The last two months have turned parenting upside down. Prior to the pandemic, parents were entering a groove as children steadied themselves in their school work, summer camp schedules were posted and parents pounced immediately to sign up for coveted slots, and preparations were underway for spring vacation.

The speed and gravity of the coronavirus and its effects on the human body led parents across the country to retreat immediately as news of exponential deaths in urban hot spots like New York, Chicago, and Seattle spread quickly. During this lockdown, our children are at home while we also work from home, and for essential workers, most have to find someone else to look after their children while they serve on the ground.

There are many funny memes, cartoons and comedy sketches parodying this upside-down world in which parents are monitoring their child’s e-learning while also attending their own Zoom meetings in shared spaces, dressed differently from their everyday work world and all of us behaving in more authentic and brutally real ways with our co-workers.

As we log onto social media, we are seeing examples of phenomenal parenting during the quarantine: parents baking healthy organic bread with their children, finishing off a thousand-piece puzzle together at the uncluttered den table, riding bikes throughout the neighborhood with their face masks on, and celebrating birthdays with homemade cakes and drive-by cheers from friends and family.

Samina Hadi Hadi-Tabassum

Oak Park

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