I’m just going to come right out and say it, it sucks.
Let’s be real, most days I feel like I might go nuts. My house is a disaster on a good day, I’m barely completing the daily activities the teachers have sent me for the big kids, and my kids have had enough screen time to last them a few years.
One of my kids’ planning teachers called last week and chatted with him. He began to tell her about the things he’s built in mine craft (because let’s face it, he’s had enough time to build like 7 villages or whatever you build in mine craft). She told him they don’t have video games in her house.. he asked if her kids play with tablets, to which she said no. I wanted to scream, HOW DO YOU DO IT?!!!
For a few years I was the mom who refused to get my kids a tablet. Actually, we lasted right up until this past Christmas. Then we gave in, and we stuck to a very rigid, 30 minutes a day schedule.
Then one day my oldest son discovered the Xbox while his dad was playing, and he found mine craft.
Cue Covid-19 and social distancing and this momma realized that if she wanted a solid break, minecraft was the way to go. Am I proud? Not entirely. Do I still have my sanity? Yes.
So that’s what’s important, my sanity. Because at the end of the day, if mom is losing her shit, so is everyone else. So I’ve let it go, I’ve told myself that if it’s a hard day, and I’m exhausted and these kiddos want a little extra screen time, I’m going to let it happen.
I’ll tell you what happened once I let it go.
Suddenly I have more patience, not only with the kids, but myself as well. And funny enough, we get way more done now that I’m a little more lax with our routine. We get a lot more school work done, because momma has more patience to do it, and when they play their games I have time to set it up. So the lesson I learned- stop stressing, if it works, and it allows for some rest and makes everyone happy, let it happen.
In a sense, this social distancing has been a blessing in disguise. As we navigate the new world of a family of 6, things are simple. We don’t have to go anywhere, we don’t have to entertain. We’re just getting to know each other as a bigger family, and we’re focusing on the little things. So as much as I have days where I feel I may go a little insane, it hasn’t all been terrible.
To all those mommas out there feeling guilty for the extra screen time, or not setting up a rigid home schooling schedule, it’s okay. Your kids will be fine, and they will look back on this time and realize that their parents did what they had to, to keep the house happy and healthy. No one is perfect, and this is a hard time. I mean, never in a million years did I think I’d have my fourth baby then be told “okay, now you can’t go anywhere, visit anyone or have anyone visit you for an undetermined amount of time! Oh yeah, and you have to home school because your kids can’t go to school!” But here we are. There’s a lot of pressure being put on us as parents right now, but there doesn’t have to be. The more time that passes the more I recognize the learning experiences my kids get everyday without me teaching them.
My oldest likes to build stuff with his dad- so he learns all about power tools and measuring. More than he’d ever learn at school.
My girl loves to create. And when given creative freedom, she lets her imagination grow so much. How is that not learning?
Heck, even minecraft has been helping them learn to spell. My oldest showed me a dog he made the other day, named him and read his name out to me!
There’s learning opportunities everywhere. So if you’re feeling guilty about the amount of time you’re spending teaching your kiddos, take the time to recognize the learning opportunities they have in front of them, every single day. Not to mention this entire experience has been teaching them so much.
So in all of this, I’ve also had an opportunity to learn and grow. I’ve learned to give myself a damn break. I’ve learned that social distancing, as much as it’s necessary, sucks! I’ve learned that my kids are amazing and resilient. Most importantly, I’ve learned that it’s okay to just let things go.