I am writing from the perspective of a mom of two kids aged 3 and 5. I’ve stopped freelancing to take care of them, and my husband is now teleworking full-time from home.
This post was inspired by my tendency to worry about, well, basically everything.
To help me through some of those anxious thoughts, my husband often says, “Will you still be worried about this in 5, 10, 20 years? Will you even remember worrying about this?”
The answer to both questions is usually no.
Here is a list of 6 things I probably won’t be worrying about 20 years from now when thinking back on COVID-19 and the weeks (months?) of quarantine.
I’d love to hear whether you can relate!
In 20 years, I’m pretty sure I won’t be worrying about…
#1. How well my son participated in his virtual kindergarten classes
Between mics being left open, screen sharing freezing up, sound quality issues, my son’s camera phobia, and the fact that my 3-year-old daughter still exists and has needs during my son’s class, every morning has been a bit of a challenge.
My son’s teachers are wonderful. I’m sure it’s been no easy task to transform their teaching styles and curriculum into something compatible with distance learning, especially when their students are 5-year-olds who can’t type or even read yet.
At the end of the day, it’s kindergarten, and this situation is temporary. I figure as long as we show up online and do our best, that’s good enough.
#2. Whether we followed the perfect homeschool schedule
They’re 5 and 3. They’ll be fine. The School of Life is rich with opportunities to learn and grow and ponder and play.
Here is an article I found particularly reassuring on this topic: Local educator says we’re overthinking homeschooling. Educator Sandra Wilson says: “Learning doesn’t have to be a worksheet scenario. Play board games, watch videos and have discussions around them, study nature, explore properties of water…”
I’m pretty sure that, in 20 years, I won’t be looking back saying, “Man, if only I’d found a way to teach my kindergartner calculus during quarantine.”
#3. How much screen time they had
An extension of #2. Extra screen time for a couple of months won’t cause my kids to grow up into mindless zombie-adults.
Besides, they’re already out of the running for Harvard anyway given my aforementioned inability to teach them advanced mathematics at age 5.
#4. Whether we had “too many” pajama days
I am confident that relaxing the rules about getting dressed promptly every morning will not produce future 20-year-olds who cannot select a suitable outfit for a job interview.
Unless they do become mindless zombies (#3).
But no one expects a zombie to wear a business suit anyway.
#5. Whether I showered an appropriate amount
I’m not saying I shower never.
I just shower… less.
And I’m confident I’m not the only one who can say this.
And as long as it doesn’t get too out of hand, I won’t even remember this facet of quarantine life in 20 years. (Although my husband might.)
#6. The fact that I didn’t really know what I was doing
In 20 years, it won’t really matter that I didn’t know the best way to spend our days or manage emotions and worries during the quarantine.
Some days, it feels like we are having a cozy little staycation in our private family bubble. Other days are filled with temper tantrums (including mine) and too much TV.
Looking back, I might say there was a lot trial and error.
But that pretty much sums up parenting life in general, right?
What would you add to this list?
Let me know in the comments!
A big thank-you to the essential workers who are still going out there every day to keep the world turning for the rest of us. Your list would probably look very different from mine — and I would love to read it.