islandparent Parenting Well-being When ‘Good Enough’ is Enough

When ‘Good Enough’ is Enough

“Today marks the 10 year anniversary of the 6-week quarantine we’ve been on,” joked actor Ryan Reynolds during the recent “Stronger Together, Tous Ensemble” performance in aid of Food Banks Canada.

Some of us might laugh. Some of us might cry.

Depending on how you’re doing right now—be it the best of times or the worst—chances are you’re at least occasionally wearing thin and running out of ways to keep yourself and your kids from going crazy.

Because these are crazy times.

“Stay home, but still work. Lose your job, but stay positive for the kids. Become a teacher, but without a degree,” writes Susie Allison of @busytoddler. “Be every source of entertainment for your child and family, but don’t forget to have time for you.”

That’s almost impossible at the best of times. But now? How do we catch our breath in hopes of getting our second wind?

There’s no shortage of advice. Take it easy on yourself, let “good enough” be good enough, remind yourself that you’re doing your best, let go of the pressure to do it all.

Because you are doing enough.

“Put that on repeat,” says Allison. “Write it on your bathroom mirror, take deep breaths and say it again: I am doing enough.”

It’s okay if the learning for the day doesn’t work out, if the TV takes over, and the dinner comes from a box, she adds. It really is okay.

“Whatever you are offering your child right now is enough. Whatever the plan is for today, it’s enough. Whatever the plan is for tomorrow, it’s enough. All your child needs is you and trust me, you are doing enough.”

So if you have to choose which ball to keep in the air while you let the others fall to the floor, choose connection.

Instead of arguing about schoolwork, play a game. Instead of feeling resentful about not getting any help around the house, teach your kids to cook or water the plants. Instead of going stir crazy cooped up inside, get outdoors. As much as possible, look for those easy moments—when, say, bathtime is almost perfect, the story you’re reading aloud catches everyone’s attention and imagination, or when walking the dog is exactly what everyone needs—and let those moments stretch out for as long as they’ll last. Because they, too, shall pass. We need to savour the good moments, even if they’re fleeting, while we wait for that second wind.

This month marks our first online-only Island Parent at Home digital edition. In it we will continue to share stories, ideas, news, resources, activities and more. We welcome your stories on ways you are coping during the quarantine, along with any comments to help others in the parenting community. Sue Fast

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Aug/Sept 2020

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