Author Topic: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)  (Read 2207 times)

MayDay

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Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« on: August 26, 2020, 06:40:40 AM »
How do you cope for the long haul? When do you decide you aren't coping well? We powered through the first few months but clearly we have a while to go. That initial crisis response was all well and good but my body/brain can't maintain that for a year+.

Various pertinent facts:
-two working spouses in fairly demanding jobs
-kids age 10 and 12 who will be going to school very little if at all
-we are in a moderately in-control area (MN)
-winter is coming, it is cold and snowy here
-H is high risk so we are being quite careful (no indoor socializing.... Fine in summer but coming up on winter)
-i typically suffer from SAD and cope with it by using a SAD light and traveling south multiple times in the winter with a combo of personal and work trips, all now cancelled (so my main coping mechanism is gone).
-we are already throwing money at some problems.... Meal kits service, nanny this summer, hiring out many household projects such as recent garage door repair.
-we can both WFH as needed

Even being extremely well off relative to the general population it feels impossible. I really feel the lack of socialization even though I am introverted. It feels impossible to maintain my demanding job and also meet my kids' needs. Additionally my kids are annoying haha- I love them but I DON'T want to talk about Minecraft for an hour straight or hear my chatty child constantly narrate everyfrickingthing thing she does every minute of the day. Yet their only way to socialize with their friends is on screens..... Which leads to lots of unpleasant behavior (they are currently on a two week screen break and the difference is noticable).

How do you cope for the long haul?  Powering through is just not cutting it.

Freedom2016

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2020, 06:52:02 AM »
I feel you. The mental and emotional toll is mounting for us too.

Is there a nearby family with kids the same ages that you might co-quarantine or "co-pod" with? That's a solution that a number of folks in my town have been exploring; maybe in the winter months the kids could be sent outside for play dates?

I don't have a good solution for SAD. Does exercise help?

daverobev

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2020, 07:01:39 AM »
Sounds rough. I'm lucky in that our two will - fingers (and toes and...) crossed my two will go back to school next week.

Honestly as long as you're getting value out of the money I wouldn't worry about that. Money is for a reason. Can you cut back on work - if you even want to. So then you choose, money vs time.

Kind've out there but maybe try a VR headset if you're that way inclined? For example - I got Skyrim years back but *hated* it in the Canadian winter because, well, it's set in a snowy place. Games set in lush green places, or even just... do they exist? 3d worlds to wander around in?

Maybe take up Minecraft yourself :) Build something in a warm green forest..

ixtap

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2020, 07:21:35 AM »
Build a social bubble with a other cautious family.

Find new routines and treats. You don't mention what you do as family besides coping. Are you sharing meals? Are the kids involved in meal prep? Do you play games together?

Do you have an exercise routine? A meditation routine?

Are you eating lots of fruit and veggies? The Mediterranean diet has shown a lot of promise in dealing with depression, I don't know if it has been studied in relation to SAD.

Use that light on gray days, don't wait for winter. Have you ever had your Vitamin D tested? A supplement may be in order.

Be gentle on yourself. There is no perfect in an imperfect world.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2020, 07:31:09 AM »
I do a lot of what ixtap suggested. I work out every day. Every. day. This is new, during the pandemic, but it's a critical component of my mental health & is helping me deal right now. I meditate almost every day. I also take vitamin B12, which helps (check with a doctor, of course).

Other thoughts. Can you be outside when the sun is out? A family evening walk, weather permitting?

You say no indoor socializing (totally get it), but do you have an outdoor space in your friend group that may work? Covered porch, heat lamps, blankets? Probably not for the coldest days, but if you can invest time/money in options that allow you to still be somewhat social, it feels like it would be worth it.

Hang in there. These are such challenging times.

MayDay

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2020, 07:36:51 AM »
To answer a few questions-

-we socialize with two families who both the adults and kids are friends. However neither family is being nearly as careful as we are, so we are doing outside only.

-my 10 year old would cheerfully join a pod with any family, but my 12 year old is autistic. He doesn't make friends easily (his only real friend is in one of the families we socialize with) and behavior wise we can't just pick another family with same age kids who is being similarly careful.

-i exercise (go on walks) and eat loads of veg.

-kids do lots of chores but that takes more work than doing it ourselves. Keeping them on track, making them fully finish the chore, etc.

