“I have a 2-year-old and am struggling with all of the restrictions and recommendations during Coronavirus. Things like “Don’t bring children to stores” and “Stay at home” – there seems to be a lot of focus on parents of school-aged kids but I need help too!”
It does seem like moms of little ones have been overlooked in all of this, and many are struggling. Think about the single mom who has no choice but to take her baby to the grocery store. Or the mom of a toddler living in a studio apartment who can no longer go to the playground, park, or beach. Daycare centers and libraries are closed and many babysitters simply aren’t available. You may need to wait in line at food banks with your kids because there is no one to care for them.
We’ve gathered some tips for parenting during this time specifically for moms or dads in situations like these:
Protect BOTH of you when you go out
- Many community Facebook groups are distributing free reusable masks for adults and children. If you don’t have masks, ask for them and someone will be able to meet you and arrange pick-up. (If you are an expectant mother working with Lifetime on an adoption plan, ask us and we can send masks for you and your children to you!)
- Start teaching young children not to touch things when in stores by giving them something important to hold the whole time. It might be a quarter in each hand or even a penny! Let them know they are helping you carry the money to pay for the things you get and it’s important they hold on to them, one in each hand.
- For children not yet walking, consider getting a fabric cover for the grocery cart seat. The Claro cover is available on Amazon for just $20 and is machine washable and very large! It even has a pocket you can put your smartphone in for baby to watch while going thru the store. Or, if you can avoid using the cart, just go thru the store with your own stroller.
Find new things to do
- Many parents are discovering that this is an opportunity to do new and different things with their children. If there is something you have wanted to do, like spend more time reading to your child, now is the time!
- Young children love to sing and dance. Have a dance party every night in your own living room!
- Children aged three to five years old can learn to play board or card games! Find or ask friends to borrow age appropriate games and start teaching them card games. Pop Up Pirate and Matching Games are two great and easy ones! Even if all you have is a deck of cards, start teaching them Go Fish or War. Asking other mom friends to swap games, blocks, or other toys is a great way to introduce new activities into your home. Clean them thoroughly when passing from home to home.
Take care of YOU
- You may need to turn off the news right now and focus more on your world. Take your children out for a simple walk – it will rejuvenate you to get some fresh air and just experience the springtime.
- Taking care of you means self-care. Take a long bath, paint your toenails, read a book, take a break. It’s okay if you aren’t a perfect parent right now, if your house is messy, if there are dishes in your sink. When you are fresh, you can tackle those things.
- As a parent, you are taking on a lot right now. We all are struggling in one way or another. Ask for help if you need it. There are many resources out there.
All of us are working to adjust to a new normal. And for some people, that means lives changed by loss of a loved one, job loss, loss of security, and so much more. You are not alone. Try to see this as an opportunity to connect deeply and authentically to your children, while ensuring you can take care of yourself too.
If you know someone who may want to consider adoption for an unplanned pregnancy or a young child, Lifetime’s caring coordinators are available 24 hours a day by phone or text to answer adoption questions and share how an open, modern adoption can work for them.