The Pandemic Has Been Tough For Parents And Things Are Only Getting Tougher

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Article by: Faraz Hasan

We are now just over 8 months into 2020 and most of us have spent majority of that time working remotely due to the Coronavirus pandemic which has ravaged countries around the globe with over 29 million cases worldwide and counting. The significant disruption caused by the pandemic has proven to be challenging for almost all businesses around the world whose employees had to adapt overnight and start working from home as governments put lock-downs in place to control the spread of the virus. A lot of people had to hastily set up home offices whereas a number of others lost their jobs. As the global economy came to a standstill, some businesses had to close down while others had to completely revamp their business processes. All in all, it has been a challenging year to be a working professional.

To control the spread of COVID-19, Ireland introduced its lock-down measures in March and most professionals were asked to work from home. Schools closed down and teachers adapted to different methods of online learning. Being the father of two kids under the age of 6, I found the transition to remote working even more challenging as my wife and I grappled to put a routine in place for our two very energetic little ones. Also, it wasn’t just us who found this transition difficult. Every parent we spoke to found it challenging to balance work with the need to keep their kids occupied through the day.

Home schooling
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During the lock-down, most kids spent the mornings navigating through online learning platforms and study packs while evenings were often spent in front of the TV, phone or tablet as going outside wasn’t much of an option initially. This resulted in screen time for kids increasing exponentially. Going to the park and meeting up with friends was replaced by family walks and Zoom calls with classmates whereas school routines were taken over by late bedtime and snacking at odd times. All this meant that parents had to spend additional time in monitoring their children while also being expected to perform at work. A lot of organisations understood the plight of working parents and allowed concessions, however, the work still had to be done and bills still needed to get paid!

After the initial euphoria of being at home, children too started getting weary of the same mundane routine every day. They started craving the company of their friends and wanted to be outside when the sun was shining, not understanding that mummy and daddy had to work. Then came the tantrums and meltdowns as to why all of this was happening to them and, by the end of it all, most parents had now been playing the roles of teachers, friends, yoga instructors, doctors and therapists, all while trying to keep their bosses happy.

Back to school
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Schools are now back open in most countries around the world and the stress of managing the kids at home has been replaced by a collective anxiety of how our children will get on in school in the middle of a pandemic that is showing no signs of ending any time soon. It has been argued that the short-term risk of the virus spreading in schools is far less when compared to the long-term risk of mental/physical health problems for a whole generation of children. It is also said that the virus doesn’t effect kids in the same way it effects adults. However, any number of explanations cannot take away from our concerns for the wellbeing of our children. I also understand that its tough being a teacher in these times and, while I laud the efforts of schools, teachers and indeed the government in reopening the schools, I cannot help but feel uneasy as I still continue to work from home myself.

Parents have undeniably had a tough time during the pandemic and things are only getting tougher as we try to manage our nerves, stay away from the news and help our kids feel normal once again. So here’s a message to all parents around the world:

Well done for doing a brilliant job through these unprecedented times. Be strong, be well and understand that we are all in this together.

Also, a big thank you to all the teachers working hard to keep our children safe in school.

This too shall pass!

Faraz Hasan

About the author:
Faraz Hasan is a Chartered Accountant with over 15 years of experience in accounting, finance, auditing and assurance. He is a father to 2 boys and is currently based in Dublin, Ireland. You can learn more about him through his LinkedIn profile.

About The Accountant 103 Articles
The Accountant’s Diary aims to provide short, snappy and shareable content on the topics of accounting, auditing, finance, business and technology.

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