For parents who are feeling worried about doing the right thing while they're home with their kids right now, please direct your attention to Glennon Doyle's very important PSA about "TV time." The bestselling author's message? Give yourself a break. Seriously. "If we cannot go easy on ourselves right now," she says, "we will never go easy on ourselves. This is our moment."
In a recent Facebook video, the Untamed author, who also founded the popular online community Momastery and the nonprofit Together Rising, recounted a conversation she'd had with a friend who'd been struggling with all of this new at-home time with her 4-year-old son during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has led to school closures and businesses to work from home.
"My friend called last night. Her 4 year old son was screaming, just screaming," Doyle wrote on Facebook. "She says: My life is hell right now. I’m trying to work and the only time I get a moment of peace I get all day and night is during TV Time."
This left Doyle stunned. "Listen to me parents and listen good," Doyle says in the video. "'TV time' is for peace times. There is no crying in baseball and there is no 'TV time' during corona... ball. You know what 'TV time' is during corona? 'TV time' is all the times. All the times."
"Mom-shaming yourself during a global pandemic... this is a bridge too far," Doyle says. "This is where I draw the line."
Doyle goes on to share an anecdote about her time as a preschool teacher, when she couldn't help noticing that the children in her class only remembered the last thing she taught them every day. Every day Doyle said she would ask the parents to ask their kids what they learned and they would just say whatever she had last taught.
"No matter what I did all day, the students only remembered the last thing we did... That's all they remembered, that's all they talked about to their parents," Doyle says. "So here is what I learned about children: All you have to do is finish strong."
With that in mind, Doyle shared her advice for parents of little ones during this pandemic: "Start strong and finish strong each day. After breakfast, read a book with them... That's starting strong. Then a quick seven-hour TV show. Then, before dinner, turn off the TV and do something cool, something fun. Not Pinterest fun, just easy fun. A board game, I-Spy, that is finishing strong... That is the corona plan."
Parents who have been having a difficult time adjusting to this new normal appreciated Doyle's words and took to social media to share their own stories of just letting themselves enjoy a little peace through the magic of TV time.
"The only time I get any peace (or have time to work) is when my 2 y/o naps and my 5 y/o watches TV," one mom commented on her video on Twitter.
"I may have sent my kids back to their electronics after watching this," another commented on Facebook. "Thank you, Glennon, for this reminder of grace."
There will come a time when parents will want to turn off the TV, but as Glennon Doyle has pointed out, now is not the time to stress out about that. During a pandemic, "TV time is all the time."
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.