Parenting During Coronavirus: Letting Go of Perfectionism
Whether or not you consider yourself a “perfectionist” parent, or if you are feeling overwhelmed and can’t properly think straight (let alone remember everything!), let’s face it: life has gotten even more demanding and terrifying during the coronavirus outbreak.
COVID-19, the pandemic that is on everyone’s minds right now, can truly make you feel as though you are completely exhausted, overwhelmed, and overtired – and, of course, guilty for feeling all of those things. But how do you combat that? How do you let go of being a perfectionist, allowing yourself to break free of that guilt and live more in the moment?
Here are a few tips that can help you get back on track, and get you back to being you again.
Ignore the Voice in Your Head Demanding Perfectionism
As hard as it may be, ignore that voice in your head. You know the one – the one who says you must live your life as though you are the perfect parent at all times.
Every time a thought creeps up, such as “you shouldn’t let him watch another half hour of television,” or “she shouldn’t have macaroni and cheese for dinner,” don’t beat yourself up over it. Instead, go with it – chances are your child is just as stressed – if not even more so – as you are.
Not being allowed to spend time with friends, being cooped up indoors more often than they are used to, and having so many things going on at once can really take its toll on your child – and you. So let your little one watch another episode of Paw Patrol while you relax.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself is, by far, one of the most important things you can do for your physical and mental health as well.
Try something new – ditch the junk food (although it’s tempting), and have a fruit smoothie for breakfast. Try to stick to a routine for bedtime, getting yourself to sleep earlier instead of at 3 a.m. Also, don’t forget to disconnect from technology for a while.
Taking care of yourself can help you become a better parent because your needs will be met.
While you may not want to take your children for a trip to the supermarket, you may want to head outside into the backyard for some playtime. If that isn’t an option, try taking a nature walk through the woods or your neighborhood – not only do you get outside with your kids, you also get some exercise, and they do, too.
Talk to Your Children
While you may not know everything, your children are likely bombarding you with questions regarding COVID-19. Instead of ignoring the subject, allow them to ask questions and form your answers in an appropriate way that they will understand.
Tell them about the need for safety. Explain proper handwashing techniques, and why it is important to wear a mask when going outside. Keep your children in-the-know about the occurring events, but do it in a way that will not bring about stress or frighten them.
Keep a Schedule
While it may be tempting to throw the routine out the window, right now is a troubling time for children, so keeping to a previous schedule is a good idea. If you must change things, it may be better to gradually adjust to keep your children as stress-free as possible.
Ask For Help
If you are feeling overwhelmed, asking for help is so important. Whether you ask your family, spouse, or friends, sometimes it is okay to find someone to step in and help you, taking some of the mental load off of you so you can focus and take a break.
This is important to your own health and well being, as well as that of your children. You can be a better parent if you take care of yourself, too.
We’re Glad to Be Back!
While everyone is still social distancing, businesses are beginning to open up, including the office of Dr. Ghozland! We are so excited to be back, and we are taking every precaution to keep you and our staff safe as we begin taking new appointments. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for some much-deserved self-care.