It’s Not You — It’s Hard Because It’s Hard

Working from home. Helping kids with distance learning. Putting a stop to sibling fights 100 times a day. Having your spouse working from home. Keeping toddlers busy. Nursing a baby. Putting three meals a day on the table for every person in your household every single day while also fulfilling the never-ending requests for snacks. Trying to keep the house remotely tidy. You may be dealing with any combination of these and other challenges as we stay home due to COVID-19. If you are an essential worker and have been working this whole time, perhaps even harder than you worked before, you face a whole different set of challenges. Through it all, you are trying your best to hold yourself together and be strong for your family, even as you are overwhelmed with there being no end to this situation in sight.

On top of it all, perhaps you feel uneasy about the idea of sending the kids back to school or returning to the office, or you feel anxious reading and seeing information about this virus that seemingly changes every day. To say it is a lot for one person to deal with all at the same time is an understatement. You may feel like you’re failing and that others are coping better than you, which leaves you feeling inadequate. Their house is cleaner, their kids look happier, their hair is done and they look fresh and showered, they are making beautiful home-cooked meals and batches of fresh baked goods daily. Social media allows us to make unfair comparisons of ourselves to others with people only posting the positive aspects of life.

Try to remember, it’s not you. This is hard because it is hard. What is being asked of you can feel like the impossible that just can’t be done. Home. Work. School. Family. Friends. Health. It’s all a lot to juggle and manage. So what can you do? Your best. That’s it. And be gentle on yourself in the process. You are doing heroic work and showing your girl how to be resilient and brave during a challenging time.

We also need to try to remember that while it seems our kids might be giving us a hard time right now, they in fact may be having a hard time. Their lives got turned upside down in an instant, just as ours did, and they may be unable to express or recognize how they are feeling and why. Between missed field trips, play dates, birthday parties, and even graduation ceremonies — there is a lot that could be disappointing your youngest family members. Here is how you can help your kids cope with disappointment in the face of COVID-19. If you find yourself understandably overwhelmed at times and you lose your cool, it’s OK. You are human. However, if you do get upset and yell at the kids, here is how you can fix it.

These are tough times. Add any financial stresses on top of all of this and they are that much tougher. Just remember that while we are living in this new state of normalcy, when it all feels like too much and you are not enough, take a step back and just try your best. There will be beautiful hidden within the ugly moments. It is too much. But you are more than enough and just what your kids need right now.

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