We are thinking about getting patio heater for the winter.... I think we will spend the 200$ because why not, but I also think it won't help much because it gets quite cold.

charis

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2020, 08:05:24 AM »
I get you on parenting exhaustion.  My in-laws have always been very involved with my kids so we finally started letting them take them occasionally for overnights and riding in the same car. All other socializing is outdoors but the kids play with the neighbor's kids and we now let them go to the playground to meet up with a couple of classmates.  All of these kids have been in daycare or various summer camps throughout the summer and our region/state infection rate is very low.  And they are all going back to school and various child care situations in two weeks.  Plus we don't have any at risk family members other than grandparents age.

I've sort of given up on the "pod" concept in light of these factors. We are careful in that we wear masks to stores, generally maintain 6 feet when unmasked, carry/user sanitizer, and don't do indoor playdates.

But I've also broken protocol in recent weeks by quick hugs with a few family members and good friends, shared outdoor meals and drinks with small groups of friends and carpooled a few times.

We'll probably hold off on any socializing for a little while after school starts to see if the infection rate goes up.

chemistk

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2020, 08:08:33 AM »
We, as a family, did not have a good first few months of quarantine. I've expressed this in a little more detail in other threads. Our kids are 5/3/9mos and so most of our day is spent cleaning, breaking up bickering, preparing food, feeding, changing diapers, fixing boo-boos, and entertaining our kids. Not being able to go outside, have our kids socialize, or have outlets where we could be adults for just a split second really deteriorated our mental health.

This summer has been better because we've relaxed our worries a bit and created a bit more of a 'normal' routine. We have friends who have boys our boys' age and we have been seeing them frequently. We've spend a lot of time at the park. Our oldest participated in 3 'summer camps' (in-person) through our rec center. We see my in-laws 1-2x a week and may parents drove down here 2x to see us, we went up there once. Oldest goes to full-day in person kindergarten starting next week.

Our coping mechanism has been to ignore our fear in strategic situations. We all still wear masks, don't eat at restaurants, don't really take the kids shopping, wash our hands, and stay comfortably distanced from others we're not too familiar with (except the park....there's no way to get the kids to play away from other kids).

At the end of the day the kids are tired, which means they sleep, which means we get 2 hours to ourselves. During quarantine, they weren't sleeping because they had so much energy from boredom.

We also get time to ourselves because we wee my in-laws. My wife and I can go for a walk, hike, or grab some fast food and sit at a park together. We get to be normal adults for once.

This is how we're coping with the exhaustion. We're accepting the fact that we, as a family, cannot be cooped up in the house away from other people and away from outlets that bring us fulfillment.

Fall and winter will be more challenging but I'm sure we will be able to find ways to keep ourselves and the kids occupied. What we will not be doing (unless one of us is sick or has to quarantine) is isolating ourselves from the world until this is over.

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2020, 08:30:50 AM »
I think the only answer is to replicate the school experience as much as possible, and if school itself is ruled out then you hire tutors and nannies and exercise coaches.

charis

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2020, 09:02:22 AM »
I forgot to mention that our school is closed this fall but we are sending kids to the "vacation" care program two days a week and they will each be enrolled in at least one in-person sport/activity that meets 2-3 days per week.  All of this costs as much or more private school (open 5 days) tuition for much less in-person time, but we've made peace with throwing money at the problem for everyone's peace of mind.

red_pill

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2020, 10:57:15 AM »
Going on walks is activity, not exercise.  Gotta do something intense enough to release those endorphins.  P90X type thing is a great no equipment, do at home routine.

ixtap

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2020, 10:59:58 AM »
Going on walks is activity, not exercise.  Gotta do something intense enough to release those endorphins.  P90X type thing is a great no equipment, do at home routine.

Actually, moderate exercise is shown to be ideal for moods. We don't all need to drip and ache, we just need to get off our arses.

mm1970

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2020, 11:21:18 AM »
Going on walks is activity, not exercise.  Gotta do something intense enough to release those endorphins.  P90X type thing is a great no equipment, do at home routine.

Actually, moderate exercise is shown to be ideal for moods. We don't all need to drip and ache, we just need to get off our arses.
Yep, this.

The best combination of exercise for many people is weight training, walking, and occasional HIIT/sprint....

ixtap

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2020, 11:53:52 AM »
Going on walks is activity, not exercise.  Gotta do something intense enough to release those endorphins.  P90X type thing is a great no equipment, do at home routine.

Actually, moderate exercise is shown to be ideal for moods. We don't all need to drip and ache, we just need to get off our arses.
Yep, this.

The best combination of exercise for many people is weight training, walking, and occasional HIIT/sprint....

I mean, of we are going for best, let's not forget flexibility.

I like yoga for strength and flexibility, walking, dancing and biking for cardio.

