If you are a parent, you know first hand that parenting during a global pandemic has been tough. Maybe you are a single parent, a solo parent, co parent, traditional parent with a spouse, parent in a blended family or a special needs parent…or any combination of these.
I’m exhausted, aren’t you? Schools closing, daycares closing, working from home, juggling remote learning, hybrid schedules, in person learning with prayers they won’t close shop for a couple of weeks or months again with a only a day’s notice. It seems everyone’s experience this year looks different, but all the same we have been challenged, more than ever as mothers.
For me, my two boys, 6 and 7 years old, have been remote learning since March. Yes….I said March. And they have been home the ENTIRE TIME, with no babysitter, daycare, or breaks for this weary mama.
I’m a special needs mama to both my boys. We deal with IEPs, OTs, Speech Pathologists, Play Therapists, ADHD meds, the works. This year my oldest started treatment for a mood disorder and my youngest is living his fullest life fully embodying the traits of Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
Yesterday, my day started with my youngest sobbing that his oatmeal wasn’t on the table yet and “Heaven Forbid…” still in the microwave. We later signed in for his NWEA reading fluency test after making sure he had a quiet place to work and his audio and microphone worked. He completed the test without saying a word. When I asked him about it, he replied, “I didn’t want to talk. I said it in my brain.” So let’s chalk that test score up to completely invalid of his abilities. I mean the list goes on about our academic struggles of compliance throughout the day.
After school, we met with his play therapist via telehealth of course. My boyfriend and I sat with him as we worked through role playing some of his behaviors and allowing him to play the parent.
I saw a glimmer. A glimmer of hope, empathy, maybe understanding on my son’s part. That he may just have had a glimpse of what effect his behaviors have on our family unit. And afterward, he expressed wanting to be on the family plan and earn some privileges back. So the 3 of us talked out a plan and goal for the next 3 days.
Now I am no fool. I’m nervous. I’ve lived this quarantine, groundhog day lifestyle all too long this year. I’m fearful that oppositional defiance will rear its head anytime and we are back to the daily battles.
But this evening, Mama, I’m going to take the win.
Moments like this, take the win. Let hope fill your soul. Feel the joy. Yes, like any moment it may be short lived. The battles may start again soon. You could be back to the grind at any time. But don’t let your fear take this one. Celebrate those small successes as they come and collect them like trophies to fuel your hope.
Mama, take the win.
You have to. I have to. I need that thread of hope.