One night earlier this year I had a dream that I walked into a restaurant and no one was wearing a mask. I felt such shock because I didn’t realize it was safe to not wear a mask anymore. Just a dream, but a day I looked forward to and knew was in our near future. I wondered how we would handle that day, having lived in a world where masks are common, going to school online is normal and wearing our PJ bottoms to a virtual meeting is ok. When life goes back to our new normal, what would I find in this new world? Am I a better mom as a result of living during a pandemic? What did I learn and how did I grow?
Here are the top 3 lessons I learned:
#1: Role model coping skills
I have a sign on my desk that reads, “Mistakes are proof you are trying.” When we stepped out into the unknown last year, I think the whole world made mistakes. I didn’t know anyone who had lived in a pandemic. I realized that a very important coping skill I was going to need was resilience. My family was watching me to see how I would cope.
Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.” I recently read an article from Daisy Turnbull. She is a writer and author that has also written a book called 50 Risks to Take with your Kids. She writes about the importance of allowing our children to see our weaknesses. As an adult, it is normal to feel like we can’t show weakness to our children. But how will they learn to deal with difficulties and failure, if we don’t teach them when we do?
#2: Reinvent fun
Family activities were re-defined this past year. Parades became very personal to our family’s graduation and birthday celebrations. At first, it felt weird but turned into new and exciting adventures. My children surprised me for my birthday in July 2020. They took me to the Hard Rock Stadium for a drive-in movie and picnic. It was very different and if I recall the first thing we did together as a family since the March quarantine. We were together, celebrating, and making memories.
The holidays also looked different last year. My granddaughter’s Easter egg hunt was via Facetime. I was dizzy watching her run for eggs, but I was still part of the experience. Lockdown taught me to get creative and intentional on how to have fun. When I couldn’t see my grandbabies, I would leave them special treats and surprises on their front porch. Celebrating each day became more important than ever before.
#3: Remember love
I was raised in a Latin home where you greet with a hug and a kiss. Once the lockdown happened, I was nervous to even do this with my own children. But I realized that the expression of love can’t stop, it must not stop. I had to remember to choose to have the power of love and not fear. Covid can cancel a lot of things, but it can’t cancel hope and love. We, as moms, have the power to give that love to our children. And that can ignite in them the ability to go after their dreams. It may have seemed like we lost a year, but I realized I gained so much!
Am I a better mom and grandmother as a result of living during a pandemic? I would say, Yes!! And I bet you are also! Find the things you’ve learned; you may be surprised by how far you’ve come!