Do you ever catch yourself staring out the window, imagining a different reality? During this pandemic, I’ve caught myself thinking about what it would be like to parent the way our distant ancestors did, the way many indigenous cultures still do.
A life woven together with others, where we shared responsibilities and maybe even child and elder care. Nothing formally planned, but everything getting done through the natural ebb and flow of hive living.
Labor and joy could be spread across generations. We’d pass on our values and history to our children through stories, increasing our resilience and strengthening our connection.
A buzzing cell phone snaps me back into the moment. One of the teens screams from upstairs about an internet issue, and the eight-year-old is hungry for lunch.
This of course is my vision of what parenting could be. What’s yours?
Many of us may agree that parenting during a pandemic is not for the faint of heart. This time has stretched already strapped families almost to the breaking point and has illuminated the tenuous reality for so many. Homes across the nation have transformed into offices, distance learning hubs, and social gathering sites.
Our newest guide, Parenting in the Time of Corona, is conversation to help us connect as we navigate uncharted waters. This conversation can help us find solace in togetherness and swap nuggets of wisdom for the long journey ahead. We can share doubts, concerns, even visions for a better future.
In the Cherokee culture, the worst curse one could call down upon another was not death, but loneliness.
I wonder if we were meant to parent in our separate silos. Yet the current of separation feels stronger than ever. Are we swimming so hard against it because we know we don’t have to do this alone?
This conversation is a life preserver. Let’s push through our exhaustion just long enough to reach out to each other and grab hold. Let’s share our doubts and questions about how to navigate this time. Let’s live like there’s no such thing as other people’s children.
Because maybe the current isn’t getting stronger.
Maybe it’s just a last gasp before the tides begin to turn.