Social distancing, working from home, home schooling and self-isolation are all notions that we have had to come to terms with over the last few months, they roll off the tongue as if they have existed in all our lives since day dot. It’s easy to forget that this isn’t the case.
The “New Normal” a phrase I loath, is on the lips of so many people, but what if your “New Normal” is filled with stress, anxiety and is damaging tour familial relationships?????
Both my partner and I, haven’t had the luxury of being furloughed, so that means that we are forced to work full time from home, oh yea, we also have three young children that need to be home schooled. Not to mention your usual parenting responsibilities and being cooped up with each other 24/7 is a recipe for disaster. Any support we did have, mainly grandparents can no longer look after them either.
I know this is the case for many parents out there and we are not alone, therefore others out there must be feeling like us, all the working week we are forced to be full time workers, full time teachers and full time parents. That’s three very separate roles (that do not belong together) that we are just expected to manage, and it’s impossible, however the guilt that you are made to feel forces you to carry on persevering…………… and failing, and stressing that it all needs to get done, and feeling guilty about letting down your children, their teachers and your employees. It never ends.
I hear parents saying that this time is wonderful and they are enjoying it so much. Well ask them if they are working full time and the answer is always a clear NO. I want that, I want to be the cool Dad I am (if I do say so myself, ha ha ha), I don’t want to be the Dad I am at the minute, screaming at them because they wont do their maths work, but when my phone is going all day and teachers are e-mailing out the weeks work, it’s so stressful.
Not to mention how difficult this must be for our kids, having horrid parents till the 5pm bell goes off and we can all forget about the hell day we just lived through and relax before it all starts again. How are they supposed to understand.
As parents our teaching shouldn’t be academic, it should be learning about life, handling problems and dealing with stress. It is easy to get education and schooling confused, but they are very different things. Schooling is an institutional system of passing on knowledge (something that people train a long time to do), not allowing for the emotional development of our kids, that’s where we step in. In ancient Greece young people had two teachers, a teacher of knowledge and a pedagogue, the latter dealing with the practical and emotional side of learning.
It’s wrong that we are expected to do all we are doing, but, we are not alone, it will end and things will settle down again. Remember, your kids wont forget everything they have learnt because of a few months on the sidelines. Keep your kids safe and keep yourself safe. When you are about to explode, walk it off, go for a run, have a tidy, do a family dance for twenty minutes, watch something that will make everyone laugh. Don’t make this time hell for yourself and your kids, that way everyone loses.
Tough times don’t last, Tough people do.
Say safe, stay sane and try and grab happiness when you can, no matter how fleeting it may be.