Many parents and others taking care of children are being asked to do the impossible right now. We must raise our kids in the most terrifying of times. Home school them amid the chaos and in many cases work from home while doing it. There is no end in sight and we are not okay.
Parents are experiencing burn out in this pandemic. Just weeks ago, we may have been masters at juggling it all, of managing days filled with schedules that were bursting at the seams. Our cars were clocking miles to and from dozens of activities — virtually all of us unaware it was about to come grinding to a halt.
Now, here we are, weeks into quarantine, and it’s already feeling a bit like the movie. Waking up to a new day and a newly minted attempt at routine to keep some semblance of sanity.
Every working parent is between some kind of rock and another kind of hard place right now. Many of us, have discovered a shift in priorities that would have never happened without this dark and scary time. We are reevaluating things and seeing what happens when you dedicate time to stillness, uncertainty and family togetherness.
But none of that quells the parenting burnout. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the countless remote catchups, online Dj Parties or cocktail hours we may have had on Zoom or Face Time with girlfriends and what we hear from so many other people on social media and from other parts of life, it’s that we are not alone.
Parents ask each other how we’re holding up or if we completed the daily activities sent by teachers. Others wonder if their children will or need to repeat next year, or be adequately be prepared for KCPE or KCSE Exams. At some point Parents were wondering if school might be over for the rest of the year. And a sea of stressed parents are doing what we all felt was way outside our job description: acting as schoolteachers.
Bottom line, this crisis — even as it’s gutting us – this Covid crisis has the potential to produce (among the people who are lucky enough to be able to rally) a generation of children defined by their resilience. Helicopter and lawnmower parents are powerless right now to do anything about their children’s disappointment about canceled graduations, proms, birthday parties and more. That’s terrifying and exhausting, but it should also give us perspective.
We cannot shield our children from this crisis, but it’s quite possible that because we can’t, they will grow and stretch in uncomfortable but meaningful ways.
In the meantime, give yourself grace. Remember you are doing the best you can …