Many parents have felt the stress of balancing being a parent, a de facto teacher and a child’s sole entertainer during months stuck at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
But there also are silver linings.
Some moms say the quarantine has helped them grow closer to their daughters. Recent research from anthropologist Grant McCracken indicates that moms are fostering closer bonds; he said among the more than 500 moms in the United States that he surveyed, 59% said they felt the relationship between mother and daughter was becoming more connected.
“That was striking,” he said. Out of all possible relationships in the home, “This was the one that was really flourishing.”
That’s the case for Lindsay Kosciuk, a Bartlett, Ill., mom who said she and her 9-year-old daughter have been able to spend more time together, without the usual packed schedule — swim lessons, play dates, camps.
“Without so many distractions, our bond is even stronger than it was before,” she said. “I have to be her mom, teacher and best friend to really fill the void that COVID has left.”
Her daughter recently started putting together care packages to give to seniors who are isolated because of the virus, and mom and daughter deliver them together. They also have been quarantine pen pals to the seniors.
It isn’t only daughters and parents who might be growing stronger bonds; Kosciuk said she and her husband and son have grown closer, too. They hike nearly every day — something they wouldn’t have been able to make time for before the pandemic.
For Wilmette mom Beth Lynch, the absence of classes and activities propelled new closeness.
“All that other noise, that just stopped; in terms of taking her to soccer or dance, all that completely stopped,” said the mother of three about her 11-year-old daughter. “And so it was like, I could see her, really, really see her.” They connected by being in the same space more often, and through Lynch’s encouragement of her daughter’s new interests, like the ukulele.
They also continued a program called MoonBeams, which aims to nurture mother-daughter connection through group classes. When the pandemic hit, the program went remote, but the Lynches continued to meet virtually with other mom-daughter pairs throughout the spring.
One thing brought up in a discussion, Lynch said, was seeing a daughter as a mirror of yourself, and looking at things through her eyes.
“I was bringing those things back to, ‘How do I see this from her point of view?’” Lynch said.
McCracken said he heard from moms who were bonding through things like watching John Hughes movies or finally figuring out TikTok.
“Women were saying things like, ‘My daughter could see me in a way she couldn’t before,’” he said.
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