good listeners? Do they have manners? Do they have learning issues?
I am a millennial and I understand the economy and the hardships our generation faces. I know that it isn’t an option for most parents to stay at home and raise their own kids because bills have to be paid and ends need to be met. But, what about the other parents? The ones who rarely spend time with their offspring, the ones who always have their kids in school, daycare, at grandmas, or with a babysitter. How do you feel right now?
I look at this quarantine in a different light because I choose to see the brighter side of all that life throws at us. This quarantine has given us the chance to slow down, reconnect, learn, adapt, and grow. No, it is not our new “normal” but it is our current situation. Your kids may look at this as a vacation where they get to be home with their parents and guardians, learn, play, relax, and unwind. If they rarely had the chance to spend time with you before, imagine how thrilled they are now that they get to be with you and make new memories. Don’t treat them as a burden or annoyance when they see you as their light.
Moreover, this is a learning opportunity for us as parents. This situation will bring to light your flaws and your own hurt that you need to heal from. Are you short-tempered, and impatient? Do you hit your children at the slightest inconvenience or error they make? How great are you at teaching your child a new skill or lesson? The thing is, we are more like our parents then we like to believe. The more time that we spend with our parents the more we mold and shape shift into them, we absorb different aspects of their personalities, characteristics and traits.
Growing up, when either of my parents attempted to teach me something new and I didn’t grasp the concept immediately or in the time span they preferred they became irritated and some sort of punishment would follow. It only instilled fear and annoyance towards my parents. I found it amusing as I got older until I had children of my own. I remember looking at my toddler one day while teaching her the alphabet, I was becoming irritated because she wasn’t focusing and paying attention like I wanted her to, I saw the sadness in her eyes and I immediately stopped and hugged her. I apologized and told her how sorry I was that I lost my patience. I mentioned to her that I understand this is the first time she is learning about the ABCs and I can’t expect her to know it right off the bat. I took that situation as a learning lesson and our interactions with each other when it came to teaching her things has been a breeze ever since. Anaís now knows her ABCs, colors, and numbers because I used patience, compassion, and understanding to help her grasp the lesson I was trying to teach.
Do not get me wrong, I have my moments and yell at my toddler, I still get frustrated and have to walk away, but I acknowledge my behavior and I am trying to find ways to cope, heal, and find an alternative. Scarring another generation is not the way. Personally, I found that working out every morning has helped me burn off angry energy and gives me a brighter start to the day.
See, here’s the thing, our parents teach us coping mechanisms and how to handle stressful or even gleeful situations and they aren’t always healthy. It is our job to unlearn and heal so we don’t pass these toxic behaviors down onto our children. Hurt people hurt people.
Don’t wish away this quarantine because you’re over spending time with your child or because you want them out of the house, don’t tell your children they stress you out and you want to send them off to school or their grandmas, don’t treat them as a burden. Our children are our future and it’s our job as parents to nurture, love, and guide them.
Myself, just like the rest of the population am going stir crazy. I want to get out and roam the aisles of Target, I want to get an overpriced coffee at Starbucks, I want to take my daughters to the park, I want to bring them to play with their cousins, I want to escape for a date night with my husband in the city. Times are difficult and we’re all finding ways to cope. However, rather than harboring those anxious and stressed emotions, find a way to release them and when you do, go talk to your child.
Children are mirrors and they reflect our actions and behaviors right back onto us. If you’re feeling stressed they might be too, you miss your friends and so do they, you want to go out and so do they. What are their outlets? How do they relieve their anxiety? Children can have anxiety attacks and develop depression at an early age. Don’t let your children fall down that deep and dark hole, talk to them. Ask your son or daughter how they are feeling today, ask them what would make them happy, and what they would like to do. Sometimes our children act out because we aren’t giving them the attention and love they need, they don’t know how to express all of their big emotions. Sticking them in front of the television with snacks will only help for so long before they need interaction just like us adults do.
My friends always joke that I’m a Pinterest mom, but at times like these Pinterest is a wonderful way to find activities for you and your kids to do at home, they also have helpful ways to teach your kids while keeping everyone happy and sane.
So please, stop saying you want to get rid of your kids and that you’re sick and tired of them, they can hear you and they can feel the resentment. Heal your hurt and break the cycle.
A mom trying to heal ❤️