A Florida pediatrician shares a message for parents struggling to cope as the coronavirus pandemic enters its third year and the omicron variant upsets another school year.
Dr Mona Amin, of Fort Lauderdale, told “Good Morning America” that she took to social media to tell parents that they are enough and they need to take care of themselves too – same.
“Over the past two weeks I have seen COVID run through our community and it has consumed my mind and my content,” she wrote in a Jan. 7 Instagram post. “I’ve spoken to parents who have had to make tough choices about child care, work, activities, events and more in [the] the best interests of the health and safety of their child and family for two years. “
“I’ve heard parents say they feel the most helpless they’ve ever felt. ‘When will this be over?’ “I feel like I’ve been drowning for two years and it’s pulling me down.” “I feel like I need a break and it never came”, said she wrote. “I was asked the other day in my stories, ‘How can I help my child cope with everything right now.'”
“Frankly, I care more about us than our children,” Amin wrote. “We had to carry an enormous weight on our shoulders for two years.”
Amin went on to describe the seemingly insurmountable hurdles parents have faced over the past two years, from the lack of in-person connection to the lack of child care, the stress at work and the “constant mental gymnastics” of trying. to protect their families from a deadly virus.
She said these barriers combined with normal, non-pandemic stressors of parenting and pressures from society and social media can make a parent feel like they’re “not doing enough. “.
Sharing his advice to parents, Amin wrote, “Please know that It’s good if you don’t engage and play with your child every moment, he is awake. “
“Please know that It’s good if you abuse screen time if that means you have a break, ”she wrote. “Please know that It’s good if you’re going for a walk with your child and instead of talking and tagging things you’re on the phone or walking in silence for a mental break. “
“Please know that It’s good give your child packets of food or processed foods because you didn’t have time to prepare a fresh meal, ”Amin wrote. “Please know It’s good if you decide not to be consistent with a limit because you are exhausted. “
“Please know It’s good if you ‘give in’ to your child during temper tantrums and meals, ”she wrote. “Please know that it’s okay not to always follow your plan. “
“For many of us, we are in survival mode,” she continued. “Maybe you’ve been in survival mode for a week, maybe a few weeks, or maybe longer. It’s okay to break these rules sometimes for YOUR survival. It’s okay to think about what YOU need. to get through this pandemic. “
“It’s good to think about how YOU feel and how this pandemic is affecting YOU,” Amin wrote. “Please don’t let the pressure of doing everything ‘perfectly’ as a parent consume you.”
Amin’s post received tens of thousands of likes and countless comments from parents the post resonated with.
“Fuck that hit me in the stomach … Permission to cry,” wrote one commentator. “Hold my breath for 2 years while waiting to breathe.”
“This post describes so precisely how I have been feeling for almost two years now. The weight of it all is so heavy,” wrote another.
Amin, host of the PedsDocTalk podcast, told “GMA” that she hopes parents can sit down with her post and use it to help identify what’s important to them and what they’re struggling with.
Then, she said, she wants them to give up on perfection.
If a parent is struggling to prepare fresh meals for their child every day, for example, Amin said a simple fix is to use frozen foods.
If a parent is struggling to find time to exercise, Amin recommends giving a child some screen time so a parent can get into a workout.
“It’s about long term parenting, not these little screen moments, or caving or doing all the things that I wrote in this article,” she said. “This is not going to ruin our child. What ruins a child is seeing a parent who just does not take care of themselves. This is what is going to be, for me, the most. great concern. “
Amin also said that the quality of time spent with children is more important than quantity, a welcome relief for parents who feel there are not enough hours in the day.
“Rather than being so stressed out and half engaged with your child, I would rather have 20 minutes of your time and put your child in front of a screen so that you can now be more mentally present,” he said. she declared. “If it takes an hour to cook a fresh meal, rather than doing it, heat up some chicken nuggets and sit down and play with your child. “
Amin added that the one big thing that keeps her going personally is thinking about the day she and her patients will be parents in a non-pandemic.
“When this is over, think about how easily you will be a parent,” she said. “I really feel like we’re going to get out of this super strong. There’s no other way but to go up.”