Parenting Through a Pandemic

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I don’t know how to do this.

I have zero experience parenting through a pandemic.

Photo by psychopko via Flickr

I’ve worked-from-home before, so I have some apparently useful skills. My 15 years as a work-from-home freelance writer have taught me how to get work done when you really don’t feel like working (set a timer), as well as the value of virtual connection. I was using Zoom before Zoom was cool.

As a former stay-at-home-mom, I have lots of experience being cooped up inside with kids. That experience taught me some useful skills too, including find a quiet place you can retreat to as necessary.

I even have homeschooling experience; I homeschooled our boys for 7 1/2 years.

But I have never, ever parented through a pandemic. The skills I acquired while working at home and homeschooling are helpful, but not entirely applicable because this is different. Before, I wasn’t also wrestling with the fear that the economy might come crashing down around us and I’ll have no income. Before, my kids could go out and play with friends. Before, we our homeschooling included visiting interesting places and doing interesting things. Now, we’re alone in our houses with no end in sight.

There’s No “Right” Way To Do This

If my years of homeschooling and working from home have taught me anything, it’s this: there’s no right way to do anything.

Some of my fellow work-from-home writer friends get dressed and put make up on every single day. Others work in their pajama. Some stick to a set schedule. Others tackle and prioritize tasks without assigning a set time to anything. We are all successful, nationally published writers.

Some children thrive on schedules; others prefer to dive deeply into one thing at a time, resurfacing only as the spirit moves them. Some children love flashcards and timed tests; other children freeze up under pressure.

Parenting through a pandemic, I suspect, is the same: What works for me and my family won’t necessarily work for you and yours. Do what works for you. Ignore all other advice.

I’ll be over here doing the same.

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