In light of the COVID-19 crisis, we find ourselves, as parents, thrown into a situation which we were not prepared to face. As Peck families, we were drawn to the Peck community for many reasons, but especially due to our shared values. As we tackle this pandemic situation, Peck’s new InDeCoRe values—Care, Courage, Gratitude, Respect, and Resilience—can resonate with us and help keep us grounded when we are, understandably, feeling shaky.
The emotional roller coaster of concerns for the health, safety, and financial security of our family looms. We’re spending endless hours managing work responsibilities (whether from home or on the frontlines), monitoring our children throughout distance learning, trying to keep enough food and toilet paper in supply, and making sure anything that comes into the house is safe—it can be mind-boggling.
This sudden change of roles puts pressure on our relationships and creates real concerns about our children’s well-being, academics, lack of appropriate socialization, and screen time, among other things.
While flattening the curve is for the greater good, let’s face it, we are experiencing real feelings of disappointment and lack of control these days. In some sense, we are even experiencing the Five Stages of Grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance), and throughout all of this we cannot physically be with the family and friends whom we depend upon for support.
But through all of these challenges, we have the bond of our shared values to carry us through. We are taking care of ourselves and our families while being thoughtful and compassionate. We make this sacrifice out of respect for the health and well-being of the greater community.
Right now, we need to draw upon courage to bravely battle through this time and know that we and our families, through resilience, will become stronger by living through and growing throughout this experience.
In gratitude, we can, thankfully, recognize all that we have, like the love and extra time with our families and the Peck faculty and staff who are moving mountains to keep our children engaged and inspired while in their own homes, juggling their own family situations.
Personally, while I won’t likely remember the state of my house or the meltdowns, and I hope to forget the shadow looming over us now, I will remember how this crisis situation forced us all to slow down and appreciate what we have: the grin and thumbs up I get from my fourth grader donning his giant headphones during a Zoom class; how our dog not only licked the side of a cake my daughter baked, but loyally laid at my feet while snoring loudly through my Zoom meetings; marking birthdays with drive-by celebrations; playing ping pong tournaments; long walks with my husband and kids; and the cocoon of safety that we have created in our home while sheltering in place.
I hope we all can try not to be hard on ourselves, as this situation has been hard enough. I hope we can take solace that we are all experiencing this situation as parents together and take heart in what will have been gained. Most of all, I hope our entire community stays healthy and well during this very challenging time.