Parenting During a Pandemic
Being a parent is the most fulfilling and most difficult job we have. Parenting in “normalcy” is a huge challenge in itself but what about parenting during a pandemic? The past few months parents have stressed over filling up summer break without the normal activities, such as swim lessons, soccer games and summer camp. Instead, we have been attempting to create a fun environment at home that resembles sweet tidbits of the normal summer break, such as picnics in the backyard, investing in a pool or trampoline and praying that your obsessive compulsiveness to force bathtime everyday (along with your extreme usage of hand sanitizer) and the media talking about a deadly pandemic daily hasn’t scared your kids too much.
Now that school has started parents and children have received anything but a break from the “New Normal.” The options we have are to send our kids back to school during a pandemic or remote learning. These two options are both a learning curve for everyone involved and neither are for the weak. Many parents find themselves waking up at 3:30 am in attempts to get their own work hours in before sitting down at a computer with their children most of the day till 3:00 pm, only to fill the rest of their day with more of their own work all while making multiple meals daily, making sure their children get some fresh air and completing other household chores. Sadly, this is a situation that is actually considered a blessing amongst the many other situations parents are living in right now.
Many children will fall behind this school year because parents are essential workers and are unable to be home with their children to teach them and keep up with school work. Though, the education system has done a great job at implementing a system to teach our children virtually the truth of the matter is, if you have a child attending school grades k- 6th they do need someone with them throughout the day for guidance and help. Many parents are slowly being able to get back to normal with their professional life as kids do go back to in-person school but at what cost? Having to mentally prepare yourself and your kids for being back in large groups with no confirmation of complete safety is mentally triggering.
The ideal situation for balance in life as a parent and a business professional is no more. Those who are raising our future are being spread too thin. It is our job as parents to protect and raise our children to the best of our ability. This involves putting a roof over their heads, food in their bodies, happiness in their hearts and education in their minds. As we all know, in order to achieve this we must have strong support systems at home, at work and in society.
Times are strange and everyone is learning to tread these changes. I hope you take the time to decompress weekly, incorporate healthy activities that bring you joy, and take many deep breaths. If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of the future try to focus on the very minute you are currently in and take life minute by minute. If you are a parent who is reading this please know that you are seen and admired for all that you do. You are doing an amazing job and your kids have the very best mom/dad. This too, shall pass, tired parent.
Mackenzie Enriquez AOCOO-HNS, Chief Operating Officer