FATHER’S DAY: Parenting in the time of COVID-19
THIS Father’s Day, I’d like to give a shout out to all the dads parenting in the time of coronavirus.
I know I don’t speak just for myself when I say it’s thrown up new, unexpected challenges and been bloody hard at times.
I’m sure many of you, like me, have spent at least some of the past few months working from home.
Trying to maintain normal levels of productivity while restless, bored out of their mind sprogs run around the house has introduced me to a new kind of stress.
We, and our employers, should be applauded for how quickly we all adapted to a new way of working but there's no denying how ill prepared we were for it in many ways.
I, for one, did not have a dedicated work space at home for the first few months, meaning much of my Very Important Work was done with Paw Patrol or Bluey blaring in the background.
This period of my parenting journey has also thrown some moments of true hilarity into the mix.
While it was beyond embarrassing at the time, my daughter marching into the room and loudly declaring she needed the toilet while I was on the phone to our health service CEO won’t soon be forgotten.
This leads me to perhaps the most challenging part of parenting during a pandemic – helping little minds understand what on earth is going on.
We coined the phrase “Big Bad Germ” in our household, which quickly became a catch-all explanation for why we couldn’t do any number of things.
“Daddy, why can’t I go to the park/see my friends/go to kindy?”
“Because of the Big Bad Germ.”
It’s also been clear to me on more than one occasion how easily my kids feed off the uncertainty and anxiety in the world around them.
It’s hard to know how much we should be explaining to our kids, especially when they’re little.
What we definitely can do, though, is keep it calm and keep it fun.
After all, isn’t that often what we dads do best?