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Parenting in a pandemic brings special challenges, rewards


I have told my children no more in the past six months than I could have ever imagined.

No, we can’t go have a playdate.

No, we can’t go inside to eat.

No, we can’t go on vacation.

No, we can’t go to Target.

No, you won’t be returning to school to see your friends.

It’s become a frequent word in so many families’ vocabularies across the world.

Life has dealt us a tough and uncertain hand lately. In a world full of chaos, parents have had to dig deep and really find the strength to keep afloat.

As a mom of seven, I’ve been feeling this to the core of my soul lately.

The worry of COVID-19 and keeping my children safe, canceled spring break and summer vacations and trying to keep them busy and not driving one another crazy from constant boredom has created constant adaptations.

It seems like some days, the pity parties are longer and bigger than others but this, for now, is our new normal.

My first two sons graduated in May, and they had less-than-traditional graduations. One of them got married in July, and he had a less-than-traditional wedding. Now four of my children are returning to school in a less-than-traditional fashion.

We’re juggling virtual meetings and assignment due dates online, and I watch them log on and wave at their friends, excited to see who is in their class – all from a computer screen.

On days when I feel so defeated in such a strange time, I watch these little humans adapt and overcome in so many ways. I can’t help but smile when I see the smallest of things excite them and make them happy.

I remind myself that even though the world is different right now, that they somehow find the light in it all. They only see their now.

Even though my children may complain at times, I love the closeness this crazy time has brought to my home. My children have realized what truly matters! Having built-in best friends, playing board games, eating food someone brought to our car, tie-dying masks, and making some of the best memories that they will get to carry for a lifetime: It’s all affirming.

As a mom, I feel defeated more than I feel like I’m succeeding, and I must remind myself daily that a happy mom is sometimes more important than a successful one. I know the weight of the world is on a lot of parent’s shoulders right now, so when you have a moment to breathe, remember to love yourself. Believe me, those little humans will notice.

Tova Gennrich handles legal and classified advertisements for The Las Cruces Bulletin. She can be reached at tova@lascrucesbulletin.com.

Tova Gennrich