Remembering Grace – Points for the Post Pandemic Parent by Angie Armada

2020 brought its challenges. A global pandemic and with that a brand new way of life (to us). Virtual school. No more gatherings. A more solitary life than any of us are really used to. You couldn’t just hop in your car and visit grandma or friends anymore. You had to stop and think not only about your own safety but theirs as well. Could you pass this awful virus to someone you love, or could it be passed to you? We were all of a sudden so aware of other people. Stand 6 feet apart. No more “besito hellos” which for a Miamian is a tough habit to break. In a city like Miami where it can often seem like we are one big dysfunctional family, we were no longer able to love on each other. No more playdates or midday coffee gatherings at La Ventanita. I can only wonder will things ever be back to “NORMAL”?

Although now in 2021 things are slowly opening back up and we see light at the end of the tunnel figuratively speaking – we still have so much to recover from. Aside from this horrible virus, we have had a rough go of it in terms of our political climate; and humanity as a whole has taken a huge hit. We can argue that humanity has been on a steady decline for some time now but that’s a topic for a different article. People are tired! Many working full time jobs and figuring out how to basically split themselves down the middle to care for their families while maintaining a healthy work life balance. As Moms (and Dads) I think we try our best to not only survive but thrive in these situations. Let’s get real for a minute though. We can’t split ourselves in half and add to that our patience dwindling with every passing day. I took a poll recently on social media to see how the parents in my feed were doing and many reported not having the patience they once had. Feeling irritable and stuck in their own homes and in their own lives. Mental health has taken a back seat for some and for those, that backseat can be a dangerous place. We have a lot on our plates.

Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? Many of us don’t allow ourselves the grace we deserve – myself included. Why is it so hard to give ourselves grace where we might be falling short or where we are struggling to “keep up”? For some reason we have been conditioned to believe that if we take a break we are lazy or that this avalanche of work will engulf our entire lives. No. Plan for it. Plan for those breaks if you need to. Your mind, body and soul will thank you. If it means going for a walk for an hour every day, alone, then take that walk. No matter what that break looks like to the outside world, give it to yourself. Take life day by day and remind yourself that you are doing the best you can. We ALL are. We are ALL just getting by right now. Surviving, and that’s ok. We need to stop putting our sanity on the back burner. Give yourself a break. Pick up a book. Pick up a new hobby. Put down your phone. Or don’t! Do what brings you joy. And if that means your kids get a little more screen time than usual, so be it. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children younger than 18 months (outside of video chatting), one hour of high-quality programming for children 2 to 5, and consistent limits for children 6 and older. Allow yourself to break these rules. Who else grew up on Nickelodeon and turned out just fine. Cut yourself some slack. We are all in this together and it’s important to remember that.

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