Perhaps there’s no better time to talk about parenting in uncertain times than this. At the time of writing this post, stores are still struggling to keep up with demand, people are social distancing, and schools are closed. My hope is that you’re reading this article, rolling your eyes, and saying, “this is old news.” But the reality is? It’s probably not. Or at least it won’t be for awhile.
One of the few silver linings of this whole situation was the announcement that Frozen 2 was released on Disney+ early. Our family didn’t go see it in the theatre and instead opted for popcorn on the couch to watch our favorite little snowman sing. During one scene, my husband and I started laughing at how much the song sattired love songs from when we were kids. While we were cracking up at the inside joke, our child started giggling too, unaware of why we thought the situation was so comical.
In that moment, it occured to me just how contagious emotions can be. Laughter is contagious, we know. So is fear, anxiety, depression, doubt, and worry.
It seems every day there’s a new government press conference issuing even more stringent measures to keep everyone safe. As we tune in, it’s hard not to let the surreal situation we’re living in permeate to our kids. Birthday parties are getting canceled. Weddings have been put on hold. Relatives in the same city have been communicating over FaceTime rather than face-to-face. It’s a strange world out there, and it’s forcing us to have even stranger conversations with our children and community.
Here’s what I know to be true during it all — people are good. More than good, actually. People are rallying together in ways I’ve never seen before. We’re brainstorming ways to support businesses while they’re forced to close their doors. We’re brainstorming ways to buy food for elderly neighbors who are at a much higher risk when going to the grocery store. We’re putting our head together to figure out how we can support one another in a time that feels very uncertain and unreal.
Parenting during this time is confusing. So is selling. We try to protect our kids as much as ourselves from the reality of the situation, but we all know something’s amiss. Having difficult conversations with kids about why they’re stuck at home seemingly overnight is challenging. So is having to change our sales message to match a sudden and frightening new normal.
And maybe, while explaining what the coronavirus is and why we’re taking these precautions, we should sprinkle in a healthy dose of all the good that’s coming out of it. Maybe we should talk about humanity rather than focus only on the tragedy.
I don’t have the answers to how to navigate this. I don’t know what it looks like to be a good parent, entrepreneur, neighbor, or colleague during this time. You might not either. I don’t think anyone does. But from what I see? We’re all doing a pretty amazing job at stepping up, showing up, and spreading love to the extent we can.