Reflections from a therapist : Parenting during a Pandemic
Everyone seems to be saying the same thing since we have been in COVID-19 isolation: this homeschooling while working thing is impossible, infuriating, exhausting, overwhelming, annoying, anxiety provoking. And all that is true, I am learning, as I home school my 4th and 1st grader. I have become a master of flexibility, of letting go, of taking deep breaths and walking away. I have grown to appreciate my husband more in this past four weeks than I have over the past 12 years. I have scratched my head over new math and spent more time than I am interested in on first grade “fundations” (spoiler alert: there’s nothing fun about it).
I have cheated and not done the specials (I’m no gym, art or music teacher, I know my limits). Hearing my son echo “this sucks” made me realize that my sons have a whole new curse word vocabulary, thanks to their new teacher. I have realized that this is an imperfect situation, and I am an imperfect parent and teacher. But through all this chaos and discomfort I have also been able to be an observer of my sons as learners. I see how my 9 year old multi-tasks his lessons independently, how he manages and copes with his own anxiety and loss from being away from his friends and teachers. I see how my 6 year old gets excited when he solves his math problems, when he accurately draws a dog and when he acts the class clown. We have done more than our fair share of baking, of playing basketball in the driveway, of dancing/wrestling, going on walks and playing football in the backyard.
All the noise of our hectic routines has quieted. And that has left me with a chance to hear my children, to eat with them, to play with them. And to just be. Even if that means it happens during my five minute break between clients, or during our meals together. We have each given up so much of our normalcy. And it sucks. But the silver linings are beautiful and inspiring and may just be enough to keep us going. And if I can finally throw a perfect spiral to my son by the end of this, I will call it a great success.
About The Author
Suzanne Devoti, LCSW is a therapist at Olive Branch Therapy Group. Suzanne works with children, adolescents, young adults, adults, and couples. Suzanne’s specialties include depression, anxiety, grief, couples, parenting, families, and women’s issues. If you are interested in working with Suzanne, contact us via email, phone or chat on our website.