Parents: I see you. I am praying for you too.
Sending children back to school has been a hot debate. Data regarding the virus and if children can be brought back to school is ever-changing. However, parents of children in daycare have pondered this decision for a month, at least.
Our daughter’s daycare opened to full capacity this month, while the infection rate has increased every day for the last three days. We have not sent her back yet. It’s illogical to imagine that 3-year-olds with masks (yeah, sure) will not end up getting the virus and bringing it home.
There is no time to chill
We are lucky that my husband and I can split parenting duties between working at home and working off-hours and weekends (knock on wood). But it’s a challenge. And by challenge—I mean potty accidents in the living room during zoom meetings (can we please keep cameras off?) and refereeing constant battles between child and pets. Phone conversations with the boss while the child goes missing in a four-room home then emerges with fewer clothes. There is no time to chill.
We are blessed and thankful for good health and jobs (knock on wood, part deux). Spending this extra time with our daughter has been an incredible gift. But, to go for a walk more than once a week (maybe) and breathe a sigh of relief when someone other than us, cares for her—well, that feeling I cannot wait to experience.
This or that
Most days, if I’m killing it in my work life, I’m letting the most important person down in my family life.
We can’t do all the things. And like many,. My heart breaks a little when my daughter, age 3.5, tells me she’s too busy to play because she has to work. Or she grabs her toy laptop and says, “Just a minute” when I ask her to play.
I feel like I’m living in some Jim Croce song and wishing I could put time in a bottle.
Until someone develops a safe vaccine and makes it widely available, I pray for grace to handle these difficult situations and decisions, and I pray that I extend that grace to others.
For essential workers and parents–especially single parents and parents of special needs children–who have navigated e-learning and childcare while doing all the other things—I see you. I support you, and I pray for you too.
Elizabeth McBride, editor of Bold Café and director of intergenerational programming, is doing the best she can. Photo of Beth’s daughter feeding her a Playdough lunch while she’s trying to work.