Parenting like it’s Groundhog DayMichelle Balaun
Remember the movie Groundhog Day?
We all feel this. The fogginess of the calendar, it can’t be. Has it really been two months, four?! We can’t even blame it on whether we are on a schedule or not- the days are going at warp speed and everything seems so hazy. Pre-quarantine life feels like it was so 2019 and now we are halfway through 2020. Quarantine life can feel like Groundhog Day. Same old, same old, different day, same old. And for those who are co-parenting during this time, it can be Groundhoggish with an extra dose of melancholy and angst to make it a tad more interesting. Preparing them for their departure, missing them, wondering about their safety, waiting for their return, reacquainting, in the same location, week in and week out.
How can the same feel so unknown? Without anything but our relationships to hold on to, we get the chance to try to make it right, after each mistake, make it right again. We can get lost in the mundane details of the day- meals, homework, clean-up, less TV, more TV, less TV – it’s bad for their brain development, wait, what about the iPad? It’s already bedtime? We can get lost in their imagination- “The box is a spaceship Mami! Made of 400 gems from an undersea galaxy with 300 tons of nuclear power to serve lemonade…” We can get lost in the bickering and the what if’s and the what for. For what? Now, with so much time, (it’s always been the same amount of time) the only way out of the fog is a routine. With a mixed bag of new experiences to force you out of the routine.
Routine is too routine?
So, no, not the same old routine. Then what? What if it all is a mishmash of days because nothing incredible has happened. What if the only incredible thing is the extra moment you get to spend with your children laughing about something goofy without the feeling of impending doom of being late. Didn’t we wish for that just a few months ago? And, if you are struggling with this now, we need to talk about setting boundaries and schedules another time.
I can’t tell you how to stop feeling like it’s Groundhog Day. Maybe, that’s not the point. Maybe the point is to stop searching for the incredible and start accepting the mundane. The little bits that create a life story. The acceptance that life offers us the heartache and heartfulness all at once. That we are feeling all types of feels now and that that will just have to do. Because just that, just that acceptance, is just, incredible.