‘I’ve been SUCKED DRY of any energy to keep up the facade of being a happy-go-lucky, I’ve-got-this pandemic parent.’: Mom opens up about the stress of Covid parenting, ‘Calling yourself names isn’t going to help’

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“‘I’m a sh*t parent.’

A bad parent.’

‘A yelly, impatient, crappy parent.’

Have you said any of these things to yourself today?
If yes, please go wash your mouth out with soap, then come back and let’s talk.

Soapy breath aside, I’m here to tell you that you do not suck.
You just don’t.

And trust me when I tell you that I have to repeat this to myself eleventy billion times a day because the stars know, I’m at my end.

I’m depleted.

I’ve been sucked dry of any energy to keep up the facade of being a happy-go-lucky, I’ve-got-this pandemic parent.

woman sadly looking at the camera
Courtesy of Karen Szabo

I’ve turned on myself.
I’ve let the negative swoop over and blanket any positives or silver linings.
My anxiety has wrapped me up in a tight and overwhelming bear hug, leaving me to squiggle myself free.

I feel sh*tty and mean and like I’ve failed out of parenting.

But you know what I’ve realized?
I feel so sh*tty because I care so much.
Too much.

I care if my kid excels in school.
I care if he gets a good night sleep.
I care if he’s eaten the right foods every day.
I care about his mental health, big time.
I care about what this pandemic is doing to this family unit.

And when things don’t go as planned because life works in mysterious ways and because none of us are robots, I let those thoughts fill me like an overflowing bath spilling out onto the floor.

I’ve lost control, but who hasn’t?

These are difficult times.
We are in a place where things can change in a snap.

So why put so much pressure on yourself?

Calling yourself names isn’t going to help.
If anything, it will further tighten the anchor around your ankle, making it harder for you to come up for air.

Belittling yourself will only create an energy so polluted, you can hardly see through it.

woman with sunglasses on
Courtesy of Karen Szabo

Yes, you yelled.
You screamed. You stomped and threw down a classic parent-tantrum.
But really, who hasn’t at this point, in one form or another.

The lack of knowing what’s happening from one day to the next is exhausting and we’re all going through something.

So no, you’re not a sh*t, bad, impatient, crappy parent. You’re a human being who has been tossed into something you have zero experience in dealing with and you’re making it all up as you go.

So the next time you think it’s a good idea to kick yourself when you’re already down, take a good look in the mirror and tell that person you love them and it’s going to be okay.”

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