Mina Starsiak Hawk is getting real about the struggles of pandemic parenting. The Good Bones star opened up on Instagram Tuesday about the difficulties she's had with 2-year-old son Jack now that the world is opening back up, admitting he's been taking small steps to readjust to life outside of quarantine. Sharing a photo of Jack watching his family work on the renovation site, Starsiak Hawk joked, "Gotta start em young."
She continued, "For real though…. Pre-pandemic, Jack wasn't scared of anything. Generators, nails guns, loud cars. He spent the first year and a half of his life on work sites. Then. Cue pandemic." Coming to work with his mom has been a "struggle" for the toddler, the HGTV star shared. "Coming back from spending so much time inside, without normal human and life interactions was never one of the things I thought I'd have to tackle as a parent. But, here we are."
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Despite the initial difficulties, Starsiak Hawk is seeing progress with her little one. "His first thought is still, 'hold me please mom,' but with a bit of encouragement and, honestly, a bit of ignoring it, he's opening back up," she wrote, adding that he even sat "quietly but excitedly" in the seat of an excavator when he felt ready. "So, baby steps!!!" she exclaimed. "By the time he was done with 'work' he was running the job site."
Asking for other parents' experiences in the comment section, Starsiak Hawk was faced with plenty of people going through the same kind of thing offering up their own thoughts. "I think they just need the encouragement," one follower wrote. "My almost 2-year-old is sort of in awe/unsure of all the people we didn't really encounter before now." Another wrote that it all "boils down to empathy, patience and making sure he knows that he can talk to you without fear of judgment."
Seeing that kind of support on social media is helpful for the Two Chicks and a Hammer co-founder, who opened up to PopCulture last month about how she manages the other side of social media. Handling trolls, Starsiak Hawk said her "personal take on it is, if you want to be a troll, there's probably other things going on in your life and that's fine."
That doesn't mean she doesn't call out bad behavior. "I also don't think you just get to be a troll privately. I want you to at least know what you said was not cool," she explained. "Usually make a little bit of a joke about it. […] After I do that, the amount of comments that are, 'Who said that? We're going to get them!' No, no, no — you don't need to get them. They've been privately called out and shamed. I'm sure they're probably very sad at home for what they did. Probably not. I just try to make it humorous."