I didn't notice the ages of OP's kids, but there are some really fun kids' yoga routines on YouTube that the whole family can do and giggle at.



But I will also take time to repeat: OP, be kind to yourself. Change is always hard, try to live in the moment and find what you can enjoy right now. Ha! Platitudes are so easy to pronounce!



starbuck

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2020, 12:02:07 PM »
We are thinking about getting patio heater for the winter.... I think we will spend the 200$ because why not, but I also think it won't help much because it gets quite cold.

Yes, I would strategize now about how to keep outdoor socializing going for as long as you can, even if you have to drop money on it. So patio heaters, build or buy a fire pit and comfy chairs with warm blankets. Maybe a projector for outdoor movies? (Ours arrives on Friday.) Warm, comfortable winter gear for everyone. Do you guys have any outdoor winter hobbies? I'm sure equipment for any of this stuff will be popular so I would plan on buying stuff now in anticipation.

Do you walk solo or with a friend? I've started walking with friends on the weekends and it is SO NICE to talk to another adult that is not your spouse, and with no children around. Incredibly cathartic!

We also regularly do family walks before or after dinner. My kids are much younger so they're often in the stroller, but it's still a nice way to end the day (as long as they're not too tired and cranky.)

Jon Bon

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2020, 12:08:50 PM »
Well the open ended-ness of this has been brutal for kids and adults. Its pretty terrible to tell your kids "no" constantly when it was things they were allowed to do no question before.

Virtual home school is turning out to be a 3 hour zoom call that requires parental intervention very regularly. Even the kids realize its not nearly as good as the real thing.
What sucks is there are very few substitutes. You can't tell your kid that at home invention camp is going to be nearly as good as the real things with the their teachers and friends who they miss and love. Kids don't want to learn from their parents, turns out teachers are pretty good at what they do.

I think we have been ok on the social aspect, its dialed way back, but they still get interaction with other people/friends. I really am starting to worry about development and screen time. I mean if school is 3 hours of screen time, I can't give them a show or two so that I can cook dinner or do laundry.

I just think education is up there as an essential business. Likely somewhere below food/energy and above bars/gyms. I hope this ends soon, my kids of course will be fine because I have the time and resources to get through this, but most people are not as lucky as I am.

Stuff we did that worked? I built them their own "school" desks, bought a bunch of cool new school supplies and the district provided ipads. Age inappropriate toys, I have time to supervise, so my kindergartners have their own model rocket to launch. Oh I built the solar system to scale to help them get the size. That was fun as well. Good luck out there.

As for the adults, head space time for sure! Nightly walks give each other space. Also I've gotten into doing campfires, either solo or with a few friends. Keep it outside and distanced.



 


ixtap

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2020, 12:21:16 PM »
It baffles me that we have been willing to put gyms and bars ahead of schools. My local area seems to be reversing that this second go around. But we also have two large and several small universities bringing students back to campus, so we will see what happens...

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2020, 12:21:33 PM »
I really feel for the OP and everyone out there. It is so brutally hard and it isnít going to get easier anytime soon, which is its own mental challenge. I am struggling and school hasnít started yet. I expect it to be a dumpster fire when I does, and I already think I wonít have my 6 year-old in front of the computer for 5-6 hours a day, 5 days a week. What kind of workaround though is still up in the air.

If only we didnít have the baby this would be less difficult.....

mozar

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2020, 02:23:33 PM »
Quote
kids do lots of chores but that takes more work than doing it ourselves. Keeping them on track, making them fully finish the chore, etc.

I don't have kids but if I were you I would let it go. If the chores only get half done, so be it.

K_in_the_kitchen

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2020, 03:38:48 PM »
OP, I'm sorry it's so tough!  I have college aged kids now (and oh how I wish the house was bigger!), but we did homeschool K-12 (no screens until teenagers, low screen use at that point).

These are the things I would do (many of which I am putting into place because I'm also pandemic exhausted):

