The COVID-19 pandemic has placed extra stresses and strains on all of us, and for working Mums and Dads it has introduced a whole new raft of parental guilts we didn’t even know existed before. As if we needed even more!!
Did your sudden household imprisonment transform your regular ‘not-seeing-enough-of-your-children’ guilt into a plethora of brand new worries and concerns? It certainly did for our working Mums at RMS. But we think it’s time to celebrate everything that us resilient working parents have achieved in these extraordinary, challenging times. We are here to tell you that however you have gotten through these past few months of unprecedented family stresses and demands, as long as you’re all still smiling and in one piece, you have done a marvelous job! So choose your poison and let’s all pour ourselves a large Friday drink and reflect on how far we’ve come.
As a workforce, as a nation, as a planet, we have never seen anything like this lockdown before. Thanks Gina Ford and Philippa Perry, but we might as well tear up the parenting manuals and start again. When has it ever been expected that we do a full day's work, a full day’s childcare and a full day’s homeschooling all at once? If you saw all that on a job spec, you’d run a mile! Let’s not forget there was no chance of any additional support or distractions back there either: no ballet classes, swimming sessions, sports practice, babysitters, play dates - you couldn’t even bribe them with the promise of a McDonalds or take them out to slurp milkshakes in a cafe for half an hour. And all this with the constant threat of a global medical pandemic looming at all times, just the other side of your bolted front door. Seriously, working parents, we were up against it!
From chatting to friends with children over the last few months the same parental worries keep surfacing about this period of time: guilt over the amount of screen time that has been relied on; guilt over your rage when your toddler burst in on your client zoom meeting; guilt over being your child’s sole playmate for months on end; guilt over all the cookies and cakes you’ve deployed to keep them quiet; guilt over putting them to bed an hour early just to have some quiet time; guilt over actually missing your commute and the hours you used to spend out of the house, away from it all. The list is endless.
Perhaps you started the lockdown with romantic ideals of nightly family suppers, perfectly sharing childcare with your other half, serving up home cooked recipes lovingly prepared throughout the day. Have you, like us, ended up ordering nightly Dominos, which the kids consume in front of the TV while you attempt to clear your inbox before the next day? Well at least we’re all fed!
You might have always fancied yourself as an inspiring teacher and jumped at the chance to educate your child starting off with Joe Wicks to get you going followed by arts and crafts inspired by Pinterest, yoga sessions in the sitting room, science experiments in the kitchen, growing vegetables in window pots, producing fresh bread and cakes with your future star bakers or giving the von Trapps a run for their money with your impromptu family jamming sessions. Did Disney Plus and the PS4 prove to be an easier daily option in the end? Many of us will never be more grateful for schools reopening; thank the lord for qualified teachers!
Working parents, we applaud your resilience, your juggling of conflicting demands, your commitment to your job, your care of your family and, most of all, your incredible survival instincts! I think we’ve earned that Friday toast, don’t you?
We would love to hear your tips and tricks on entertaining, educating and feeding your kids whilst wearing all your other hats through lockdown. Or maybe you're on old hand and nothing's really changed?
Do get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org titled "Raising a Toast" with your best stories good or bad!