Pandemic Parenting. Yeah, that’s a thing.
“So, have you given up yet?” That’s the question I ask myself in the reflection of my coffee every morning. My answer is always, “If I can taste this coffee, then no.” But deep down, I contemplate a retreat to some remote mountain village where Buddhist monks live.
For 9 years I’ve worked from home. I love my isolated work life. I always felt that world would be complete if I could just find a way to homeschool my children at the same time. After all, I’ve aced and rocked this remote working thing. Admitting when I’m wrong is something that I’m working on so I’ve penned this letter to teachers:
Apparently, I overestimated my organizational skills. However, more important than that, I underestimated my ability tolerate my children. Hats off to teachers. You guys are the real MVP’s. When school goes back in full time, I’m buying you all gift cards to the liquor store. Seriously, how TF do you guys do it??? Because 8 months in and I’m pretty sure I’m ok with my kids dropping out. At least until school returns to normal.
It used to be I only had to deal with the occasional email that my child was not meeting requirements for assignments. A simple talk and/or restriction of electronic devices usually redirected the behavior for you teachers, or at least I thought it did. I never heard about it again. Now I can’t take away electronic privileges because, “it’s needed for school MOM!” And I can’t always watch what they’re doing to make sure they aren’t goofing off on NoobTube because I’m working a full-time job behind a computer screen myself. By the time I’m off from work and can actually monitor what’s happening, they’ve had their fill of media for the day so it doesn’t even matter if I take away devices at that point. And the conundrum is practically debilitating. I know you think that we don’t care about our children, but I’m seriously considering purchasing a taser just to keep them on task.
Listen, I know this has been a tough and virtually (pun intended) never-ending year. But please, have some pity on us. I don’t know if you’re holding a grudge, but whatever it is, I apologize. I’m sorry I held up the drop off line three mornings a week, screeching at my kids because we didn’t have our crap together. I’m sorry for all of the toys and trash that rolled out of the car with them. I’m sorry for all the times I’ve made you hunt me down for a teacher’s conference. I’m sorry I lose their report card folders at least once a year and that it takes me two weeks to sign and return them. I’m sorry I forgot Teacher Appreciation day, every year. I’m sorry I sent my kid to school “looking like that” on picture day. I’m sorry we didn’t have glue and had to use pancake syrup for their school project that one time. I’m especially sorry for the all the days they forgot to wear deodorant. And I’m really sorry he won’t tie his fucking shoes!
I don’t know what else I can apologize for, or what you even want from me at this point. I’m just begging you to chill on the damned emails. If you even remember what teaching them was like, for the love baby Jesus, show some mercy. We’re stuck in the house with them 24/7. There’s no soccer, or scouts, or free time at the Y. We are not ok over here. We are going through it too. I thought we were all in this together or is that just some High School Musical shit? Can’t we compromise here? Can you turn their school work into Fortnite? I’ve already sent an email to Epic Games, but maybe an email from you would help too. And just so that we’re clear, I’m not asking you to pass my child. I’m just asking you to stop judging me. I love all of you.
The Pandemic Parent