1) Block out time daily and weekly for your own mental health, and make it a priority.  Your partner and kids have to respect the time, period.
2) Pull your kids out of school so you can homeschool/unschool.  I suppose this might not work if your older child has an IEP, but I truly believe most children will be better served this fall by being homeschooled than attempting distance learning, even with parents working FT (or maybe especially with working parents compared to the nightmare of trying to manage distance learning during work hours).  Minnesota is a moderate regulation state in terms of homeschooling, but parents are automatically designated "qualified to teach".
3) Maybe switch off days WFH with partner, so you each get some days in the office for work time with fewer distractions.
4) Invest in audiobooks for your kids.  Or borrow audiobooks from the library.  Teach your kids to observe a quiet time everyday, with audiobooks an allowable activity during this time.
5) I'm sure you must have indoor recreation activities for your climate, but maybe you can add more?  Maybe a ping pong table in the basement?  A yoga swing?  Hand weights?
6) Be sure to have many options for quiet occupation, then rotate them rather than having them all available at once.  Lego, other building blocks (mine loved Keva Planks), castle blocks, Playmobil, Rokenbok, air dry clay, watercolors, magic kits, Etch-a-Sketch, yo-yos, knitting, other handwork, drawing materials, paper airplanes, etc.  For some kids an electric keyboard with headphones is a nice occupation.
7) Continue to budget for things that make your life easier, such as the meal kits, some child care, etc.  Prioritize spending on things that increase your available time and make you happier.  For me, I'd rather have takeout than a meal kit I have to cook and then clean up from.  We hire out the lawn care.
8) Create a strong rhythm for your days, weeks, months.  Children thrive on rhythm and routine (so do adults, but we're more flexible), and it's one thing Covid has taken from most of them.  Family meals together, family movie night once a week, family game night, seasonal observances, religious observances, fun observances -- all things you can use to help the days feel separate.  Heck, we have a rotating weekly meal plan to help us know what day it is (something we did when they were young and brought back in Covid).  Today is National Dog Day, so we got the dogs a new toy to play with (and for us to play with them with).  In September we have family observances for Holy Cross Day, the Feast of St. Matthew, the autumnal equinox, and Michelmas.
9) Social interaction is just going to be hard!  Maybe weekly Zoom visits with friends or family?  Maybe start old-fashioned letter writing and send cards and small gifts (stickers?).  I know there are some websites out there where you can play a board game together virtually.
10) Create opportunities for your children to contribute to running the home, which can help you and make them feel good about themselves.  At that age my kids were vacuuming, making beds, folding laundry, etc.  Some 10 years olds can cook a simple dinner.  The point is, give them things that build confidence.

The screen break is a fantastic idea!  We were never big on screen use, but I do know many families who cut it out and found life much better (after the transition).  I would add in -- for their ages -- not watching or listening to the news constantly in their presence.  Things are tough enough and more information doesn't make it better for children (or for adults, really) -- it increases anxiety.  I'm not saying they should have full shielding at their age, but I would choose to be the filter for any news information they get.  I would also focus on educational TV when they are allowed to watch -- programs like Nova, Nature, etc.  Not that they can't ever watch anything fun -- that's what family movie night is for.

Good luck! 

K_in_the_kitchen

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2020, 03:41:30 PM »
I really feel for the OP and everyone out there. It is so brutally hard and it isnít going to get easier anytime soon, which is its own mental challenge. I am struggling and school hasnít started yet. I expect it to be a dumpster fire when I does, and I already think I wonít have my 6 year-old in front of the computer for 5-6 hours a day, 5 days a week. What kind of workaround though is still up in the air.

If only we didnít have the baby this would be less difficult.....

I would unschool before I would put a 6 year old in front of the computer 5-6 hours per day.  The great thing is, divorced from the public school system, homeschooling a 6 year old shouldn't take more than an hour a day or so for academics.  The rest gets filled in with reading out loud (or audiobooks), crafting, exploring nature (even our own yards), physical activity, etc.

Freedomin5

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2020, 04:07:53 PM »
I think the only answer is to replicate the school experience as much as possible, and if school itself is ruled out then you hire tutors and nannies and exercise coaches.

+1. We did this.

Mornings were for learning. Six year old DD spent about two hours going through her lessons, provided by school on Seesaw. It usually involved watching a short clip and doing an offline activity, then posting her work. We also bought homeschooling materials for her to work through. The routine helped A LOT because DD knew what to expect and that helped to ground her for the day. We also offered a sticker each day for having a good learning attitude (we spelled out with her five behaviors that constituted a good learning attitude), and if she collected enough stickers, she earned a prize (usually a craft) that she could make on Friday afternoon.

We found other people (family members, babysitters, nannies) to care for her. If youíre worried about having too many people in and out of your house, hire a live-in au pair to teach your kids and help them with their lessons.

We went outside a lot. Spent hours in the backyard (in February in Canada no less!) and went hiking.

Iím very introverted and an HSP and didnít really miss meeting up with people. A couple Zoom meet ups at other peopleís request sufficed.

