Living in this new normal has meant parenting might have felt a bit different recently.
We know that trying to balance home school with the kids, your own job, daily exercise, chores, checking in with friends and family, cooking and staying positive can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. Whatever lockdown looks like in your house, you shouldn't feel guilty and it's really important to look after your own wellbeing so we've put together a list of things you shouldn't feel guilty about and ways to overcome it.
So, don't feel guilty for...
Not Filling Everyday With Fun Activities
Here at Kidadl, we've been giving you lots of ideas for fun ways to pass the time during lockdown, from indoor obstacle courses to space crafts. However, that definitely doesn't mean you need to be filling every day with fun and creative things to do. It's fine for the kids to watch some TV and it doesn't matter if you don't feel up for the family baking session you'd planned. If you are still feeling guilty about getting activities done then try and set yourself a realistic goal. Get the kids to suggest one thing they'd like to do that week and try and find the time to squeeze it in, whether it's watching a film, camping in the garden or making some at home face masks. Doing one thing together will give you something to refer back to in your mind when any of that guilt tries to creep back in.
Not Getting Creative With Cooking
Feeding the family three meals a day, every day, and making sure there are snacks on hand can feel a bit like a full-time job in itself. Don't feel guilty for whatever food you're putting on the table, you might manage to whip up a balanced meal one day but on other nights, popping a pizza or chicken nuggets in the oven will do the job too. No one always has a cupboard full of fresh homemade snacks and we've definitely been supporting our local takeaways every so often. Going to the supermarket is still a bit strange so there's no need to add more stress with a long list of ingredients for all the things you're going to cook that week. Try and plan a few meals before your supermarket trip and maybe ask your children what they'd like to eat. Pasta, tins of chopped tomatoes, baked beans, coconut milk, fruit, yoghurts, cereal bars, a few vegetables, fish fingers and different types of meat are good places to start.
Working From Home
Many parents are feeling more guilty about their jobs now they're working from home. It can feel harder to distinguish the difference between work and switching off to actually be at home with the family, the lines between the two have become slightly blurry. Don't feel guilty about having to prioritise work overparenting for a bit and closing the door to your make-shift office so you can get things done. If you give the kids a time when you should be finished or set them up with something to keep them occupied they might be more likely to give you some space to focus on your job. Trying to maximise actual working hours should make it easier to switch off at the end of the day so you don't have to feel guilty about work eating into your evenings.
Taking Time For Yourself
Having everyone at home all the time means it can be harder to find a quiet moment for yourself, especially when it feels like there are hundreds of other things you could be doing instead. Every parent deserves to be able to carve out some time for themself, it's really important to be able to reset, relax and let go of any stress and tension you've been feeling. However you decide to spend a quiet moment, you shouldn't feel guilty about it or worry about all the other things you could be doing. Take the time away from your children to really focus on yourself and doing something that will make you happy.
A Few Arguments
It might look like everyone is loving the lockdown, but trust us, not every family is all smiles all the time. Parents shouldn't feel guilty about a few at home arguments, moments of bickering and short tempers, it's completely normal, especially when you're inside for the majority of the day. Don't feel guilty if there are days when you feel like the family aren't getting on or voices are raised in the house. Discipline is still important during lockdown, but make sure everyone knows the importance of saying sorry when it's necessary and realising when they might have overreacted because of other emotions, we all need to be able to recognise how we're feeling and try to work with each other to ensure everyone is getting on as well as possible.
Not Ticking Off Your To-Do List
If you're like us, you might have overestimated how much free time you'd have during lockdown and written a bit of a to-do list. When we looked back on our list, repainting the spare room, sorting the airing cupboard and learning a new skill were all on there and none of them have been ticked off but that's ok! We're just trying to take each day as it comes and get through it, try not to worry if the kitchen gets a bit messy or you haven't worked through that pile of paperwork you've been meaning to, you're definitely not the only one. Remember that a small daily goal is better than nothing!
Parenting is never an easy task, but lockdown has added a few new challenges. However you're managing them, try and minimise any feelings of guilt, don't compare your daily routine to the rest of the world and do your best to stay positive! There is enough to worry about without giving yourself a hard time so just keep doing your best.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
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