Parenting Has Never Been Harder, But Here's How I'm Getting Through

How can moms and dads stay resilient through the most grueling endurance test our generation has ever faced? Parents editor-in-chief Julia Edelstein says that's something we are all trying to master right now.

portrait of julia edelstein wearing a blue polka dot dress
Photo: Marley Rizzuti

“How are you holding up?” Lately, my mom friends and I have been texting those five words to one another every few days. Often we lack the time or energy to respond with anything other than a quick “Hanging in there” or “Same old.” Piles of laundry, spilled DUPLO bins, emotional kids, and staggering work assignments crowd out our ability to say much more. But when the little ones are sleeping or watching a movie, one of us may take a deep breath and unload. We’ll share a piece of news that has brought us to tears, a fresh uncertainty keeping us up at night, or a worry about the future that’s almost too big to put into words.

Then we pick ourselves up. We crack a joke. We mention a silver lining. We drop balloon emojis for a baby’s first birthday or send a sweet photograph. We may be down-and-out, but we are still parents. And this means that we have superhuman resilience.

More proof of that fact: Olympic track star and maternal-health advocate Allyson Felix, beaming on our cover with her daughter, Camryn. Allyson should have been on her way to Tokyo right now, preparing to set another new world record. When the Olympics were postponed, no one would have blamed her if she’d shut down to mourn the loss of such a hard-fought moment. Instead, Allyson gamely posed for this cover, the first one that we’ve shot during the pandemic. Playing in her backyard with her daughter, she showed us how we can lift ourselves up and even reframe this crisis as an opportunity.

I want to be like Allyson. I want my kids to be like her too. So how do we do that?

Over the last month, the editors at Parents have been talking nonstop about the best ways to support your family in this unprecedented era. Our discussions have been far-reaching and varied but, ultimately, always come down to one question: How can moms and dads stay resilient through the most grueling endurance test our generation has ever faced?

This month, I’m especially proud of our inspiring cover feature and the stories “What Our Kids Need Now,” “Help Is Just a Click Away," and “Day Camp in Your Own Backyard," which deliver insight and ideas that can make a real difference in your day-to-day life.

Whether or not your own phone dings on the daily with check-ins, we at Parents want you to know that you’re not alone and that we’re thinking about all of you. I invite you to email me at to tell me about the kind of advice you need most right now.

We’re already determined and strong—and we can keep it up, together.

Enter Our Essay Contest

Without a doubt, 2020 has brought a range of emotions like no other year. But amid the sad and scary news, we have all been inspired by people’s caring and compassion. In the most creative and specific way possible, write a personal essay about the act of kindness that truly touched your family this year. Keep your story to 300 words or less for a chance to win $1,000. See the rules and find out how to enter on page 98 (deadline is July 10), and look for the winning stories in a future issue of Parents.

This article originally appeared in Parents magazine's July 2020 issue as “Our Marathon Moment Is Now.” Want more from the magazine? Sign up for a monthly print subscription here

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