If you are a parent of school-aged children, you lead an exhausted existence. If you are a parent during COVID-19, quadruple that. I am married to a first responder who has treated COVID patients, have an at-risk parent living with me, am a full-time college student, and have four children who are currently learning from home. We were given the choice for our children to attend in-person instruction or learn from home, and we selected e-learning because of the potential risk my husband poses to the teachers at the school and at-risk family members of the students.
My days are spent hopping between five computer screens answering questions, network troubleshooting, and trying to maintain decent scores in my own full load of coursework. It is slowly bringing me to a stark realization: that I have had to choose between the health and safety of my family and my own personal sanity. I am tired beyond all imagination day in and day out, and I know I am not alone in this. What we have been trying to do for the last half-year is not sustainable for any parent or child trying to work or learn from home.
All this stated, though, we are grateful. I am home to be able to have my children learning with me. We have not lost employment, housing, loved ones, or faced any kind of food insecurity, like many other families. What we need are easy access to mental health teleservices, educational tips for helping our children, and programs that assist us in learning how to parent during crisis situations. I also want other parents out there to know that you are not alone, even though it may feel like it.