We've opened the floor up to other parents for our newest post. We are all currently going through a variety of things; homeschooling, working from home, navigating isolation and possible mental health concerns. While we may have similar issues, no two are exactly alike, and we want to take this time to share what others are going through. To maybe help "normalize" the not normal, and to know while we are isolated, we aren't alone.
Our first post comes from a friend in Calgary. Thank you Marissa for sharing this with us.
I have 2 kids. My daughter is 11, and my son is 9, we live together in a small main floor home with my fiancé (not their bio dad). Parenting through this pandemic and physical distancing has been a challenge in so many ways, and I think our situation is a little bit unique.
My ex husband and I share our children 50/50, and we’ve tried to maintain that part of our routine since school is out. My ex hasn’t lost his job and continues to work, so my fiancé and I have the kids during “school hours” during the days to allow my ex husband to keep working.
At first when school was cancelled, my fiancé, ex husband, and I agreed we’d follow the sample schedule the kids school gave us to work through school work, and PE time, plus family time. So on my ex husbands days, he’d drop the kids off with us at 9am and we’d begin “school”.
It was a nightmare. First day went well, second day was alright, and by the third day we were getting stressed out. We thought it would help the kids to keep to a routine similar to school to help them cope with what is happening in the world. I thought it would mean they would be occupied and I could work on my own studies as I’m a full time student at SAIT, and my fiancé was laid off from the hospitality industry.
This routine was not working. My kids can’t just be distracted from the world and think everything is fine.
I had to realize they are struggling as much as we were struggling. I’ve completely changed my ideas on how I would teach and parent through this pandemic. My kids miss their friends, and school, and the only way they feel normal is to talk to their friends.
I’ve given up on screen time rules. My daughter is attached to her iPad all day playing video games and chatting with her friends. And that’s okay because she’s scared of what happening right now. She finds comfort in her friends and if being connected for the entire day helps her through this uncertain time, then so be it. If it keeps her from crying everyday then She can absolutely have unrestricted time on her iPad.
My son is the introvert, he doesn’t mind staying home all day and being alone, but even he is struggling with this. He hides in his room, plays on his iPad to distract himself from not being allowed to go out into any shops with me. His iPad is saving his mental health.
We stopped following the schedule from the school. We do 30 mins of literacy if we feel like it and then 30 minutes of math. But I’m disregarding due dates or deadlines the teachers are giving. This isn’t a time to stress about school work, and is about just making sure we survive mentally through this as a family.
It’s been a big lesson in letting go for myself, not only as a parent, but also as a post secondary student. I’ve gone from a GPA of 3.8, to just having to be okay with a pass. This isn’t normal, and we shouldn’t be expecting ourselves to be at our best right now, and that includes our kids. We all deserve some slack to just make it through this pandemic.
We all deserve some slack to just make it through this pandemic.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
If you want to be featured in our Parenting During the Pandemic blog, please send us an email, email@example.com. We look forward to reading and hearing everyone's perspective.