I’ve found that during the whole Coronavirus pandemic and the multiple lockdowns, I’ve felt sadness for pretty much everyone. The elderly stuck in care homes, people that are pregnant or have just given birth and in desperate need of support, school children trying to learn from home, people with mental health issues who have had to isolate alone.
There isn’t one group of people that hasn’t suffered, and I know as a parent some of the most intense safeness I’ve felt has been towards other parents and their children. It’s obviously not a competition at all, but this post is specifically about parents as that’s where I relate to the most.
During the pandemic parents have had to go from being parents to being parents, teachers, school friends, counsellors and this is just for their children. Some of us have had to carry on working, others have lost their jobs. Some are from blended homes and have had to go extended periods of time without seeing their children.
Parents have had it rough.
I know I’ve found it really testing and difficult at periods, I find some evenings that I’m all touched out because Grayson has needed constant cuddles and kisses throughout the day. Usually this wouldn’t bother me in the slightest, but being in the same four walls 24/7 is going to have detrimental effects on everyone.
I find myself mourning Grayson’s childhood, and all the experiences and joys he’s missing out on. He’s not experiencing holidays and new cultures, he isn’t going to festivals, he isn’t spending time with his family. He’s an incredible little boy, and has truly taken it in his stride. But it hurts my heart when he says “can we go see the fishies at the SeaLife centre” or “can I go see grandads trains” because he doesn’t ask for much and we have to say no.
He understands it’s because of the “germies” and we have to be extra careful right now, but it’s sad that our children even have to be thinking about these things. He now waits for his hands to be sanitised, and knows that we need our masks. Things that we didn’t have to worry about as children.
I mourn for the lack of a childhood that he’s had, but I still try to be positive for my baby. I don’t want him to believe there’s no end in sight, because sometimes that is what I truly feel. I want him to know that this will end, and when it does life will be glorious.
I think parents are putting too much pressure on themselves to keep everything normal, but this is not normal. So if you put Netflix on, or give them the iPad to keep them entertained so you can have 5 minutes – that’s okay. If you find yourself getting to the end of the day, and you need to cry because it’s all just been too much – that’s okay.
This is not a normal scenario for anyone, and I don’t think any of us envisioned being in the same position nearly a year on. Especially when so many countries are back to a state of normality.
It’s okay to struggle, and to mourn what your children and you are missing out on. Just because you have days where you feel like parenting is too much, or life in general is just getting on top of you – that doesn’t make you a bad parent or a bad person.
We are all doing the best we can, and one day things will be different, and that’s all we can hope for.