In the last five days, we’ve seen life come to a screeching halt.
And while for many adults, we’re still juggling things and making important decisions related to work, travel, etc., for our kids… their world has just stopped.
School, closed. Practices and games, canceled. Story hour at the library, gone for a month. Everything they know to be “normal” has stopped and whether they realize it or not, it will be this way for a time. This is not a long weekend. This is the new normal.
It wasn’t long before the “COVID-19 Daily Schedule” graphics started circulating the internet. There’s nothing wrong with these, let me be clear.
But as parents, we’re grasping for what to do and how to do it when everything we know has come to a halt. Every norm we’re used to when it comes to daily life with our kids, wiped away.
For many of us, we are forced to stop. Just STOP.
We don’t know how to do this well, admittedly.
We’re used to reminders sounding on Alexa telling our kids to grab their backpacks for the bus and dinners prepared in a crock pot before leaving for work so we can eat on the go in the evening.
Go, go, go is our normal. And now? Stop.
There is nowhere to go. No one is expecting us to show up anywhere.
We have been presented the opportunity to just STOP for awhile.
This is not a vacation, a time of leisure, or anything pre-planned. But for the first time in our lives, and the lives of our kids’, we have the chance to just STOP all of it.
This is when we the parents stop making all the fun happen and our kids get to have some say in the schedule a bit themselves.
Want to take your magnifying glass outside and examine the buds on the tree. Go for it.
Feel like dumping ALL the LEGOS out in the middle of the room so you can build for hours where mom NEVER lets the LEGOS just hang out? Let’s see what you can do.
“Mom, can I…” will naturally result in more “yes” than “no” simply because many of the reasons we say no are wiped away for a bit.
Siblings can disappear upstairs together for an hour and we parents don’t have to know exactly what game they’re playing or remind them they have ten minutes left before its time to stop playing so we can go. It’s not a time to GO, it’s time to STOP.
Hopefully, this will be the only time in their lives life just stops like this. So let’s embrace the stop and see where THAT goes while we navigate this together.
It’s not going to be easy but we can make it a little easier on ourselves by letting the expectations go, quit making the fun happen and just STOP.
Amy Cunningham is the chief content strategist for chambanamoms.com. She lives in Mahomet with her husband and two elementary school-age children.