It’s been almost a year since I wrote a blog post, and I still don’t feel like I’ve adjusted to our “new” normal – and frankly, I don’t want to. I just want to go back to our old normal, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. I don’t understand all these people who have so much more free time – I’m convinced the difference is they don’t have children 🙂 But that’s enough whining about the pandemic – at least I’m recovered enough to get back to writing, which is something I have missed but was just too overwhelmed by everything else that had to be done to make time for it.
I’m curious what has been the most challenging for all the parents out there? For me, it’s been a combination of work challenges related to running a preschool, and parenting challenges with adjusting to virtual school for my 10 year old. From the work perspective, having the school close from mid-March to Memorial Day, while trying to continue to pay the teachers, was extremely stressful, combined with daily OOM meetings and webinars to try to navigate new regulations from DSS and the UMC, so that we could re-open. We were so blessed to have many wonderfully supportive parents who donated tuition payments despite not receiving care, so that we could stay afloat until we finally received out PPP loan.
From the parenting standpoint, I’ve always wondered in the back of my mind what homeschooling would be like, and while this is nowhere near as much work as it would be to write and teach lessons in multiple subjects each day, it’s given me a little taste of that world. Although the flexibility has been nice, and we’ve been able to travel to visit her adult siblings a few times, the challenge of having to be available all day to support her learning combined with having to allow additional screen time for social interaction while trying to limit screen time, is a bit of a Catch-22. I’ve read some amazing articles from other parents, enjoyed some great Pinterest posts on fun/educational activities to do together, and set some challenges for us in 2021 to help encourage play that doesn’t require a screen.
One of those is taking the 1000 hour challenge – which has us setting a goal of 1000 hours outside this year. This will be a bit more of a stretch for me than for her, but I think it will be so beneficial for us to prioritize outside time, both personally and relationally as a family. This challenge came from a website (www.1000hoursoutside.com), which has a lot of outdoor information and resources, as well as a blog. Although this challenge breaks down to about 3 hours per day, we are doing smaller chunks during the winter cold and anticipating that we will catch up during the other 3 months with better weather.
I would love to know what challenges this pandemic has brought you – as well as how you tackled them (if you have), so please comment and let me know. Also, any topics you want me to write about, I would welcome your suggestions. Until the next time . . .