The early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic have turned into months, with no clear end in sight. This has left parents everywhere trying to find a balance between work and childcare like never before.
Some supports are available, but not nearly enough to help families navigate child care in the COVID-19 Era.
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When the coronavirus first took hold in the United States, the school year was still underway.
So parents and schools had to scramble to figure out how to keep educating children from afar, says WDET reporter Sascha Raiyn, who has been covering parenting in the COVID age and is spearheading WDET’s Facebook group Doing Our Best: Parenting in the Age of COVID-19.
“We live in a culture that’s constantly telling parents how to be perfect. It’s important to have a community that can remind you [that you] will never be a perfect parent and it’s unreasonable for people to ask that of you.” — Sascha Raiyn, 101.9 WDET
“The supports for parents that were put together the fastest — you can kind of tell they were put together very quickly — were educational resources to help parents kind of get through the school year with home schooling,” says Raiyn.
This method has worked for some, but not everyone. Parents struggled to finish the school year at home and still feel like their children were getting a full education.
Support also came in the form of paying bills and food donations, but “for many people the hardest part is just being with your kids all day,” Raiyn says.
Join Doing Our Best: Parenting in the Age of COVID-19 on Facebook.
“Many of us who are at home are still working in that home so the supports that you would normally turn to for childcare, all those things weren’t available and in many cases aren’t available,” she says. And it can be even more difficult for parents who are required to go into work.
While a lot of the support that parents need aren’t available, Raiyn said there are social supports out there, which might be what parents need more than ever.
WDET developed its Facebook page for parents, specifically for parents to connect with other parents, let off steam, get resources, and maybe even tell a joke or two.
The social supports are important because it’s easy for parents to feel isolated and like they are failing during this time, Raiyn says.
“We live in a culture that’s constantly telling parents how to be perfect and that they should be,” she says. “So I think it’s really important to have a community that can remind you not only that you will never be a perfect parent and it’s unreasonable for people to ask that of you. But that your, what you’re experiencing is not unique, how you’re feeling is not unique and that you’re not doing an especially bad job at being a parent or human.”