My heart goes out to all of the families with cabin fevers raging above 105 degrees while snowmageddon shows no signs of mercy. You’re stuck in your house, stuck with your children, and there’s a growing sense of isolation that sets in. Surviving cabin fever with small kids requires more than mere provisions, working flashlights, and auxiliary power.
You find yourself asking, “How many times is it really ok for the kids to watch Frozen in one day?” Or, “How much screen time does it take until a kid’s brain turns to goo? Am I a bad mother/father if I allow my child to…?”
No matter the circumstances or how much we love our children, we can all be driven crazy by our kids! What makes it worse is believing that we’re terrible parents as a result. It’s never a good idea to go down that self critical, one lane road behind a stinkin’ garbage truck. It’s better to know that everyone has his/her limits and then have some compassion for yourself instead.
So how exactly do we do that? How can we allow for our own needs and development while our children’s take priority?
This is going to sound ever so simple—and it is—but it’s not easy.
When you’ve played monopoly one too many times, read that same picture book for the thousandth time, when you’re tired and need a break, you get down on their level, look them right in the eyes and with a quiet, low tone voice say, “Sweetie, I’m done. Go play by yourself.”
Don’t expect them to be happy about this. When they begin to hound, you say, “I need to take care of myself right now. We’ll play later.”
So give it a try, and let me know how setting this limit, and taking care of your own needs works out.