Parenting is hard. Parenting in a pandemic is next level.
Between shame, judgement and the world of comparison via social media -(one of the many reasons I deleted my accounts. you're all living lies.) it seems like you will never be good enough nor will the choices you make for you child/ren.
WELL F%CK THAT!
First and most importantly, parenting isn't a one size fits all family situation.
I am a special needs mom, my youngest has heart defects and I am also a Lupus SLE & Congenital Heart Defect patient myself. During the highest numbers of COVID-19 back in March, we had to go virtual and during the summer break my oldest who is autistic had virtual ESY classes ; Extended School Year. My middle one is dyslexic and has ADHD. I opted in to continue online classes due to my high-risk health factors but it didn't work out for my oldest two children's educational needs.
For the 1st time ever, both of them were dropping grades from A's and B's to D's and F's!
I sent my oldest back a few weeks ago, he is already back up to A's, his speech is less slurred, he is starting to re-learn his skills he lost from being out of occupational therapy.
My middle child is struggling horrifically and her anxiety attacks are more frequent, she is going back too.
In school, they get ALL the hands on services special education offers , PLUS mental health therapy for anxiety attacks. Their classrooms are no more than 6-10 kids and they are extremely strict with CDC guidelines.
I fell into the IGNORANT AND SELFISH MINDSET "I rather they regress and we work on it later vs sending them to school and I catch COVID and die.", My kids mental health was horrible. Depression and anxiety to the point they isolated themselves in their rooms all day and had no socializing drilled in their heads due to the shame and parenting guilt I was subjected to. Fuck that and Fuck everyone who made me and other parents feel like trash if we sent our kids back to school or even let them go to a park to walk around for fresh air.......you're assholes...
My kids suffering isn't a "risk we take to avoid COVID". ARE YOU THAT UNEDUCATED? Check out suicide rates in children since COVID has hit!
Alot of families like mine rely on the school district for their children's services like Occupational therapy, Speech therapy, Physical Therapy, Behavioral and Emotional therapies - do you know how damn near impossible it is to do all that virtually for an autistic child?
"School isn't free daycare"
Well no crap Captain Obvious! News FLASH!
Not everyone has family / friend support systems where we get free babysitting with grandparents and such. Not everyone has a "village" who will at the drop of a hat be right at your door to help you out. SCHOOL is the safest options for our kids. Public schools have requirements to work there such as a proper education and training, safe guards, cameras, drug testing and criminal background checks on ALL employees. For my kids, I feel they are safest & taken care of best at school vs a private babysitter.
My kids needed to be back in-building learning and their teachers agreed. And part of the teachers needed to be with their students in person to truly bond with their students.
"Parents have to be selfless and make scarifies for their kids. Including risking losing your job."
MAJORITY of Americans do NOT have the luxury to work from home or be stay at home parents. Most of us do not have the luxury to quit our jobs and live off one income. Most of us have already completely drained our savings accounts while in lockdown. And some families are single parent households and most families do not qualify for low-income services and programs. If we don't work, we lose our medical coverage, our kids do not eat and we possibly lose our homes.
Contrary to what Instagram or Facebook drills in your head you need a steady job and income to provide for your families. You need a job with medical , vision and dental benefits included in your pay, you need a job with paid time off and set hours and a job covered by federal laws like Family Leave Act protections and contracts....Sorry Karen you can keep your MLM bullshit - I need benefits a MLM doesn't provide.
Just like teachers, depending on their contracts, districts, country and state laws they do not get paid if they aren't teaching. Some HAVE TO go back to classrooms for the same reasons I listed as to why most families need to go back to work.
So, what should you do if you're feeling guilty for having to send your kids back to school?
-Personally, if your guilt is stemming due shit you see online or people on your friends list adding their two cents on how wrong you are- delete your social media platforms for a few days, weeks or permanently or block those people. I deleted my accounts a while back (I wrote an entry about it!) Listed above though out my post is why you can not compare apples to oranges that parenting is.
-What works for me may not work for you - it doesn't mean I am better mom it just means we have different situations. Nobody knows your child and family better than you.
-You aren't alone in your feelings, below is a link to a news broadcast of how parents across the USA are feeling guilt
-None of these people are without flaws-There is absolutely no such thing as a perfect parent. AT ALL. ALL people have their own struggles, insecurities, they make mistakes and they sure as shit do not have it all figured out.
If you do have to send your kids back, this is how I try to keep us safe:
Have them leave shoes, backpacks and masks at the door and send them right into the shower.
While kids are showering, I Lysol TF out of their shoes, backpacks and all high touch traffic areas.
I wash their masks with bleach or disinfectant laundry detergent every night, to save money on electric and water, I let it soak in a bowl of hot water and throw it in the dryer after soaking for a few hours.
I wash their uniforms with disinfectant laundry detergent in hot water at the end of the week (they have multiple sets of uniforms).
I send them to school with their own hand sanitizers and wet wipes / Lysol wipes to wipe down anything they're going to touch.
I bleach bomb our house. Meaning I mop everything down with boiled water and bleach multiple times a week and use my spray mops in-between deep cleaning.
I watch the local numbers / stats of the flu and COVID numbers. Our school legally has to show how many people staff and students have tested positive but can not disclose names, ages and classroom due to HIPAA laws.
So far it's been working for us. I made sure they're all up to date on their medical visits / physicals including up to date on all their vaccinations including the flu shot , chicken pox vaccine and whooping cough vaccine.