Parenting is hard right now. While it is never an easy fete, with the current state of our world, it seems near impossible. We have been trying to keep our children safe during a pandemic while maintaining our sanity. We have had to explain racial injustice and inequality while reinforcing love, fair treatment, and fair representation. And as if that were not enough, many of us are now being faced with the daunting decision of whether or not to send our children back to school or allow them to continue their educations online. I don’t know about you, but I have never felt as overwhelmed in parenting as I do now. I mean think about it, the weight of the future world is literally on our shoulders right now.
What do we do? What is the correct decision? I honestly do not know. My oldest will be starting 6th grade in August. That’s right, Middle School. As much as I want him to enjoy this new beginning (for as long as possible because we all know that Middle School sucks) and make new friends, I also know that I do not want him to get sick. Where I live, most people are not wearing masks anymore and many people have resumed their regularly scheduled programs. Unfortunately, this has caused a spike in cases in my state. While I have no intentions on living in fear, I recognize what my duties are as a parent. It’s our job to keep our children safe at all cost. However, it’s also our job to encourage and foster new experiences for them, to support them academically and socially. So this is the conundrum. This is our new parenting predicament.
So what’s the solution? To be perfectly honest, I don’t know. I’m not really sure what the right decision looks like and I am terrified to make the wrong one. One thing that I know for sure to do is pray. My husband and I cannot handle this on our own. We’ve never been able to and we refuse to start now. The other thing we will do is talk to our kids. These decisions ultimately affect them. It would be unfair and dismissive to not hear their opinions. While as parents we hold the responsibility of making the best decisions, I’d be foolish to think that I can truly show my children what fairness and equality looks like if I don’t allow their voices to be heard as well. So I guess for me, I will spend the remainder of my summer in communication with God and my kids. That is all I can do right now. I guess that is all any of us can do. We are all taking it day by day and flying by the seats of our pants right now. No matter our ethnicities, races, religions, or sexual orientations, none of us as parents have any clue what we are doing right now. We are all maintaining, all surviving, all doing the best we can. Maybe that is a part of the lesson in all of this. Perhaps we are not as different as we think. Perhaps in a world fueled by hate and division, we can all be unified over our current parenting predicament.
The Predicament of Pandemic Parenting