Editor's note: Kendra is blogging about being a mom trying to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic at My Rebound by FOX 17. She is married with four kids: a 1-year-old daughter, 2-year-old son, 5-year-old son, 10-year-old daughter and 16-year-old bonus son. She is also the owner and lead fitness coach of Allegro Coaching in Grand Rapids, which she founded in 2009. She lives in Tallmadge Township.
Social media is the worst place to go as a parent and see how you are measuring up these days. It’s like a highlight reel of all the fun adventures, vacations and good parts of our day. Why don't we ever share the hard? Like when our kids are constantly fighting, yelling at us because they are bored and we still haven’t gotten out of our pajamas?
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Like most of you, I have been stuck at my house since the middle of March with all the littles….and all the feels. Trust me, we are ALL bored and sick of each other. I have been doing my best to find creative adventures and day trips on the days when I don’t have to work, but it’s getting exhausting. I feel like I constantly have to entertain my kids and keep them busy but I’m running myself ragged in the process. Can anyone else relate?
Last week was like a breath of fresh air. After speaking with Dr. Nicole Beurkens, a local family psychologist, I asked what her advice might be for moms like me. Moms who maybe have lost their job due to the pandemic or are forced to make tough decisions with working from home/part time, etc. It’s like we never get a break and our kids are constantly there. (Mine are just super small still and very dependent on me from hour to hour.) You know what she said that I think EVERY parent needs to hear?
It’s okay for your kids to be bored. In fact, it’s good for their cognitive health. When we are constantly at their service and feeling like we have to entertain them, take them places or be the center of their universe, we all lose. Mamas, the worst. We completely forget to take care of ourselves and put our self-care on the back burner. Even if it’s just for 20-minutes of reading a book and having a cup of tea. Yes, we need to be a little more creative these days when it comes to self-care, but it is essential for us to not get burned out. And according to research (Happiness Advantage, Shawn Acher), the best way to take care of ourselves and to increase our happiness is social connection.
Talking to other adults. Other mamas who are living in the hard. Family psychologists or friends who can just give you encouragement and perspective.
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I encourage every hard working mama out there to let your kids be incredibly bored one day this week. Let them self-direct their own play time and you take a moment for you. I don’t care if it’s a spa night or a scheduled walk with a friend. Fill your cup and come back refreshed. You got this!