There is one obvious benefit of stay at home orders and the reason that we all have been following them and that is because staying home has helped hospitals from becoming overwhelmed and saved some lives. After two months or so of following them and successfully flattening the curve though pandemic fatigue is setting in and we’re wondering how much longer this will all go on. As we anxiously await for some level of normalcy to return, there are some positives that are coming from this time in our lives that we can be thankful for and use to help power us through that fatigue.
More time with our kids – It can be argued maybe too much time, but this is a unique time where our kids are getting to spend more time with their parents than they ever will again in their lives. For any parent that has felt that pang of guilt because their kids spend more time in the care of others than they do with them, you can say goodbye to that guilt…at least for now. Our kids no doubt miss their friends but I like to think that this extra time that they’re getting from their parents is somehow making up for that loss. If you're like me, you may have even noticed some behavioral issues that came about from missing mom and dad have completely vanished!
Kids will become more independent – With more on the plates of parents and the same amount of time to do it in, this is just what naturally has happened. Parents just don’t have the time or quite frankly the energy to hover over their children everyday. As a result, kids have had to learn to do more for themselves and adults have had no choice but to trust them more, even if it led to them making a mistake or two. Any part of me that was hesitant to let my daughter do something for fear that she would make a mess has completely gone away. Even when she has done something on her own and made a mess, she learned from her mistakes and now is a pro at that task.
We all get a breather – I went to register my daughter for a music class in February and realized that the only day available, which was Saturday, wouldn’t work for our schedule. Why? Because we were booked solid through May with birthday parties and other events. Maybe everyone isn’t as bad as me when it comes to over scheduling but kids in general are definitely more over scheduled than kids in the past. I’m sure part of our desires to create busy schedules come from trying to reduce some of that mom guilt we constantly feel but a part of it comes from wanting to give our kids the best and everything that we can. Not having something to go to every weekend and just enjoy free time with no guilt has been one of the top positives to come from all of this. Now that we know our kids can survive a weekend without activities, maybe it will mean that this breather will extend into a post pandemic world as well.
We get to know our kids better – Not too long after stay-at-home orders went into effect, my husband told me that he thinks our daughters verbal communication has gotten better since being home. I spend a little bit more time with her than him and disagreed but in hindsight I realized that it’s because he was spending so much time with her now that he got the opportunity to notice it. Our kids say, do and learn amazing things everyday but because we’re away from them so much, we miss out on a lot of it. As stressful as this time has been, seeing those small moments of growth are like a ray of sunshine after a storm.
We can teach them anything – I’ve had a ton “things” that I’ve been planning to do forever, including teaching my daughter to properly wipe her butt before she starts preschool but I could never find the time to actually do it. Now since she’s at home for every single poop, I have nothing but time to teach her. Yes, its true that I don’t technically don’t have more time but I have more control over everything since she’s at home everyday instead of just having control of her actions on weekends. If there is something that you’ve been meaning to teach your kid like how to ride a bike or make their own lunch, now is the absolute perfect time to do so.