Jon Bon

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2020, 04:11:40 PM »
I really feel for the OP and everyone out there. It is so brutally hard and it isnít going to get easier anytime soon, which is its own mental challenge. I am struggling and school hasnít started yet. I expect it to be a dumpster fire when I does, and I already think I wonít have my 6 year-old in front of the computer for 5-6 hours a day, 5 days a week. What kind of workaround though is still up in the air.

If only we didnít have the baby this would be less difficult.....

I would unschool before I would put a 6 year old in front of the computer 5-6 hours per day.  The great thing is, divorced from the public school system, homeschooling a 6 year old shouldn't take more than an hour a day or so for academics.  The rest gets filled in with reading out loud (or audiobooks), crafting, exploring nature (even our own yards), physical activity, etc.

yeah its not quite 5 hours a day, really its about 2.5-3 hours.

But I fully agree with your statement, 5 hours in front of a screen is NOT school. That is just the district mailing it in.

However kids are super excited to follow their older sister to school, they have been excited for months/years. School will not be out forever so when we do go back so to speak we want to have some connection to the school/teachers/friends etc. We are already home so GD much that the second they are allowed to be in 'real school' we want to be able to give that to them.

I did about "virtual murder" their music teacher today, he kept tying to have them use the chat function in zoom. WTF dude, they are 5 years old and cannot read. Let alone know how to type on a ipad keyboard. You sir, are an idiot!

*Rant over.


mm1970

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2020, 04:13:17 PM »
-two working spouses in fairly demanding jobs.  You have to dial it back.  There's no way around it - you cannot maintain the "Non-COVID" work pace right now.  One or both of you need to dial it back.  Sucks.  We are in the same position.  You just have to let some shit go.
-kids age 10 and 12 who will be going to school very little if at all. Schedule time with them.  Our kids bookend yours.  The 14 yo doesn't really care, but the 8 yo really needs us.  So it's better if we just PLAN time in our day to be with them during their breaks from online school.  It's better for us if we really give him our full attention for whatever time.  Then, we don't get an hour of fortnite or minecraft talk.  Also: a friend/ pod if you can do it.  We haven't yet.
-winter is coming, it is cold and snowy here. Activitiies.  We live in CA, so it's different.  But we already had a foosball table on the front porch.  We bought a hammock and a kiddie pool.  We have board games, video games, puzzles, art projects.  I added a bunch of art things (rock painting, sun catchers, origami, how to draw books, coloring books) to the 8 yo's birthday list, so there are always projects to work on.
-H is high risk so we are being quite careful (no indoor socializing.... Fine in summer but coming up on winter)I have a weekly zoom call with my running group, and it's really important to me.  I don't even know most of these people really well, because we aren't the same pace and I never joined them for breakfast after - back when we could do that.
-i typically suffer from SAD and cope with it by using a SAD light and traveling south multiple times in the winter with a combo of personal and work trips, all now cancelled (so my main coping mechanism is gone). You might want to schedule a trip south anyway this winter.

It feels impossible to maintain my demanding job and also meet my kids' needs. It is.  You can't. 

I started by increasing my running, and all that did is fire up the injuries.  So...
- I schedule time with the kids
- I schedule exercise time for myself.  I dialed back the running, but still exercise every day.  2 days running, 3 days walking, 3 days lifting.
- I make sure to get time to read and get plenty of sleep
- I spend fewer hours actively working.  But I'm still getting the important things done.

I'm not enjoying virtual school.  I think that one of our local districts has offered a "home" plan, where you do independent study and the teacher sends home plans.  So no zoom.  That would be FAR more efficient for my 3rd grader, but our school doesn't offer it.

The sooner you accept that you cannot maintain this pace, the better off you will be.

Jon Bon

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2020, 04:14:44 PM »


We found other people (family members, babysitters, nannies) to care for her. If youíre worried about having too many people in and out of your house, hire a live-in au pair to teach your kids and help them with their lessons.



The stories I have heard about the prices that nannies are asking will make you laugh/cry. I was told by a local family that their nanny wanted $50 an hour NET.

They obviously passed but another group of families paid that rate.

MayDay

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2020, 05:37:16 PM »
I really feel for the OP and everyone out there. It is so brutally hard and it isnít going to get easier anytime soon, which is its own mental challenge. I am struggling and school hasnít started yet. I expect it to be a dumpster fire when I does, and I already think I wonít have my 6 year-old in front of the computer for 5-6 hours a day, 5 days a week. What kind of workaround though is still up in the air.

If only we didnít have the baby this would be less difficult.....

I think the mental part is at least half of what is fucking with me.

Early on it seemed plausible that if we really locked down for x amount of time, we would get school back!

