Missed Connections for Children During COVID-19

As a new mom, I had envisioned parenting in an entirely different way. As with most mothers, I was looking forward to the outside adventures, the trips to the zoo, museums, parks, beaches, mini family vacations, etc. I want to give our daughter the same experience I had growing up by being active and involved with family and friends. These adventures, in the great outdoors, and spending time with others, have hit a major speed bump when the COVID-19 virus hit the world. Although she is only 7 months old right now, everything is a new experience for her. She is such a curious child who wants to touch and explore her surroundings and she is always looking around to investigate the new sensory experiences she is having for the first time. COVID-19 has now prevented us from exploring the world outside of our home and neighborhood until the social distancing ban is lifted. I long for the day that there is hope for an end of the pandemic and I desire most for my daughter to get to know her extended family. I cannot wait to schedule play dates with my friends and family instead of video calls. Even though my daughter does enjoy the video calls, being in person, seeing, touching, hearing, and experiencing other people, would help her build a connection with others because right now, I think she just wants to grab the phone.  

As I was thinking about my own situation, it has been helpful for me to speak with other parents and their situations.  I took this opportunity to get some deeper insight into how another parent has dealt with their children’s lifestyle interruptions and how they overcame that sudden change.

My friend Iwona is a 6th-grade teacher and the mother of two daughters, aged 4 years old and 21 months and one hyper dog. I wanted to get her perspective as both a working mother but also as a teacher trying to manage the current situation. 

Monika Wolniak (MW): Since the Quarantine/Stay at Home order has been in place, what has changed in your parenting style?

Iwona (I): My parenting style has changed in many ways. I am currently working from home and taking care of two toddlers who are busybodies. Some days I create checklists to be completed by the girls. Some days I let them sit on their tablets. Some days I do whatever they ask me. Some days I’m stricter and other days I am very lenient. Overall, I think I am just trying to survive being a mom and teacher while being at home, so I go with the flow. 

MW: What has changed for your children?

I: My daughters would usually go to both of their grandparent’s houses throughout the week and now they are stuck at home. At their grandparent’s houses, they would get to play with their grandparents and get all of the chocolate in the world.  My older daughter constantly asks me to go to the store, the zoo, the park, her cousins’ house, and etc. I have to come up with excuses on why we cannot go. They have not seen their uncles and aunts, who work in the medical field, for almost two months now. It devastates me because I do not want to lose this time with them but I know it is for the best. 

MW: Are they aware/understand what is happening?

I: I do not think they understand what is going on. I tell them we cannot go places because people are sick and they say okay. 

MW: How do you go about explaining this COVID-19 pandemic to your children?

I: I try to just tell my older daughter that we have to be careful because people are getting sick and we do not want to go to the doctor. (She hates going to the doctor).

M: What type of rules or routine have you set in place to keep your children healthy?

I: We always wash our hands after being outside. No hugging or kissing anyone (very hard for toddlers when they see their loved ones).

MW: How has your career changed?

I: Currently we are E-Learning which is so difficult. It is difficult because we cannot really teach new material, students are guessing or not trying, and spending a lot of time on the computer is really difficult for me. 

MW: What did you have to do to adapt in your career?

I: I have had to do many things. I have had to create assignments that were digital. I  have had to work with my team to create lessons that were manageable for our students. I have to spend half my day on a computer. (My eyes hurt!)

MW: What are you looking forward to most (with respect to your children) when the quarantine/stay at home order lifts?

I: I am looking forward to spending time with family and friends. I am looking forward to going to places my kids loved going like the zoo and park.

MW: How do you balance being a mom and finding “personal time” being that you are home with your children all day?

I: The only personal time I get is when I shower or go to the store. I cannot wait to get my hair and nails done. 

My hope for the world, especially our children, is that this pandemic ends soon so our children can experience life to the fullest and build connections with others. While I’m enjoying the time I am able to spend with my daughter, I’m ready to get my little adventure buddy out to explore!

Written by Moniak Wolniak

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We are aware that everyone has been affected by the recent response to COVID-19 but we hope that you find some comfort in knowing that we are still operational and here to assist you.

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This is a legal advertisement from Sterk Family Law Group. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.

 

This is a legal advertisement from Sterk Family Law Group. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.

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