I’m delighted to welcome Annie Willmot, author of ‘Cold Cups of Tea & Hiding in the Loo’ to guest post this week. Here she shares some wise words about parenting during the pandemic. Also look out at the end for your chance to win a copy of her book!
Parenting can be a mixture of joy, chaos, laughter, tears and frustration under ‘normal’ circumstances. Add in lockdown, what feels like never-ending days spent with our kids, home-schooling, attempting to tidy up (even just a bit) and everything else we need to do and it’s probably fair to say that the experience has been somewhat intensified!
The title of my book, Cold Cups of Tea & Hiding in the Loo, has felt very apt for me at this time. I have spent a lot of time hiding (and being found) and I have returned from getting yet another snack for my boys to many cooling cups of tea over the last few weeks.
I have had lots of conversations with mums during this slightly surreal season of life who have really struggled with ‘mum guilt’. Wondering whether they should be doing more, feeling heartbroken when their kids are sad and guilty when they just need a break from them!
Comparison can be so easy to do, and it can send us quickly spiralling into mum guilt. If we find ourselves scrolling through social media posts of elaborate home-schooling timetables, or about how much children are participating in activities and church at home, then it can be easy to wonder, ‘am I preparing enough activities? Am I paying my kids enough attention? Am I being a good enough parent? Am I doing enough?’
Notice the common theme? Can I do enough? Am I enough?
If we measure our parenting in ‘enoughs’, then we will never be doing well because there is always going to be more we could do. Enough is a never ending measurement.
How about if we take out the word ‘enough’? What about if chose to stop measuring how well we were doing and just credited ourselves with the fact we’re even doing.
Parenting in a pandemic is like nothing we’ve ever experienced before. It’s intense. If you got out of bed this morning and your kids had breakfast, well done. If you ran around the garden with your kids for five minutes, well done. If you just needed a day in front of the TV to chill, well done.
Ultimately asking ourselves whether we are enough is irrelevant because God is enough.
My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.2 Corinthians 12:9
Admitting that we’re not enough and that we can’t do it on our own is hard but when we do, we also choose to depend on God because he is more than enough. The joy of knowing God is that we can be completely dependent on Him and His power is shown through our weakness. I pray that whatever parenting looks like for you today that you would know God’s strength and that his grace would be enough for you.
Annie Willmot is mum to two boys, aged 2 and 4, and married to Pete who is a worship pastor. She does many things including writing, working for a charity and as a funeral pastor, and her passion for creating connection, community and honest conversation ties all those things together.
Win a copy of ‘Cold Cups of tea & Hiding in the Loo’
To win a copy of Annie’s book all you need to do is drop me an email/ Twitter DM or message me on Facebook with your name, and letting me that know you want to enter. I’ll draw a name at random on Monday 25th May.
Names must be received by 11.59pm on Sun 24th May.