This week was supposed to be reading week for seminary. It’s the week that we were supposed to lay low, relax, and catch up on reading before midterm exams next week.
So this was the plan. Little did I know that along with every other parent in this city (and countless other cities around the world), my wife and I would involuntarily become homeschool teachers too.
Needless to say, I’ve not gotten a lot of reading done this week. Much of my time (I speak for my wife here as well) has been spent getting our 6yo daughter set up on Zoom, crafting somewhat of a schedule (we ditched those colorful charts on day-one), and doing what we can to get some semblance of work done.
There’s so much to say right now. I’ll say a lot more in the coming days, but what I want to say right now is this…
Parents, the bar just got a lot lower.
I’ve been thinking about this all week, and then I read this fantastic article today shared by a dear friend (Julie, here’s looking at you) and was like, YES - absolutely.
So I want to expand on this bar-lowering thing a bit…
I say that the bar just got lower, but the bar has always been low. Mediocre parenting has always been the only kind of parenting. Everything else is choreographed for social media and dinner party conversations between type-a parents (aka, all of us).
But it’s true… With this pandemic and a whole world full of impromptu homeschool teachers who are somehow supposed to get work done at home (and now we can’t even go to the gym - or to a pub), the low bar is real. Very real. We all just got hit with a ginormous reality check. But not just for parenting - for everything. Our work is going to have to be mediocre, at best. Our parenting, the same. Our relationships with our spouses and partners - mediocre, maybe. On the good days.
At first glance, this seems daunting. But I’ve already noticed so much grace in this. My teachers at seminary - many of whom are in the same boat with little ones at home - are showing signs of relaxing their syllabi. My wife’s clients (who are used to meeting with her via Zoom because that’s been her model for years) don’t care if they see our daughter in the background picking her nose. They even seem happy to see it because, you know what, theirs is running around with finger-in-nose too. Now they don’t have to be so hard on themselves to have their kid perfectly behave because, hey - we’re all in this together!
This is what unexpected, uncontrollable suffering does to humans. Yes, it sucks horribly, but it also forces us to lighten up on each other and on ourselves.
The bar is low, friends. Very low. Embrace it and know that you are loved.
Grace & Godspeed,