If you take a look around social media or scroll through the news for too long, you’ll be hit with headlines convincing you that the pandemic is the perfect time to take up a new hobby.

Start a new business! they say.

Maybe even invent something to save humanity! After all, Isaac Newton supposedly developed his theories on calculus during the plague of 1665.

What are you doing with all your extra time?

Who are all these people? ​​Do they not have children?

I’m rotating through my days by drowning in dishes and laundry (who’s wearing more clothes?), assuring my oldest she’ll be able to see her friends and start high school in an actual building, praying the virus will pass over my kids when I send them off to their dad’s, trying to make dinner without going to the store yet again, worrying over family members who are high-risk, checking on my youngest to make sure he’s completed his homework, wiping away random tears, frantically checking work emails while simultaneously fighting off boredom.

Am I the only one completely overwhelmed with life?

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America: do we always have to be producing more and more? Even when we are in the middle of a global pandemic?

No, I’m not “finding a new normal.” And please, quit calling this life “normal.”

​We are grieving, and we are waiting.

Waiting for life to return to normal.

Because this way of life isn’t normal.

Our children have had part of the childhood taken from them, they’ve had milestones and innocence lost.

How we, as parents, help our children through this time is what we create.

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Just because we aren’t creating a new business that will be ready to sell by this time this pandemic is over doesn’t mean we haven’t created something wonderful and worthwhile during this time.

I’ve created a peaceful environment for my children when the world has gone absolutely crazy.

When the world is so scary for our kids, they aren’t even allowed to go in public without a mask on, I’ve created the only place in the world where they can be themselves right now.

Every mom is doing her absolute best, and we are all doing it differently.

Our home looks different from the home next door.

My kid’s schedules look different from another.

Learning to let go where control doesn’t need to be so my children can feel safe and loved in this insane world is what’s saving my house right now.

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One of my children has found his sweet spot by sleeping till noon, then doing his schoolwork only one Thursdays and Fridays and while he watches TV.

At first, I couldn’t stand for this. Once I let my son try things his way, I found he was fully capable of handling this his own unique way, and we get along so much better.

My other child needs me to help her wake up early each day and help her with a schedule each Monday through Friday and talk about her work each day.

Most importantly, my kids are at peace in their house. They’ve begun playing together like they did when they were younger before the world opened up to them with friends and school and outside influences.

If I created nothing else at the end of this global pandemic, when my kids look back at this time, I pray they remember their mom made them feel safe through it all.

And may that be worth more than any invention, hobby, or new business.

Jen Smith

Jen writes at Grace for Single Parents to encourage single moms to live their best life with God’s grace and love. She’s a contributing author for Her View from Home, Grown & Flown, and Sammiches & Psych Meds. She currently lives in Kansas with her two teenagers and two dogs.