Clearly we aren't getting school back for this entire school year.

My H is the perennial optimist about a vaccine. I might need to murder him and bury the body. Every prediction that we'll have a vaccine by x, that comes and goes, make everything worse.

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2020, 07:19:18 PM »
I don't have much advice, but we're going to get snow pants very soon.  I have some that fit me, but my daughter has outgrown hers and I have a feeling there will be a rush on them.  We normally stay active outside through the winter months (we're in the northeast), and I've been known to overheat in my snow pants. 

Also, if you're not, maybe consider therapy soon?  It might help come up with some ideas to create new coping mechanisms.

On the slog of parenting through this...I've got nothing.  I'm just glad I'm in a better place than I was last year.  I'm kind of dreading the start of virtual school for our kindergartner.  We have an ok pattern going on and I'm loathe to disrupt it.  But I don't think I have the ability to put together homeschooling, especially at this point. 

charis

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2020, 07:44:50 PM »
While I appreciate that people mean well by suggesting home schooling, trading off with another wfh parent, taking breaks for "me" time, and letting go of productivity, that only works if you have at least one parent at home all day with a significant amount of autonomy, free time, and flexibility in your job or children who are old enough to be somewhat self reliant, which I think is rarer than many people realize. There's a reason parents are so stressed and many are being forced to leave their jobs.

Fru-Gal

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2020, 07:53:54 PM »
I found the advice in this thread from @mm1970 and @K_in_the_kitchen to be really helpful. I have always subscribed to the Love & Logic concept that the kids should themselves determine how absorbed they should be in academics. But I may be an underachieving parent in that regard. So I like to check in and see what other parents are doing. Ironically, I am so self-contained in this pandemic that I no longer have friendships with any parents of my kid's cohort. So I get info through the kids themselves, asking son's friends (while they game and FaceTime simultaneously) what they're doing academically. The good thing here is my son has high-achieving friends so that will level him up a bit. Other son chose a bad crowd for a while.

Am proud of myself for being a bit more proactive than usual and managing a quick switch to a different school for my kid. Already difference is night and day (while not remotely rigorous). Next goal is going to be to get him to write a paper schedule out and post to the wall. He's making the usual mistake of thinking that high school is like middle school and it will all be managed for him. I also decided to discuss the concept of cheating, since I want to make sure they're not all just passing around homework answers...

Sibley

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2020, 08:05:44 PM »
A friend with 2 kids in early-ier elementary (K and 2?) pulled her kids out for now and is homeschooling. She's a librarian, and has access to all the books. Plus, she probably would have made a great teacher. Her husband watches the kids during the day while she works, then they trade off. They've divided the subjects based on their strengths and availability. They started about 3 weeks ago I think and so far it's going well. It helps that their kids are young. It's much easier to teach basic arithmetic vs. calculus.

She got help and advice from some actual teacher friends, so is using a real curriculum, has lesson plans, the works. Honestly, her kids are probably going to be above grade level by the time they go back into the school. For them, they made the decision that worked best with their family situation. I think if her husband didn't work 2nd/3rd shift it would probably be unworkable.

Other friends with school age children are mostly doing their best with the virtual school. A few the kid's schools are open, but I know the parents are planning for periods of virtual. The quality of the virtual school varies widely. Some districts have it together much better. Some teachers are better.

My friends who are teachers all say pretty much the same thing: they can catch kids up academically, and the kids with parents who care and who are trying will either not fall behind or will be very easy to get back to grade level. They can't do it if the kid is dealing with trauma.

Freedomin5

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2020, 04:12:45 AM »


We found other people (family members, babysitters, nannies) to care for her. If youíre worried about having too many people in and out of your house, hire a live-in au pair to teach your kids and help them with their lessons.



The stories I have heard about the prices that nannies are asking will make you laugh/cry. I was told by a local family that their nanny wanted $50 an hour NET.

They obviously passed but another group of families paid that rate.

Wow, thatís insane. Maybe split the costs with another family and do the lessons together?

The situation is challenging if you have no flexibility in your job, no family to help with the burden, and no money to throw at the problem.

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2020, 10:46:33 AM »
I really feel for the OP and everyone out there. It is so brutally hard and it isnít going to get easier anytime soon, which is its own mental challenge. I am struggling and school hasnít started yet. I expect it to be a dumpster fire when I does, and I already think I wonít have my 6 year-old in front of the computer for 5-6 hours a day, 5 days a week. What kind of workaround though is still up in the air.

If only we didnít have the baby this would be less difficult.....

