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Parenting during COVID-19 – What I Know in My Heart

By Priya James
I felt like I was thrown into something that I was not at all prepared to handle. At first, I felt like everything was going well, but as I began talking to friends and seeing posts on social media, I began to feel overwhelming anxiety. Was I doing everything right? It seemed like most of my friends had children who happily did school activities at home, stayed on a schedule and went to bed on time. 

The current global pandemic has changed everyone’s life. When this all began, in about the time frame of just one week, my house became an office, a school, a gym, a yoga studio, a ballet studio, a museum, a zoo, a park, a playground and a movie theater. 

I felt like I was thrown into something that I was not at all prepared to handle. At first, I felt like everything was going well, but as I began talking to friends and seeing posts on social media, I began to feel overwhelming anxiety. Was I doing everything right? It seemed like most of my friends had children who happily did school activities at home, stayed on a schedule and went to bed on time. 

My four-year-old daughter seemed to be the complete opposite. She was not feeling homeschool. She was running around the house like a savage most the days and falling asleep at 10 p.m. I was mentally and physically drained and often felt “mom-shamed” when talking to other moms about how they were coping with the changes to their family life. 

In the past, I would have called upon my eating disorder to feel in control of things, but this time, something different happened. Instead of succumbing to eating disorder thoughts, I decided to use the guidance that helps me beat those thoughts. 

In eating disorder treatment, I began to realize, on a deeper level than ever before, that everybody is different. Instead of thinking I should look like one specific body type, I realized that people are all different shapes and sizes, and that the diversity of our bodies was a beautiful thing. 

Reflecting back on lessons from eating disorder treatment, I reminded myself that all families are different, all kids are different, and all households are different. Everyone is just trying to live their lives the best they can, and that’s all we can do. I mean, my daughter isn’t even in kindergarten yet, so why am I wasting my time worrying if she is going to be behind in school? 

So if you are a mom or dad out there struggling right now, and you feel like you are a failure, please know that you are not. Your child will turn out just fine after this pandemic and everything will eventually fall into place again. 

I know this is my heart.

 

Priya James
Written by

Priya James

Priya James is an eating disorder recovery advocate and Chair of the Houston National Eating Disorders Walk. Priya started her career in the fashion industry in 2001, working for one of Houston’s leading modeling and talent agencies. After four years working for the agency, she began her study in fashion at The Art Institute of Houston, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing.

Priya then went on to work as the marketing & PR director for designer and Project Runway 2 winner Chloe Dao. During this time, she also held a position on the Board of Directors of The Fashion Group International (Houston Division). She retired from the industry in 2016 and began to focus on her advocacy efforts.

As a person in recovery from an eating disorder, a former professional in the fashion industry, a mother of a beautiful young girl, and the wife of a psychiatrist, one of the goals in her life is to educate and bring awareness to eating disorders. Her advocacy efforts have been especially focused in cultures where depression, anxiety and other issues are not taken seriously or looked down upon.

Follow Priya Mary James on Instagram.

Eating Recovery Center and Pathlight Mood and Anxiety Center are accredited through the Joint Commission. This organization seeks to enhance the lives of the persons served in healthcare settings through a consultative accreditation process emphasizing quality, value and optimal outcomes of services.

Organizations that earn the Gold Seal of Approval™ have met or exceeded The Joint Commission’s rigorous performance standards to obtain this distinctive and internationally recognized accreditation. Learn more about this accreditation here.

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