Let’s share a moment of honesty together. We’ve seen the parent guilt trip go into overdrive since the COVID-19 crisis struck.
Essential workers have been feeling guilty about putting their children in care. Parents caring for children at home have been feeling just as guilty and worried about their children missing out on early years education. And those attempting to juggle working from home with full-time parenting have been feeling guilty about doing two full-time roles in whatever way they can, while being expected to function as though they don’t co-exist.
There is no perfect way to deal with this crisis; simply the best than you can do under the circumstances. Whatever your choice, we are here to support you in whatever way we can with our brand new Community Cubby.
We are here for you
For some of our families, the burden is very heavy. Parents who have lost jobs and are under extreme financial stress. Families with special needs children who can no longer depend upon the same support structures. Concern about the welfare of parents, self-isolating without assistance. And then the logistics of shopping, educating children and trying to stay fit and healthy in mind and body.
Whether your child is at home or continuing to attend the centre, we are here for you. There are many ways we have been able to assist our families, whether it’s advice, practical help or through a small act of kindness that can turn a bad day into a smiley one.
In some centres, educators and teachers have assembled activity packs for children to take home and for families self-isolating. We’ve held Zoom classes and online story time, even birthday parties, all with the aim of easing the burden for parents and ensuring the educational momentum continues in these vital early years.
The response to our Kindness Initiative has also been amazing – from community pantries stocked by those who can for those in need, to family meals prepared by our centre chefs for weary frontline workers.
We also recognise that at home, circumstances have changed and your relationships with your precious little ones have changed. As a result, our ‘real world’ has shifted from a physical to a virtual experience. We’ve launched our Community Cubby to gather a wealth of resources in one place, from play-based learning tips to activities, recipes and more.
There is no shortage of advice online for parents trying to navigate their way through the care and education of young children while working, and we’ve sampled some of the most relevant HERE that may help you get through to the other side.
Good enough is good enough
Don’t feel the pressure to make one of our home-cooked recipes every day with your children. Or stick to a strict routine. Or ensure that your children are having minimal screen-time.
Now is not the time to strive for perfection or to torture yourself because you’re not achieving work goals that were set before coronavirus, nor being the ideal parent because you are juggling so much.
Let’s be realistic and make this your mantra for the duration of lockdowns and home isolation: good enough is good enough.
Parents working on the front line, our educators and teachers amongst them, should be equally kind to themselves, knowing that when they drop their child off at the centre each morning they are protected, safe and loved.
Be kind to yourself
Remember the safety advice back in the days of air travel? Put your own breathing mask on first and then tend to your children. It may go against the protective instinct of mums and dads but this is one occasion where you really must look after yourself to be fit and able to deal with the multiple stresses that every day presents. Be diligent about fresh air and exercise, eating well and taking time out.
This is not an easy time, and for some families, the pressures of financial worries and confinement can lead to relationships becoming severely stressed. Reach out early and feel no shame in admitting you are not coping and need help. Keep these numbers handy.
- Beyond Blue –1300 224 636
- 1800RESPECT – 1800 737 732
- Lifeline – 13 11 14
Let’s stay connected