I would unschool before I would put a 6 year old in front of the computer 5-6 hours per day.  The great thing is, divorced from the public school system, homeschooling a 6 year old shouldn't take more than an hour a day or so for academics.  The rest gets filled in with reading out loud (or audiobooks), crafting, exploring nature (even our own yards), physical activity, etc.
We want to get her into the language immersion program she is waitlisted for, otherwise homeschooling would be a less-bad option. As it is Iím hoping to cobble together something that has her being partially truant with public school mixed in with some other learning.

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2020, 10:42:08 AM »
I would still look into traveling south in the winter. We live in an area that's fairly depressing in the winter and are looking at going somewhere sunnier for a week or two in November or December. I may "WFH" from that location or not, but the idea would be to change our surroundings since we also rely on those sunny breaks to stay sane. Our one child is younger than yours, so I'm not sure how well that would fit into your schedule, but I do think a change of scenery and something to look forward to would be beneficial.

maisymouser

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2020, 11:03:08 AM »
PTF. I'm feeling you OP.

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2020, 11:03:47 AM »
I would still look into traveling south in the winter. We live in an area that's fairly depressing in the winter and are looking at going somewhere sunnier for a week or two in November or December. I may "WFH" from that location or not, but the idea would be to change our surroundings since we also rely on those sunny breaks to stay sane. Our one child is younger than yours, so I'm not sure how well that would fit into your schedule, but I do think a change of scenery and something to look forward to would be beneficial.
I wish you (the generic you) wouldnít. This is exactly how itís spreading. My family that lives in a beach town used to have hardly any likelihood of community exposure. But whaddya know, the hotels are there are now full of people who ďjust had to get away for a bit,Ē and think everyone else is the problem. It sucks not to travel, especially in a cold area in the winter. I get it and I do live in a cold area in a tiny apartment with a toddler. But please donít be part of the problem here.

MayDay

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2020, 11:10:20 AM »
I would still look into traveling south in the winter. We live in an area that's fairly depressing in the winter and are looking at going somewhere sunnier for a week or two in November or December. I may "WFH" from that location or not, but the idea would be to change our surroundings since we also rely on those sunny breaks to stay sane. Our one child is younger than yours, so I'm not sure how well that would fit into your schedule, but I do think a change of scenery and something to look forward to would be beneficial.
I wish you (the generic you) wouldnít. This is exactly how itís spreading. My family that lives in a beach town used to have hardly any likelihood of community exposure. But whaddya know, the hotels are there are now full of people who ďjust had to get away for a bit,Ē and think everyone else is the problem. It sucks not to travel, especially in a cold area in the winter. I get it and I do live in a cold area in a tiny apartment with a toddler. But please donít be part of the problem here.

I think it's very situation dependant, and we are considering the option. We may rent an Airbnb somewhere and bring our own food. If we did that we would only leave the house to go hiking. TBD but I can probably work from wherever for a couple weeks.

rockstache

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2020, 11:16:16 AM »
I would still look into traveling south in the winter. We live in an area that's fairly depressing in the winter and are looking at going somewhere sunnier for a week or two in November or December. I may "WFH" from that location or not, but the idea would be to change our surroundings since we also rely on those sunny breaks to stay sane. Our one child is younger than yours, so I'm not sure how well that would fit into your schedule, but I do think a change of scenery and something to look forward to would be beneficial.
I wish you (the generic you) wouldnít. This is exactly how itís spreading. My family that lives in a beach town used to have hardly any likelihood of community exposure. But whaddya know, the hotels are there are now full of people who ďjust had to get away for a bit,Ē and think everyone else is the problem. It sucks not to travel, especially in a cold area in the winter. I get it and I do live in a cold area in a tiny apartment with a toddler. But please donít be part of the problem here.

I think it's very situation dependant, and we are considering the option. We may rent an Airbnb somewhere and bring our own food. If we did that we would only leave the house to go hiking. TBD but I can probably work from wherever for a couple weeks.
Thatís true, and why I didnít specify ďyou personallyĒ to either you or to the PP. Everyone does need to make their own risk determinations.

On the other hand, so many people are acting like they are the exception, and itís fine if we just stay at this one hotel, or just run in this one grocery store and no, itís not, please stay the F home.

mamabear18

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2020, 11:19:31 AM »
I'm in MN too so I can relate. My kids are 3 and 6.

I've actually stayed at a nearby hotel by myself and then traded with my husband. It was very helpful to be alone.

We just decided to take a week of vacation next week and go to the North Shore. Including Labor Day - 10 days of vacation. I think a change of scenery is necessary for sure.

