*Thank you to Chelsea Enders for this guest post about how to create a sense of calm with your kids when everything around feels chaotic.
We couldn’t see family before it was cool. We had no friends around before everyone was doing it. Our lives were turned upside and unpredictable before the rest of the world joined in. We birthed without spouses. We survived postpartum without a single helping hand. We postponed birthdays without a parade. And our children missed out on completing a school year before every other kid could do it too.
We maintained relationships through FaceTime. Introduced babies to their dads through a screen.
We found a normal in living without a single certain thing.
We had lived here long before a pandemic put us into this place. Sure, the pandemic piled on a slight layer of new chaos, as the world around suddenly had to learn a new way to live. But nonetheless, we’ve been here, in this space before.
Last year we survived our year. The year that 100% topped 2020 in all things uncertain and unpredictable, looking towards today. We imagined a new year full of friends and family. We imagined all the adventures we’d have when our world was right again. We booked vacations and planned trips. We smiled about the birthday parties we’d finally get to have and the school activities we’d get to do.
We made it through 2019 anxiously awaiting 2020 … so imagine our surprise when we finally arrived. Sometimes, you just have to laugh at the way the world works.
With all that being said, about how I have been here before, how my family is all too familiar with this space, I want you to know, momma, that the kids will be OKAY.
I see you sweet friend and all of your worries.
I hear your concerns about how this chaos may change their little hearts. But please know, you are their life raft, their lifeline, their constant. You are the one cultivating the world around them. So, cultivate smiles. Create memories and raise kids that will learn to roll with the punches. Because sometimes all you can do is laugh, right? You are keeping them afloat. Those little hearts look to you for guidance and certainty in every uncertain time.
So guide them to resilience! Help them learn to find strength. Let them know that life doesn’t have to look perfect to be beautiful.
Far too many times I have had to create light in the dark. I have had to watch my young kids learn that life will not be perfect and that we can never really trust what should be. I have had to watch their hearts sink far too many times when big plans break apart. I have begged for our life to just look normal, if only for a day, only to be reminded that I want to raise kids that can overcome, and “a calm sea does not make a skilled sailor.” (We’re not navy – so no actual sailing here).
And at the end of all these unfortunate and unpredictable events, I know my kids will be OKAY because they have found resilience long before the rest of them.
My kids need some chaos and a chance to overcome something a time or two. I want my kids to fall flat, while I can still keep them afloat. I want my kids to learn to navigate through the darkness while I still have the opportunity to be their guiding light. I will hold hands and guide my children through the chaos that was here before a pandemic put us in this place. I know events like this may change their little hearts, but little hearts must break before they can grow.
Use these days, both the dark days and the light, to lead your kids to find strength. To grow while you still can guide. When this is all said and done, and your life finds a normal, or returns to a normal that you have never had, your kids will be okay. Your kids will be okay because you brought them to this place. Your kids will be okay because they will learn to become buoyant and flexible. Situations of uncertainty build strength.
Your kids will be OKAY, because they have you, their security, momma, and you are exactly what they need.
About the Author
Chelsea Enders is a 28-year-old military spouse with girls ages 2, 5, and 8. Her family has called many houses home and seen their fair share of difficult deployments, but this life has also given them experiences that you can’t get anywhere else. Right now, Chelsea stays home full-time with her family, but when she heads back to work eventually, you will find her in an elementary classroom, still surrounded by kids. As a parent, she hopes to give her three girls adventure. She strives to open their minds, fill their hearts, and help them take in the wonderful world around. As a friend, Chelsea knows that we are all parenting on different paths, but we are all in this together.