Dear Solo Parents Parenting Throughout A Pandemic,
I know you need a moment, maybe a complete minute.
I am aware that it’s been about seven weeks since you’ve needed a moment, not to mention an entire minute.
I know it’s exhausting merely to admit that out loud.
I know from the moment you wake up to the moment that you retire for the night you are doing it. I understand you had been doing everything ahead of the outbreak and had nothing left to devote most days. I understand you are still doing everything, and somehow you’ve had to give a lot more.
I understand once I write everything, I mean all –making all the meals, answering all the questions, paying all the bills, determining all of the fixes, creating each of the grocery lists and making all of the trips, refilling all of the toilet paper rolls, even calling all of the insurance businesses, soothing all the worries, fielding all the worries, holding space for all the hopes, and often all before noon–all by yourself. I understand you’ve made a couple of thousand micro and decisions by yourself about each of the significant matters and most of the minor things prior to dinner. I am aware you’ve questioned each of those decisions because these days, even the simplest decisions have a life-or-death weight. I know in the event that you decide wrong, you will feel like you’ve got no one to blame but yourself because there’s no one to accept your own choice, no one to contend with your reasoning. I know sometimes that’s a blessing. I know sometimes that is just exhausting.
I know it’s tough to put into words exactly why making every single decision–out of the inconsequential to the entire life-changing –all on your own personal is exhausting. I am aware you don’t desire to attempt to put it into words because it is going to appear to be whining –and you’re not really a complainer. That you never have time and energy to complain.
I am aware you are not begrudging other parents that their partner or co-parent. That you don’t understand their story just as they don’t know yours, and no one has it easy, but you would give anything to have another adult in the room, even if merely to talk about with you an exasperated look across a living family area. I am aware you understand other parents and families and situations are struggling, too. I know you don’t want to complain because you are just thankful for the health, for the children’s health. I understand that you may be grateful and also completely certain that this is actually the hardest thing you’ve had to do yet as being a parent. I know you just want to be observed because sometimes, in all the doing, you feel imperceptible.
I understand you’re upset, and you’re allowed to be upset. I know you weren’t likely to do so independently. Whether divorce or death or some other situation caused you here, I know you were supposed to get your own village that will assist you, now because of the pandemic, that you don’t. I know your village remains there, and then waiting just on the other hand of all this. I understand that’s not helpful at the moment, at this moment, but that I understand you’ve heard that the hardest parts do pass finally.
I understand you are asking”what if” on a regular basis. I understand most of the”what ifs” don’t have answers. I know asking”what if” to a vacuum leaves your mind spinning, and you also try to stay in the moment, but you must ask. Because asking the”what if” questions free you, and you also don’t have the luxury to be unprepared.
I understand you feel as if you’ve been treading water for seven months on your very best day. I understand on your worst day; you feel as if you’ve been pushed too much by the current. I know that your arms are tired from swimming as well, as your thighs are tired of kicking; however, you’re still swimming, and you’re still kicking.
I understand you are stronger than you feel that you are, and I also know that is annoying to hear. Because you do not want to be strong all the time, and you don’t feel strong all of the time. You really feel as though you’re just barely getting during daily, and mostly because getting through the day can be your only option. I know strength appears different depending upon the afternoon, maybe based upon the hour.
I understand it–this pandemic parenting–is so equally thick.
I know you require a break.
I know at the conclusion of your day you’re immensely pleased with yourself doing it all on your personal computer, but that is little comfort when you are tired. You might say that transcends physical exhaustion.
I understand the kids are lucky to have you. I understand that’s true even if you forgot to purchase their favorite frozen sausage and you are too busy doing everything to play a board game. I understand you’ve made them feel loved these last seven months and all the other months of their lifestyles. I know they love you for it all.
I know you do not know exactly what the future holds.
I know that’s never stopped you before.