8 Signs You’re a Pandemic Parent

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I made the unfortunate discovery the other day that I have parented for more years during this pandemic than before it, and I have learned (not learned?) some lessons that no parenting book prepared me for. If you’ve been a pandemic parent longer than a regular parent, this list might be for you:

Painted street icon of person pushing a stroller

  1. You are the chef, the playdate, the teacher, and the principal. School starts whenever I feel like it, we serve chicken nuggets every day, and there is a mandatory nap time between 11am-1pm, adults included. I don’t care if you know your letters and numbers; do you know how to properly use hand sanitizer and wear a mask? If so, A+s all the way until you graduate (assuming covid is over by then).
  2. Your home is the office, the daycare, the restaurant, and the playground. You have receipts to prove this is true. Anyone need an Instapot, a slide, a desk raiser, or a ball pit? Side note: rainy days during the pandemic: how dare you, Mother Nature. We cannot take any more inside days!!
  3. Because your house is the office, the daycare, the restaurant, and the playground, you have ordered too many things for the house and every box delivered is now considered a “toy box.” Your child doesn’t believe you when you say it’s just KN95 masks for you or a book you found interesting that you’ll never actually get around to reading.
  4. What are “friends” during a pandemic? My child has two best friends that she sees, talks to, and plays with everyday: me and her father. I love her but I need a friend who’s my age and someone who isn’t obsessed with Peppa Pig.
  5. As if having a sick child wasn’t stressful enough, now every cough, sneeze, and sniffle is definitely covid. Even when you’ve taken 932 covid tests and they’re all negative, you’ll still freak out and think you all have covid and quarantine at home.
  6. Speaking of quarantine…”quarantining” is now an active word in your child’s vocabulary. All the stuffed animals have had to quarantine at some point this year because they got sick. Thankfully none of them died…
  7. Screen time is a full time employee at your house. One more hour of screen time and I’ll have to file a W-2 for it.
  8. Leaving the house to go grocery shopping is the most stressful alone task you have. On one hand you’re relieved and excited to be by yourself, but on the other hand you’re afraid you’ll catch covid and bring it home to live with you like the uninvited guest that it is. So you end up Lysoling all the groceries and ordering Ubereats at the end of it all because you’re too tired to cook the groceries you just bought.

In all seriousness, parenting during a pandemic has been crazy. There is not a single book you could read tomorrow that could help you through this. We are writing the book every day that we wake up and commit to taking care of ourselves and the little ones in our care. Maybe the sign of being a pandemic parent is that you realize this isn’t how it’s supposed to go and we’re all just fumbling through until it passes. Whether you’ve thrived through this or survived through it, I believe you’re the best pandemic parent your child(ren) needs. Cheers to you doing your best pandemic parenting, and may we have more years of non-pandemic parenting in our future!

"You got this" written in chalk on the ground for a pandemic parent

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Jocelyn moved to Memphis in 2015 with her husband, not knowing a soul. Now, it’s as if she has always lived here! Jocelyn is a first generation Asian-American who was born in California, grew up overseas (Thailand), and moved back to the States in middle school. After leaving home (Maryland) for college in the south (Georgia), Jocelyn hasn’t left the south and her childhood friends claim she has a southern accent. Currently, Jocelyn is a School Social Worker who spends most of her time helping little + big humans navigate how to be healthy humans in this world (and all the highs and lows that come with it). She is also on her own journey of discovering what it means to be an introvert and a mom. Jocelyn and her husband welcomed Charlotte (2018) to their family and are in awe of how much fun it is and how crazy it can be to raise a little human. When she’s not working, Jocelyn can be found in fuzzy socks doing a puzzle, enjoying alone time at a coffee shop, scouring Target’s Dollar Spot for things she definitely doesn’t need, and cheering on the Memphis Grizzlies.

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