So as we all know, Covid 19 has brought about massive changes in our world.
One specific topic that has been so common, is about parenting. Parenting full-time in these trying times has been hectic. Both my husband and I have been working full-time from home with two kids running around and causing chaos. Trying to juggle crazy and bored kids whilst trying your utmost best to get your work done has proved a challenge for most. It seemed the more work you had to complete, the crazier they were (and still are). The days when no work or little work was needed, they were like little angels. This is not uncommon for nearly every parent I know.
Despite all these disturbances in our work lives, it was heartbreaking to see the confusion and change in attitude of my kids. Their faces painted a picture that I’m sure will have a lasting impact on them for years to come. The disruption in general, separation from their friends and school-life, let alone ballet lessons and the sort was all taken away so suddenly. I surprisingly learnt over the months of changes how very resilient and capable little beings can actually be. I mean I know they are resilient but wow! They are incredible little beings we can all learn from.
In the last couple of months I have realised the potential of my children and began to cherish every moment with them. They taught me how to be patient in a way I struggled with before. I have never been a very patient mom and have spent a lot of my parenting days trying so hard to be the perfect mother and guider, that I completely underestimated how much I can learn from them.
From the 6 weeks December holidays to two months later being on another 6 weeks ‘holiday’, these kids were really confused and in a way relieved not to be at school. Just at the right time (the chaos had escalated to a crazy point) school sent out work packs for them to complete daily. From this point onwards I was thrown into the world of home-schooling. Nothing prepared me for this. I am going to be honest- I have never wanted to be a teacher and this just reaffirmed it. I am most definitely not the patient kind. In the beginning, I struggled with the slow pace and constant repetitive nature of the work. I am not proud of it too. However, after a couple of weeks I began to really enjoy it. I started to take pride in how my daughter was responding to my teaching style. It bonded me and my children like I never expected.
Now the dreaded time has come- the option to send them back to school. I chose to send my eldest (mere 7 years old) back for three half-days a week and kept my youngest (3 years old) at home with me. I sent my eldest so she could pass the grade she needs for the year but also for her to experience some ‘normalcy’ in her life again. She has got to see her peers again and enjoy a different type of day. My heart seriously bleeds though when I think of how their little lives have changed. They are not allowed within a metre of their friends; only 6-8 kids per class; no playing on the playground around or near each other; no hugging and touching their friends and then the dreaded wearing of a mask the entire day. Although I completely support these measures, it still makes me sad to see how their daily lives have changed from a few months ago.
So now the only question I keep going over in my mind daily is have I done the right thing by sending her back? I have a million reasons for both sides.
Parenting really has become very different, scary and unusually stressful in these trying times. So many uncertainties and questions we never had to ask ourselves before.
All I can do is make sure I keep them safe and healthy every day. Taking the necessary precautions to ensure these needs are met.
Every parent knows the worries and circumstances that face us today.
I wonder if the future holds a drastic but necessary change for the future generations- where homeschooling will become the norm and one parent income households will follow? These changes will change the conventional style of schooling and learning our children will experience. I wonder if these shifts will be for the positive or the negative? what impacts will this possibly have on our children. They could become socially-unaware or they could maybe blossom into a generation that is not stuck in the confinements of the past generations. Who-knows.
The last question is: has parenting changed into a new normal for us going forward? Meaning- will the new style of parenting change for good for the future?
Time will tell I guess.
Keep safe and healthy everyone.
Love and light