It’s not news to anyone who has had or has been a child that parenting is really hard work.
It is. There’s just something about being COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY responsible for another person’s life that is not just a buzzkill, but also kind of stressful and challenging. For example, did you know that it takes a COUPLE OF YEARS to convince a child that they will either have to change their own damn diapers or figure out how a toilet works? REALLY? YEARS?
On top of that, there’s the feeding and the dressing and the washing and the cleaning up and the having to keep them from killing each other or the dog or themselves. Let’s just say it gets to be a bit much.
So, as difficult as it may be to parent, leave it to COVID-19 to make it even harder. Thanks 2020. Like we really needed that.
YOU CAN’T SAY THAT ANYMORE
If you’ve ever said to a screaming child who isn’t getting their way that “it’s not the end of the world,” then you can see how difficult it must be when it might actually be the end of the world.
Similarly, you can’t really goad your child into giving scary Aunt Judy a hug and a kiss by telling them, “it’s not gonna kill you to give her a hug.” Especially now that she has to pull her facemask down to pucker up. (shudder)
A global pandemic also really sucks the wind from the sails of the “when I was your age…” conversation. It’s kind of like rubbing it in at this point. “When I was your age, I used to go outside all the time and play with my friends. Wait, why are you crying?”
NO, YOU CAN’T
Apparently children have some sort of built-in nuclear power source that provides them with a limitless supply of energy and makes your life a living hell. It also makes them want to do things ALL THE TIME.
So, while you’re fine with chilling on the couch trying to figure out if there are any Netflix series you haven’t already watched twice, they are not okay with that. Which would be fine, because you could probably take them in a fight if it were to come to that, but for the fact that they have really irritating ways of telling you they’re bored.
Like saying “I’m bored.” I hate it when they do that. Because what it really means is that you now have to play the role of entertainment director on a cruise ship and figure out what they can do that doesn’t actually include you.
This is why video games were created. Unfortunately, your two-year old just happens to REALLY SUCK at Fortnight, which leaves you with nothing to do but relinquish your TV surfing so they can watch “Baby Shark” for the nineteen-thousandth time.
In the before time, when you didn’t have to fear that they would catch a life-threatening disease by chewing on a jungle gym, you could just send them outside. Or to Aunt Judy’s house. Or to school. But not in the age of COVID. Now, you’re stuck with them.
THE WORLD’S RUBBER, YOU’RE GLUE
Those parents who were able to work remotely during lockdown understood just how challenging it could be to try to pay attention to a zoom meeting while junior is chasing the cat around with a fork.
But at least they still had those precious few hours of virtual school. What sweet peace it was to know your precious offspring was in the trembling hands of a little head in a zoom window who spent most of the time trying unsuccessfully to get everyone to pay attention to them. For a couple of hours every day, you could log your kid in and let somebody else deal with them. Never have you appreciated educators so much.
Of course, that all ended with the school year. You’ve probably Googled “social distancing camp” with your fingers crossed for luck.
The fact that summer break has arrived at the same time that the economy has demanded people go back to work is a double-whammy for parents. Summer couldn’t have possibly come at a worse time.
As much as you may love the idea of handing your little angel off to some complete strangers, it’s still kind of hard to get that annoying feeling of parental responsibility out of your head. What if someone coughs on them? What if they touch somebody or something? What if they lick someone’s shoe?
These are all perfectly natural parenting concerns.
WHAT TO DO?
This should be the part of this article where the sage advice flows like sweet honeyed wine. But, hey, COVID-19 has apparently changed that, too. Which is almost a good thing. Parenting advice is kind of like COVID-19: It is really easy to get, but you still don’t want it.
All the Aunt Judys of the world who have been dying to tell you the best way to raise your spawn are more likely to STFU now because even they know they don’t have a clue.
Yes, you will probably consider whether locking them in a closet with an iPad, some crayons, and a couple of juice boxes is doable. It’s not, but your Aunt Judy will still imagine people doing it to feed her disdain, and tilt the tables toward her. And, in the end, you will almost certainly go the Judy route, despite the howls of protest from children who are all too willing to give the locked closet idea a go first.
That’s parenting for you. If it doesn’t tear you apart, you’re probably not doing it right. Heck. You’re probably not doing it right anyway, but at least you’re trying.
That much, they will always remember.
The shifting sands of time have tossed us all on our asses, especially following the sandstorm that is COVID-19. But we are here, and always happy to listen to you vent about it, and all parenting advice is provided absolutely free of charge. Call us!
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