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Parenting during a Pandemic: How one parent takes care of herself so she can take care of her children

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(WAOW)— There is no doubt over the uncertainty these past few months have brought with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and parents might feel like they need to put their worries aside in order to be there for their children.

However, it's important to remember keeping up a successful household is only possible when parents remember to take care of themselves too.

Chelsey Daubner is a mom of two, who like many News 9 viewers, is worried that there is no end in sight for the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a mom, this is one topic she does not have all the answers to.

"I have no idea what to tell them, and I tell them 'mommy does not have all the answers all the time, as much as I would like to I don't,'" Daubner said.

It is a hard pill to swallow when your kids look up to you to know what is going on.

"If they are on edge I have to reflect and think 'is it because I am on edge,'" Daubner said.

However, making sure your children feel okay starts with the parent.

For Daubner, that is one squat or one dumbbell at a time.

"Even though I can't go to the gym right now I still make time to move my body in any type of way because it makes me feel like I am doing something good for myself," Daubner said. "I think it is important for moms to realize your kids see everything, and that includes seeing you get stressed out."

In a way it is like a full circle, it starts with the parent being okay themselves, then it will be easier to be there for your kids and their needs; and then if the kids are okay the parent is back to being okay.

"It's just that simple, it's being very deliberate about it. It's very necessary," said Brian Weiland, a licensed clinical psychologist with the Behavioral Health Clinic of Wausau.

Weiland said you should control what you can control during the pandemic, such as: morning routines, meal times and bed time.

He said it is alright to be a little flexible when it comes to certain things.

"The hour of screen time, maybe that can shift and change into maybe a little longer then that, and that is good coping, that is making adjustments," Weiland said.

For Daubner, working out alone is her escape but on days when that is not possible she includes her children.

Weiland also said we have heard the terms "COVID depression" or "quarantine fatigue," and although those aren't diagnosable conditions it's normal to feel this way.

Even taking a few minutes just to yourself can go a long way when it comes to being there for your children.

Victoria Saha

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