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Pandemic Parenting

In a world where we already lack villages to help raise children, the pandemic has further isolated parents from receiving the support they need.

Regardless of what your views of the pandemic are, I am certain we can all agree that parenting during such a time has been hard and is reaching a point where it is no longer sustainable.

The never ending "waves", online schooling, daycare closures, restrictions, pressure to follow rules, supply chain issues and all the other things I am missing. IT IS EXHAUSTING. Trying to parent under normal circumstances is hard enough in our modern world, but take away the few support systems parents had and it makes it feel impossible.

Before we go any further can we please tell the boomers to sit the F down with the "we are all in this together" crap? Thanks aren't stuck in isolation with a toddler. You don't get stares if you are out in public and your kid coughs...your kids are grown and you're likely retired. The audacity of certain statements older generations make directed towards parents, are far from helpful.

We were never meant to parent this way. If it had truly been a

'two weeks to flatten the curve" scenario, it would have been fine. Here we are two years later, living the same two weeks ....over and over and OVER again. It isn't fine and it isn't working. We aren't fine anymore.

The extra strain the pandemic has put on parents, specifically moms is starting to speak volumes. Mental health is at an all time low and the anxiety in our children is skyrocketing. The pace of parenting needed to keep up with the worlds current state isn't sustainable.

It's understandable we are all feeling burnt out. I think the key to breaking a bit of this burnout, is to start making decisions that best fit your family's situation. I also think we need to support each other's decisions as parents and stop shaming for "not doing your part". If having a small play group at your house drastically helps your mental health...go for it. If hiring outside help to entrain your children for a few hours allows you to work in peace..hire away. If taking your kids grocery shopping helps break up the it.

This idea that very family can follow the regulations to a T isn't realistic. Do not feel shamed for making choices that best fit the needs of your family's situation. Each situation is different and so are each family's views on the whole situation.

Here are a few strategies that might be useful for combating some of the pandemic burnout.

  1. TURN OFF THE NEWS! Constantly having to hear about the pandemic is draining and not very useful. If something drastic happens, chances are you will hear about it one way or another. Focus on your family , rather than the outside world.

  2. Make decisions for your family- I already touched on this, but make choices that make sense for your situation

  3. Outweigh risks and benefits- At what point does poor mental health outweigh the chance of contacting a virus with a high recovery rate? It's time to start asking yourself these tough questions and make choices accordantly

  4. Find ways to connect with other parents- We need to bring the village mentality back. Nobody is going to be more invested in their children than parents. Find like minded people and support each other. Don't rely on the government or social systems for this. Make it happen on your own

  5. Find time for yourself- No matter how hard this is, having even 30 minutes a day where you are alone can really help your mental state

Finally, just know you aren't alone with feeling burnt out. Parenting is hard and the current climate we are living in, is adding new challenges. Talking about it and being honest with the experiences we are having is important.

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