In March of 2020, we all rolled initiative versus an enemy we could not see, but has caused immesurable suffering. I, like so many of you, have given all I have to keep my little adventuring party safe. The battle continues 8 months later, and every day is another round of combat against Covid-19.
First, a quick disclaimer…I’m not here to give advice on masks, social distancing, or politics. If that is what you are looking for, that content pours from the internet in a constant stream of anger, fear, and desperation. It isn’t hard to find.
I’m here because I’m a mom. Im scared. Maybe you are too. I’m also a geek. That means I believe in beating the odds, making the hard journey, and being the hero of my own story. So lets talk about how we might try to balance those things in this new, challenging chapter of our adventure.
First, talk about the science. Intelligence should never be a real life dump stat! Knowledge is power, and talking to our kids in an age appropriate way about their world gives them the best odds of success. Talk about germs and the ways that they can defeat them! Read about it. Do science experiments. Let them ask questions and explore the answers together!
Try this super fun science experiment today!
Second, play cooperative games. Think of them as little team-building exercises for your pandemic survival team!
If board games are your jam, one of our favorite cooperative games is Stuffed Fables. I will do a full review on it later, but its basically a group of stuffed animals trying to save a little girl from the monster under the bed. Super cute and fun! Click the link below to see more details!
If video games are more your style, a simple game of Minecraft can give your kids the chance to go out and explore the world, even when they are stuck at home!
Third, read your favorite stories together. Now is the time to show our kids stories with unlikely heroes facing insurmountable odds. Stories where love and friendship bring light and hope to dark places. Read The Hobbit. Read The Princess Bride. Read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Let these stories become a part of them, and a part of their memory of you.
This is a link to my favorite Illustrated version of The Hobbit. The pictures are fantastic!
Lastly, give yourself permission to be a beautiful, hot mess. Let Ms. Fizzle be their teacher for an hour (or two), order out dinner so you guys can finish that last boss battle your kiddo is so excited about. Take time to do the things YOU love. Cook, craft, create, play DnD or other games with your adult friends (even if its just online).
For me, the hardest part of the pandemic has been losing a large portion of my identity. Parenting just takes more time and mental energy than it did before. I’ve heard so many other moms say the same. You are all heros. Taking on a monumental task, with no players guide, no rule book, and several levels of exhaustion. I sit here typing this with the messiest mom bun you can imagine, and I am here with you.
“‘I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.'”
–Gandalf J.R.R. Tolkien, The Shadow of the Past, The Fellowship of the Ring