Parenting during the pandemic is one of the most stressful times to be a parent, especially for young kids and teens are having it rough as well. Kids with special needs are having it rough, and their parents are feeling like they are losing it. I hate the term personally ‘new normal’. I cannot accept this as being ‘the new normal’. What I can accept is the ‘temporary new normal’, but I have a reason to be optimistic that eventually, we will get to pre-pandemic life. No one exactly knows when. I firmly feel in 2021 we will be seeing the pandemic on the way out. It is the question of when and the question of how much longer pandemic parenting will happen.
Pandemic Parenting Is Stressful
Kids are feeling anxious and isolated, like the parents during this time. For the kids that are going to school because their parents must work outside of the home are feeling stressed. They don’t want to do anything wrong and want to make sure they are doing what they must do (the older ones would understand anyway). They want to make sure they are staying clean, socially distancing, and keeping their mask on when they must. This is all anxiety-inducing.
However, for parents, it’s extremely stress- and anxiety-inducing. There is the fear that their kids could bring back the virus as they would be asymptomatic and pass it onto their grandparents or relative that is immunocompromised. Parents are feeling isolated and are furious with those who are not taking this pandemic seriously. They are furious with neighbors who believe in the conspiracy theories who are not taking this pandemic seriously at all.
This Pandemic Is Stressful Beyond Belief For All Parents For One Reason Or Another
What about the parents who have chosen their kids to attend school virtually? They felt it was the right choice since they could be the ones to work from home, but it is still very stressful. Perhaps the worry of bringing the virus in is not as bad unless one of the parents has to work outside of the home or is an essential worker. But they are stressed beyond belief.
This is a scary time and some families are better equipped to handle the pandemic lifestyle than others. However, it is not the norm. Most are very stressed – financially, mentally, emotionally, and they are drained. Saying this is ‘the new normal’ will only be more detrimental to the mental health of the parents and the kids.
This is the ‘new temporary normal’. And besides, what pandemic has lasted forever anyway? The vaccine trials are almost completed, and at the end of the day with trust being earned the majority will take the vaccine and COVID-19 will be history. But for now, we have to hang in there as much as we can.
For many families, the deeper we get into this pandemic, the harder it gets. We like to talk about our “new normal,” but the idea that any of this is anything close to “normal” can also feel like some kind of cruel joke. Parents are still working and taking care of multiple children (some of whom have extra needs) and they’re depleted—mentally, emotionally and financially depleted.