Parents: How to endure this never-ending season

If you thought uphill battle of Covid-school-politics-zoom-drama was over, this is for you. It’s no secret that parents are hurting, burned out, and near the end of their rope.

You can do it. You can keep leading your family and staying above water. Here are four decisions that may help.

1. I can automate and delete something today.

Automate. Decisions are exhausting. You can automate a decision now so you don’t have to decide later. For example: we have pizza on Fridays, smoothies + popcorn + movie on Saturdays, leftovers on Sunday. Wednesdays are for a mid-week movie for the kids.

Delete. There’s junk on your phone and TV that’s wearing you out. You can delete it. You don’t need that comparison game or people reminding you that everything is terrible. It’s not irresponsible. It will be there for you later, but it’s distracting and draining you today.

2. I can make it tomorrow.

We don’t know when the “end in sight” is and it’s clear this isn’t going to all blow over. Don’t tell yourself you can make it to October. October may come and go, and you’ll be left more discouraged. Tell yourself you can make it tomorrow. You can (this principle is called the Stockholm Paradox).

3. We will rest on Saturday.

We all need regular rhythms of rest. Decide which day this week is a pause to the go-go-go. Take a nap. Do less than you think you can. Say no.

If your work is with your mind, rest with your hands and feet (i.e. hike, plant a garden, play golf). If your work is with your hands, rest with your mind (i.e. read, paint, coffee with a friend).

4. I will intentionally connect next week.

No matter the chaos around us, we need people beside us. We need real human connection. Who are the 1-2 people you can connect with next week? Perhaps it’s a friend at the park with your toddler, or another family for a movie night in the backyard. Ask them how they’re (really) doing. Share how you’re doing (really).

Last week I wrote about how being for parents is good for business. Here are last week’s ideas about how to be for parents in this season.

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