I’ve spent the last few weeks silently trying to process this situation that we, as a country, are currently in. I have spent many nights praying for those I love. I’ve prayed for our community and our healthcare workers. I’ve gotten out of bed each day and I’ve gone to work with worry and stress. I’ve Lysol-ed every hard surface, I’ve diffused essential oils and I’ve lived in complete fear. As someone with a diagnosed anxiety disorder, I’ve been eerily calm on the outside. But I think my biggest fear on the inside isn’t the impending virus or the lose of wages and money; instead, my biggest fear is how this will affect my children. How will their brain process this? How do I even explain this to them? As a child I struggled with big grown up fears and I would never want my children to worry about all the big and grown-up things that are happening right now. I will not play the news in my house. At my dinner table, the “virus” is not discussed. My job as a mother is to be honest and real, but also to protect their innocence.

 I think my biggest stress is getting up and off to work while leaving my children at home. I am a teacher at heart and to leave my children and not stay home to teach my children has been the hardest part of all of this. I worry if they are learning to their best abilities. I worry how this will affect their milestones. I worry about sensory meltdowns, lack of routine and structure. But it occurred to me this afternoon, that my children will probably look back on this time and smile. I’ve spent that last few weeks trying to manage my children. I’ve laminated pictures routines; I’ve left to-do lists and I’ve created a fool proof daily routine. But today as I lay in my bed exhausted from all the striving in order to create the perfect experience for my children… I heard this explosion of laughter. I hear the adventures of Peter Pan (7-year-old), Tink (3-year-old) and the infamous Captain Hook (33-year-old husband).

 Like a light build above my head, the reality that THIS is exactly what my children will remember about this time. This very moment of adventure and pretend is what they will remember years from now. They will remember the time mom and dad bought the swing set for the backyard. They will remember the after-dinner scooter rides, the big blanket forts and movie nights with popcorn. They will remember the connection. They will remember the lack of an agenda. They will remember the thousands of books we’ve read, the tickle fights and the massive bubble baths. Yes, phonics and addition are important; but what they need now is freedom and creativity. This realization was like a breath of fresh air for this burdened mama heart. I will set myself free from the idea that I must make every moment Pinterest worthy. I will set aside my degrees and agendas, and I will run around like a lost boy in Neverland. We will have imaginary food fights; we will parlay with pretend swords and will crow like Peter Pan himself.

So to all my weary moms feeling like you will not survive this… free yourself of the striving and expectations and instead make it your goal to have fun with your children every.single.day. And remember, all you need is a little bit of faith, trust and pixie dust.

Bangarang Mama’s Bangarang!!!

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