When my kids look back on this time in their lives, I hope they remember it as being fun or, at the very least, not so bad. My parenting style during quarantine is pretty similar to how it was when we were out and about in the real world, except these days my kids…tend to get whatever they want. (So long as it's within the realm of what I can offer them.)
"Mom, can we have eggs, toast, pancakes, waffles and a bowl of cereal for breakfast?"
"Sure, no problem."
"Mom, you'll wash the dishes and clean up all the toys we left out without us helping, right?"
"Yup, you got it."
"Mom, can we take a break from doing school work and ride bikes for the 15th time today?"
"Mom, can we watch YouTube Kids for three hours this afternoon instead of doing those last few assignments?"
"Yup, you bet."
Whatever makes my kids happy and helps me stay sane, that's my motto. I don't know that it would be considered good parenting, but I'm okay with that. Since I've been saying yes so often when I do have to say no, my kids go nuts and don't really understand what just happened. (Which doesn't feel great.)
But you know what? Most of the time they're happy, kind children and I know in my heart I'm raising good kids.
If I had to analyze my 'yes mom' status, it wouldn't just have to do with the coronavirus. It is also because I have a different perspective than many because I lost a child a few years ago and was never able to give her everything she wanted. She never got to ride a bike or eat every type of breakfast possible in one sitting or play with her twin sister who lives on for both of them.
She never got to do some of the great things her siblings have gotten to do, and maybe especially, get to do during quarantine, like cook and bake with me, have dance parties, build forts, do scavenger hunts around the house, set up nail salons in the bathroom, go on nature walks or watch some of my favorite childhood movies like Troop Beverly Hills or Mighty Ducks.
Sometimes I think it's therapeutic for me. And I'm okay with that.
Don't get me wrong, even with saying yes, we've still had our stressful days and I cherish the moments when my kids are asleep at night. But instead of constantly stressing about things like homeschooling or all the cooking, cleaning and laundry I'm doing, I decided I need to let go a little. Sometimes chores can wait. Sometimes it's more important to have fun. The memories are well worth it.
Saying yes has also acted as a stress reliever for me. I realized early on in quarantine that if I say yes, my kids are happy. If I say yes, I don't have to listen to my kids complain about me saying no. I also don't have to feel bad that I'm not doing what they want to do. In fact, when I say yes, a lot of the time, I'm able to relax and have fun with them, too.
I know constantly saying yes may be more difficult for families working from home right now. I also know this is more difficult for the amazing parents on the front lines. No matter what your circumstances may be, if you just do your best, I think your kids will be able to look back at this time and remember it as being fun or, at the very least, not so bad.
I hope that's what my kids will remember.