6 Things Parents Probably Won’t Be Worrying About 20 Years After Quarantine

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

The cat’s excitement is palpable. Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

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

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

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

Photo by John-Mark Smith from Pexels

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

Photo from Canva Pro

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

Photo by Gratisography from Pexels

Look. Look.

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

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

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.

17 thoughts on “6 Things Parents Probably Won’t Be Worrying About 20 Years After Quarantine

  1. It’s a good thing that we aren’t all born pre-programmed to live our lives according to someone’s agenda. What would be the point of living, if that were the case? It’s all about the journey, not the destination. In every one of the items you mentioned, there is really no right or wrong way. There is only YOUR way. And even if you get it wrong, I can almost guarantee that in twenty years you won’t remember. And, as Jesse said, you won’t even remember worrying about it.

    I also like that comment about overthinking homeschooling. Putting 20 or 30 kids into a classroom and making them all learn the same things in the same way is not necessarily the best way to educate a population. You know your kids better than anyone, and you are probably the best teacher they could have. At this age, what’s important isn’t WHAT they learn, but that they learn to learn, in the way best suited to them. All that structure stuff will come soon enough in their lives.

    Twenty years ago we were all worrying about Y2K. Look where all that worrying got us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for writing such a thoughtful comment!!! 💙

      I find it very helpful to “zoom out” of a situation that feels insurmountable. If I imagine myself looking at Earth from space, or looking back from the future, a lot of drama and challenges really do seem smaller.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this list! Even if you were trying to teach calculus, it would be long forgotten by grade 11 or 12 or whenever it is that the rest of the world has even heard about calculus for the first time. And the distinction between clothes and PJs is a very arbitrary one anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes!!! That’s a good point. I learned calculus at the “appropriate” time, and I still remember none of it.

      So why rush the knowledge storing.

      And I think if you just call it lounge wear, any daytime pajama outfit is irreproachable.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. To us, #3 (screen time) depends upon content. We were repeatedly shown movies/TV too mature for our age, and we think it affected our development in unhealthy ways. We don’t worry that you are streaming R movies to your kids. Our parents took us to rape-culture movie “Animal House” in the movie theatre. We were 6 🤦‍♂️. They put a tv in our bedroom to shut us up at night. It’s not kid programming late at night in 1979

    We won’t remember: Home cleanliness, quality of meals we cooked (ie these were the ingredients Spouse found at the store, so you’d best eat something), children’s grades earned, bank account amount

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Not a parent but I totally agree with this list! I think I won’t be worrying about how I spent most of quarantine in my pj’s reading/watching TV rather than being productive.

    Liked by 1 person

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