As a parent, your children rely on you for their safety, both physically and mentally. More so, as we live through the COVID-19 pandemic, your children will need your warmth and attention more than ever. But as an individual, you too are feeling the stress brought by the uncertainties of the pandemic. How can you manage your own emotions while fulfilling your role as a mother?
You cannot separate yourself from being a parent and being a worrying citizen like other people. Therefore you have to create a balance for yourself while being a dependable parent to your children. Your maternal instinct is needed as you help your family thrive during this time of a global crisis. Here are some ways you can do that:
Create Stability At Home
According to Gayla Margolin, PhD, USC Dornsife professor of psychology and pediatrics and expert on family dynamics, “Parents should not undermine the reality of the situation or be dismissive of children’s fears.”
She adds, “Conveying specific information about how the family will cope can be reassuring.” Make a routine every day to help your children find direction, keep themselves busy, and calm.
Do also remember that your kids are listening. As much as you want to express your fears and anxieties, broadcasting it in front of your kids can make them worry more. To create a secured and stable home, make sure that you are being cautious about what they’re hearing and watching, not just in various media outlets but also on what you’re telling them.
Avoid invalidating your children’s fears as well. You have to talk to them and give out information about the pandemic that they can easily digest. In that way, your children remain informed. All members of the family have the responsibility to keep each other safe and educated.
A stable home can help your children be at ease and help you to become more relaxed as we continue to live on the “new normal.” As a mother, knowing that your children are okay can also give you the peace of mind you will need during these trying times.
Take Care Of Your Mental Health
Parenting is already hard enough, but parenting in a time of a pandemic can be much harder. Be kind and compassionate to yourself. No mother had themselves prepared to deal with a global disease. Look after yourself as much as you take care of your family.
Create a new daily routine, involving ways in which you can have time to enjoy and relax. Watch your favorite TV shows or movies. Finish the book you have bookmarked on since last year. Discover new relaxation techniques and try various hobbies. Let this time become an opportunity for you to discover yourself more.
If you’re working from home, make a fixed schedule to help you organize your tasks. Arranging the things you have to do will ensure that you’re fulfilling your roles in work and inside your home.
If you have specific needs, make sure you have prescription medicines in your home. Talk to a mental health professional if the overwhelming emotions are getting out of hand. Search for available support groups online.
You don’t have to keep your emotions to yourself. Bottling up emotions will only lead to outbursts, and you might direct it to your kids at some point. There are many ways you can reach out to your relatives and friends online. Discuss your fears and worries to them and receive tips in handling family life amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, don’t stay online for too long. The internet can be a vile place, and it might add stress to you. Drop social media when you feel it’s affecting your mental health. Tune in with yourself by doing activities such as exercising or cooking healthy meals. Stay connected with yourself first and foremost.
Avoid Making Speculations
Reading unreliable news can increase your fears and hinder you from functioning effectively. Make sure you’re only getting information from trusted sources. Since the pandemic is a health issue, get news from the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You can get objective information, avoiding unnecessary anxiety to cloud your judgment.
Make sure that your family is following guidelines to help limit the spread of the disease. Wear masks when going outside, clean your hands regularly, have a healthy diet, and avoid crowded places. Fabricating speculations that are not factual can only create confusion inside your family.
It’s normal to feel vulnerable and overwhelmed. Acknowledge your feelings and work through it. No one is expecting you to be perfect during this time. And you’re capable of leading them; you are a woman, strong and smart.