By Dionne Deen-Kamara | IG: @DK.thevessel
STEP 1: Breathe.
Say it with me, “Inhale, Exhale” – WOO-SAH mama, hang in there! Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I know I don’t only speak for myself when I say I’ve contemplated pulling my hair out a few times since we’ve begun this whole “social distancing” thing. How many of you are like me and definitely undermined what this was actually going to look like? In fact, I thought that it was going to be a fun and much-needed experience. Not that it hasn’t been, but definitely completely different than I originally envisioned. Being a full-time mom, with a full-time job, in her last semester of grad school, and still trying to maintain somewhat of a social life, I could DEFINITELY use the break from the demanding daily routine that requires me to always be on the go. Little did I know that Miss Rona would be having me stepping into a whole new role.
STEP 2: Live in the moment for as long as you can...
Fortunately for me, my 5-year-old hasn’t started grade school yet so I haven’t been under the overwhelming storm of having to get a child up, dressed, and fed to sit in on a zoom classroom as most other moms. But can you imagine going from being behind a desk from 9-5 to an energetic and inquisitive child running circles around you! Now I won’t lie… we definitely lounged our way through the first week of the pandemic because I was exhausted and wanted to soak up the opportunity. Going to bed late, eating whatever whenever, binge watching shows, tik-tok challenges, anything you typically wouldn’t do on a weekday, we did it and we loved it haha. However, we got a little carried away so I had to put us both back on somewhat of a schedule for the following week.
STEP 3: Be Honest With Yourself & Your Child
At first, my daughter Raelynn kind’ve just ran with the flow of things until she became highly curious that I wasn’t waking her up at the crack of dawn anymore and she was no longer seeing her friends at daycare. I decided the best way to answer her questions was by being completely honest about what was happening in the world. I told her that there was a little bug going around and if we went outside we may catch it in the simplest of terms. Thanks to Cardi B’s narration of the word ‘coronavirus’ it made the explanation a little more amusing and light-hearted for the both of us which has now become a non-stop saying around the house.
STEP 4: Get Creative & Drop The Guilt
Soon after that, all of a sudden my daughter developed this massive appetite that needed to be attended to every hour. This drove me insane because this “break” wasn’t really a break. I actually still needed to get work done and had deadlines to meet. I would put her down with a bowl of cereal in front of an hour-long educational program and the next thing you know, she’s back in front of me asking for something else. I’m like are you serious??? I literally just gave you something 30 mins ago. Thank God I don’t have micromanagers at work because it could have gotten bad with how many times I’ve had to break away from my computer. I realized Rae’s own lack of entertainment had been getting the best of her so I found new creative ways to give her a little more free will throughout the day while still remaining effective. I felt a little guilty at first that I haven’t been completely able to give her my undivided attention at all times but this was unexpected for all of us you know? So just remembering that I’m doing all that I can is what I’ve been holding onto. As much as I’m enjoying the stillness and quality time, I can say this pandemic has definitely given me a new appreciation for life and the mini balance I was grateful enough to have.
STEP 5: Breathe Again :)
With all of that being said, what I would tell anyone during this time is to B-R-E-A-T-H-E. Don’t be so hard on yourself if you made a to-do list and only get a few things done. Don’t be so hard on yourself if your child ate junk food more than usual. Don’t be so hard on yourself if you’re taking this time to produce or to rest. There is no right or wrong to this thing. In a world driven by culture that’s always telling everyone how they should live or when they should do something, it’s completely okay to do exactly what your heart feels. It can look different every day or every week and that’s okay too. Take this time to be kind to yourself and practice gratitude for what we are fortunate to still have – LIFE.
Dionne is The Founder of HerDestiny:
A growth community for young girls.