One of Bonsie's dearest friends, who happens to be an exceptional child and family therapist, Tara McDonald, LCSW talks parenting in the time of quarantine...
These days are no joke. If you are a parent during quarantine, I’m with you. During this time we are all (parents and kiddos) growing, learning, changing and evolving and wow, does that take a lot of energy. Some days there is not enough of a break to fuel back up for the next interaction or task that will zap all your energy. Many of us are running on empty in so many ways. This would be a perfect time to remind you of self-care, but I’m not going to do that. You know that YOU need to take care of YOU in order to take care of THEM and it’s definitely easier said than done these days.
Instead, what I wanted to highlight is the importance of your attachment with your little ones. Some days we will absolutely rock parenting and other days we will make mistake after mistake and stumble along through it.
What has been so glaring to me, as a mother is that my kids are the first to forgive me on the messy days. They forgive me faster than I often forgive myself when it comes to my parenting mistakes.
Today we stumbled along through some big and messy tantrums and in the end I find myself here, laying on my sons bed with him laying right on top of me (much like he did in his first weeks of life). Through the challenges, I’m still his sense of security. I help him feel safe when he feels out of control. I may not always do it perfectly, but I’m thankful I get to be this for him.
So much of this attachment work was done during his infancy when we spent so much of our time in this exact position. Today, despite an hour long messy on-and-off tantrum, I’m filled with gratitude for this role of mother that I was gifted. I’m thankful that my babies (5 and 3.5 years old) love me on my great parenting days and forgive me on my difficult parenting days. It’s an honor to be their mother today and everyday, quarantine or no quarantine.
So remind yourself on those hard days that the attachment is stronger than the struggle. Remind yourself that they love you without judgement. Remind yourself by holding them close, just like you did in those first few months of their life.
Tara McDonald, LCSW
The real credentials are “Mama” to Eva (5) & Luca (3.5)
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