I try to go to my favorite spots either with 1 child or by myself. It feels good to get out. Even just window shopping.

With the kids - we go to different outdoor parks, indoor playgrounds (always fun to go to a new one). A babysitter you trust.
Do you have any family that you trust that can come over and watch them?

We just try to get out as much as we can. Even in the winter - ice skating, sledding, ice fishing if you can handle it. walking around the mall. Its challenging when you have to be extra careful. maybe enroll kids in a class or have a tutor come by? This has been very tough on me too and will let you know if going on a nearby vacay helped. lol.

MayDay

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #38 on: August 28, 2020, 11:20:18 AM »
I would still look into traveling south in the winter. We live in an area that's fairly depressing in the winter and are looking at going somewhere sunnier for a week or two in November or December. I may "WFH" from that location or not, but the idea would be to change our surroundings since we also rely on those sunny breaks to stay sane. Our one child is younger than yours, so I'm not sure how well that would fit into your schedule, but I do think a change of scenery and something to look forward to would be beneficial.
I wish you (the generic you) wouldnít. This is exactly how itís spreading. My family that lives in a beach town used to have hardly any likelihood of community exposure. But whaddya know, the hotels are there are now full of people who ďjust had to get away for a bit,Ē and think everyone else is the problem. It sucks not to travel, especially in a cold area in the winter. I get it and I do live in a cold area in a tiny apartment with a toddler. But please donít be part of the problem here.

I think it's very situation dependant, and we are considering the option. We may rent an Airbnb somewhere and bring our own food. If we did that we would only leave the house to go hiking. TBD but I can probably work from wherever for a couple weeks.
Thatís true, and why I didnít specify ďyou personallyĒ to either you or to the PP. Everyone does need to make their own risk determinations.

On the other hand, so many people are acting like they are the exception, and itís fine if we just stay at this one hotel, or just run in this one grocery store and no, itís not, please stay the F home.

Yes, you are totally right. Unfortunately as you can see by my thread, there are very real mental health risks as well.... Very hard to balance everything.

charis

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2020, 11:58:31 AM »
We have a vacation home in an remote area with no new cases during the summer season.  We are not required to quarantine upon arrival by car. So we did go to the grocery store in masks, 10 minutes or less, no contact. While I understand the general concern about traveling, there are certainly circumstances where it is rationally ok to do so.

Jon Bon

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #40 on: August 28, 2020, 12:45:49 PM »
Schools just said they would start half day on September 8th. The fatalist in me says so way we make it until then because the plan for everything in this pandemic has changed every 48 hours.

But I guess its better than nothing.

First week of virtual/homeschool went ok, hard to say if they are learning much of anything compared to in class. Also I can see this getting real old for the kids about the third week. If that happens its game over.


mm1970

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Re: Pandemic exhaustion (parenting related)
« Reply #41 on: August 28, 2020, 02:44:30 PM »
I would still look into traveling south in the winter. We live in an area that's fairly depressing in the winter and are looking at going somewhere sunnier for a week or two in November or December. I may "WFH" from that location or not, but the idea would be to change our surroundings since we also rely on those sunny breaks to stay sane. Our one child is younger than yours, so I'm not sure how well that would fit into your schedule, but I do think a change of scenery and something to look forward to would be beneficial.
I wish you (the generic you) wouldnít. This is exactly how itís spreading. My family that lives in a beach town used to have hardly any likelihood of community exposure. But whaddya know, the hotels are there are now full of people who ďjust had to get away for a bit,Ē and think everyone else is the problem. It sucks not to travel, especially in a cold area in the winter. I get it and I do live in a cold area in a tiny apartment with a toddler. But please donít be part of the problem here.
I don't really know what to think about this.  Literally.

I live in Santa Barbara.  We are a vacation destination.  I want people to stay away.  Los Angeles has been a hotbed.  Don't come here!
BUT, I also have a lot of friends - a LOT - who traveled this summer.  Like, what?  They went to the ocean up north, the mountains, Utah, Colorado, whatever.  I think it's a bit insane.  We aren't supposed to be traveling.  Then again, we aren't supposed to be gathering and they are doing that too.

I think, however, it can be done reasonably safely.  To be honest, if you can go rent a house or a cabin for a week and take your own food... then fine.  Hikes in the mountains, walks through the neighborhood or beach, or just sitting in the back yard of a rental...it can't be that risky.  Takeout, grocery delivery, etc.

We haven't done it BUT we also haven't had a vacation at all since November and I'm dying here...I need to get away.