It can be grueling, right? The messes. The revelations. The catastrophes.
The moments of joy. The trials. The realness. The laughter. The togetherness.
The warmth of happy tears. The experiences we live through. The lessons that shape us.
The rawness that tests us. The exhausted stamina which takes us to the edge of our limits and back again.
It’s raising children.
In all of its labels, shapes, and sizes.
And right now many of us parents are struggling with the unknown. We are trying to manage what quite often seems unmanageable. We are in the midst of a pandemic.
But parenting doesn’t stop. It doesn’t take a break. It’s relentless in its demands and sacrifices.
This is why, dear fellow parents, we must step back for a minute and regroup.
At the start of this thing, with stay-at-home orders and social distancing, I came at my kids with guns blazing, armed with schedules, itineraries, and high expectations.
And what I’ve learned so far is that trying to be perfect or even trying to achieve some semblance of normalcy is not something we HAVE to do right now.
Because parenting is here. It’s now. It’s relentless. Even in pandemic times. Even as our ‘normal’ transforms.
It’s our journey. And we’re all trying to be steady at the wheel right now.
But holding onto that wheel too tightly isn’t necessary. It really isn’t.
There’s enough change swirling around us that requires our attention and adjustment. We don’t need to transform ourselves into superhero parents who have suddenly mastered the school curriculum without notice and be some version of Mary Poppins for our kids 24/7.
We just need to be who we’ve always been. Their parents. Flawed and imperfect. Our children don’t require more than that. They want love, security, and comfort right now. Not perfection.
And I know despite our best efforts to remain calm, we’re all still comparing ourselves to other parents on a daily basis, wondering if we’re doing enough, desperately trying not to stress out about how unorganized we may feel when we hear about other parents who seemingly have schedules and assignments laid out with precision and ease.
You don’t have to be like other parents. You just need to be there. Your child or children are looking to you in this time of confusion. And they aren’t looking for perfection. They’re just looking for YOU.
And that’s all you need to be right now.
More from Michelle: 3 Things The Coronavirus Taught My Daughter That I Couldn’t
Previously published on “A Parent Is Born,” a Medium publication.
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