This is it, folks, Bored Panda’s final list of the year, collecting the very best of the best, the crème de la crème of parenting tweets made in 2020. And what a year it’s been! Parents have had so many challenges this year and were forced to adapt to a whole new life like never before.
If being a mom or a dad wasn’t challenging and fun in itself on any regular day, the global Covid-19 pandemic drastically changed everything. Parents learned how to work from home and take care of their kids during lockdown all at the same time, scratched their heads whenever Zoom lessons wouldn’t work right, and had to juggle keeping their munchkins entertained and finding enough time for themselves. And that’s on top of kids being kids!
Don’t believe us? Scroll down and have a look. Upvote your fave parenting tweets as you go along and let us know in the comments what your biggest parenting challenges and funniest moments were this year! When you’re done, check out our previous parenting tweet posts here, here, and here, as well as here.
Anita Cleare, parenting expert and author of ‘The Work/Parent Switch,’ explained to Bored Panda that there’s absolutely no doubt that children will have very strong memories from 2020. “This year will stick out in their minds as unique and different. But rather than focusing on the hardships, think about what alternative happy memories you could create this Christmas,” she said. Read on for our full interview with Cleare and her wholesome insights about how to create a memorable Christmas for your kids this year, as well as how to handle both work from home and taking care of your children.
Parenting expert Cleare gave us some incredibly wholesome ideas on how to make this Christmas season memorable for our kids: “Children love twinkly lights, so why not camp out under the Christmas tree one night? Or create a magical elf trail using fairy lights. Or make the house dark and eat dinner by candlelight. We might not be able to have a normal Christmas but we can still create a Christmas that is special and memorable for our children.”
What’s more, you should stop aiming for perfection. It’s best to have realistic expectations about what Christmas will be like. “Your children are not going to transform into perfect angels just because it’s Christmas Day. The excitement of Christmas can be overwhelming for small children and this is a stressful time. It’s ok if there are sad moments and down times. But allow the emotions to pass quickly and look for ways to distract everybody into an activity,” Cleare advised.
Bored Panda also wanted to get Cleare’s take on how parents should juggle work from home and taking care of their children, what with more and more people being told to stay home because of tightening lockdown regulations.
“Working from home has many advantages but it also creates challenges. Working parents can find ourselves constantly flitting between parenting and working and never feeling like we have actually finished anything. Or trying to do both at once (a toddler in one hand, a phone in the other) and feeling like we are failing at it all. So cut yourself some slack.”
According to Cleare, it’s a tough situation to be in, so the best you can expect is… doing your best. What’s more, honesty helps a lot. So be upfront with your coworkers and your clients about how you have to balance work and family life. “The vast majority of colleagues and clients will be totally understanding of your situation. At the beginning of a conference call, explain that you have a little one in the house. Then, if/when you get interrupted by a request for attention, help, biscuits (or anything else!), you’ll feel a lot less stressed.”
Previously, Bored Panda spoke to Cleare about staying positive as a parent, overcoming challenges, and avoiding the trap of trying to be ‘perfect.’
According to Cleare, trying to be a ‘perfect’ parent is bad not just for us but for our kids, too because it “sets everybody up to fail.”
That’s because if you raise the bar so high you can’t even see it anymore, you can’t really succeed, now, can you? That’s why you should aim for being ‘good enough’ instead of ‘perfect.’
“Great parents make mistakes but they try to learn from them (and not to repeat them too often!),” Cleare said, adding that failing in ways that your children can handle boosts their independence gradually and is, overall, good for their development.
Above all, no parent can take care of their children well if they’re chronically exhausted, starving, and burnt out. So taking care of yourself is a priority. Parenting expert Cleare stressed that parents putting themselves last benefits no one. Remember to take frequent breaks and practice gratitude to keep your spirits up when things get tough. Let’s just hope that 2021 cuts us some slack.