To say 2020 caught us off guard would be the understatement of the century. Pandemic, check. Wildfires, check. Civil unrest, check. An economic collapse, check. The most divisive political climate of our lifetime, check, check, check. Oh, and let’s not forget living, learning, working, and playing out of our living rooms, all while having to feed our families three meals (and 27 snacks) each day.
But WE. MADE. IT. 2020 is finally in our rear view mirrors. While we certainly won’t miss the year where every time we turned on the news there was something else to worry about (remember those murder hornets?), there was a lot of learning that came with such an unprecedented (sorry, had to) year.
We tapped our community of parents all over the country for their takeaways from 2020 and how they plan to take on 2021:
Never give yourself a hard time about needing a break. Parenting is hard. Work is hard. Pandemic life is hard. The juggle of them all is nearly impossible. Tap out, take some time for yourself, and prioritize your rest the way you do everything else. – Hitha Palepu
I definitely think I’ve started to take care of myself better and realized I need to be ok and give myself a lot of positive thoughts. So this year I’m focusing on more reading, introspective things like walking, nature, and just enjoying the moment with my little one instead of living like I’m a survivor. – Karina R.
This year has hit parents pretty hard. People have been really great about being honest about their parenting struggles (which I feel previous generations esp women did not have the freedom or visibility to do; quite frankly no one cared how hard it was for moms) but we need to LEARN from all the honesty. There’s no reason being a mom means you can’t shower daily, or your career is over, or you can’t look or feel sexy, that prioritizing yourself instead of your kids at times is wrong or inappropriate because that is TOXIC! So the whole world needs to fall in line and support parents BIG TIME. – Taylor N.
I’m not making any “resolutions” for 2021. I feel like what I learned in 2020 was to let go of all control and all plans and take one day at a time, be present, and make decisions about tomorrow, tomorrow. I am however never going to let go of hope. As actors, we live off of hope! Hope that will get the audition, hope that after the audition that we’ll book the job, and if we don’t, hope that something bigger and better is on the way. As a working actor we are conditioned to live off of hope, and I’m definitely not letting that go. I have hope for our country, hope for this pandemic, and hope for all mothers that we can get to the other side of this stronger, wiser, and happier. – Cerina Vincent
2021 is about taking the lessons I learned in 2020 and reminding myself to stay present and grateful. It’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae of daily life, so we have to actively choose to be engaged and appreciative. Successful parenting is about being good enough, not perfect, not better than last year, just good enough. Last year was tragically stressful, and although we are in a new year, it will take time to heal and work through the trauma. Listen to your feelings, and treat yourself gently. – Lindsay Liben
For Our Children:
Kids are super adaptable, so long as you give them the support they need. Everything about our lives changed this past year, and the kids adjusted remarkably well. My five-year-old has a new set of friends, new interests, and new routines. And we know that, as we face whatever changes 2021 will bring, our kids will adjust to those as well. – Jason Feifer
As a pediatrician, I think something incredibly hopeful I want to pass along to parents of young children is to remind them that although this time has been excruciatingly difficult, please remember our kids are resilient! Keep supporting them and yourself the best way you know how! – Dr. Amna Husain
As a Family:
As hard as 2020 has been, we’ve really enjoyed being a family of 4. Our togetherness is so strong! As we welcome 2021, we look forward to embracing our individual independence in ways both familiar and new. – Leah Keller
2020 has taught me the meaning of the word gratitude. We’ve slowed down in the best way possible. We enjoy our home time, and do a ton of projects. I love the added time together as a family. My goal is to keep everyone happy and healthy—that’s all that matters. – Melissa Ben-Ishy
Appreciating all the things that are easy to take for granted. Such as the ability to hug friends and family, eat at restaurants, travel freely… and be in good health! – Ali Bandier