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Pandemic Parental Guilt

Since March, working parents and caregivers have been overwhelmed while trying to balance the demands of work and the care and education of their children. Parents got up early and stayed up later trying to get work completed as well as becoming homeschool teachers and tech support. And as the duties and responsibilites continued to pile on, they were still trying to offer comfort to their children who were trying to cope with the reality that their lives had completed changed over what seemed like the course of a weekend. Even as much as working parents were trying, it seemed like they were being crushed.

It’s not as if parental guilt is something that the pandemic conjured up. Parental guilt is deemed by some as the silent epidemic. The Mommy Wars made this silent epidemic into epic memes and hashtags that brought to light just how entrenched we can get in our own viewpoints.

As we come closer and closer to the election, there is a compounded impact of the pandemic parental guilt caregivers have been shouldering. Now added to the question of whether it is better/safer/more responsible to send our kids back to school or to choose a homeschool/virtual school option, we are now in the midst of a contentious election season. Even as I write there are two town halls occurring. A battle of the airwaves because the second presidential debate was canceled. As parents watch the election season get more and more conflicted and confusing, there is an additional weight on their shoulders to “choose the right candidate” for the sake of their children’s health and futures.

Parenting is hard enough in community with the support of childcare and schooling. If you are feeling overwhelmed, burdened, and inextricably tired right now, don’t give up.

You are not alone. You are doing great. We’re all in this together.