In the best of times, January was always a challenging
month. It’s time to put away all the decorations and there are few holidays
coming up (although most stores insist on bringing out their Valentine’s Day
stock way too early – and husbands still manage to forget about it until Feb.
During a pandemic, January is especially dreary.
Opportunities to “go out and do something” are limited – first by Omicron and
in many places, by the weather. Here in New Jersey, the temperatures have been
extremely cold and we got enough of a snowstorm to close schools for a day.
It’s Especially Hard for Parents!
For parents, things are also tougher than usual. We can’t
send our younger kids out to play for too long (although they’d probably stay
out in the snow forever!); we want to limit their screen time, so we a day on
social media or watching TV is taboo; exercise is limited so everyone is extra
grumpy, not having a chance to work out our energy during our regular
So here we sit, trying to make the best out of a less than
perfect situation. Even those parents whose children have returned to school
are still navigating remote classes because of infected classmates or teachers.
And the worry, worry, worry that the virus will invade our homes – sometimes just
too much to handle!
What Can We Do?
I wish I had solutions – or at least ones you hadn’t heard
or read about. They all involve “doing something” and that’s one of the biggest
hurdles January serves up – we don’t want to DO anything! It would be nice if
we could watch Hallmark movies or sports or read a novel to pass the time each
day. But we have kids!
The one thought I can offer is this: let’s be kind to
ourselves. Allow our children a little extra time with the computer or TV; look
the other way at the messy house; pick up a book or watch a movie (even half of
one!) and let everything else pass by. Maybe you can find a movie that you AND
your kids will like and just zone out and enjoy.
And don’t feel alone. Parenting is hard – especially in