Summer, The Pandemic & Parenting:
How The Pandemic Changed My Parenting Goals
Today it hit me – we are almost through summer break and nowhere near completing our goals for this summer season. I kind of freaked out. It used to be that summer break was full of camps and keeping the minis experiencing new things.
The beginning of summer I had this motivation because last year we “lost” an entire year of doing ALL THE THINGS. I kept telling myself not to get back into the “hamster wheel” of pre pandemic life…but my mind was feeling this sense of panic. My lion leaves in three years, and my unicorn just 2 after that….I want to give them all the experiences while they are in my house…..I want to give them a successful launching pad – and the way to do that is to have them experience everything, and know where they want to go and what they want to do and have everything in life figured out in a pretty shiny box that I hand them at the age of 18.
BUT NO. There is so much wrong with the pre pandemic panic parenting. I was focused on the wrong thing.
I forgot that we did not really lose time, we GAINED time. We gained time together, to sit in the house and CHILL. The goal is not that my children have experienced EVERYTHING they possibly can during the first 18 years of their lives….the goal is that my children WANT to try new things, know how to learn something new, don’t get discouraged if they try something and are not automatically the best, and more than anything, believe in themselves enough to take chances. The goal is to raise good people, people that understand the mindset of “its my right..” vs “these are my obligations…” (I believe in this mindset to an extent but will NOT hold obligations to family as a thing in my children’s life.)
The best way I can teach these lessons to my minis is by teaching them to love and know themselves. Would it be bold of me to say signing them up for everything possible almost feels like the “easy way” now? I want to talk to them, know them, discuss their ideas, make them feel heard. I want them to know they are loved no matter what and that they are loved unconditionally. They are not loved based on their accomplishments. Their accomplishments are for them, not me.
You know what this type of parenting takes? It takes pause, stillness and time.It takes willingness to hear your child come to conclusions that you don’t necessarily agree with, but trusting who they are and the way you have raised them. It takes confidence in myself and my husband’s parenting style.
I have to mix it up. We will continue to try new things without the urgency of “being the best” at everything we try, but instead to gain the experience and hope my children leave each experience knowing more about themselves.
There is a beauty in being “still.”
Instead of looking at this summer with “Oh my goodness we have not done everything we need to…” I think the way to view this is that everything does not need to get done right now. we are giving them a solid sense of self and understanding of the impact they have on the world so when it’s time for them to experience life….they are ready.
Or, maybe I’m just trying to justify the level of chill we have been living in this summer… 🙂