While some of my homeschooling tales have a happy ending, believe me when I say that there is a volume of others where I was my worst self.
If no one has beaten me to the punch, allow me to be the first to coin the phrase “Covid Parenting Syndrome” (CPS). It’s an honest-to-goodness psychological phenomenon that, I believe, the clinical world will be treating for generations. Since homeschooling launched in March, I’ve been informally gathering data from parents (male and female alike) and found that CPS is characterized by, but by no means limited to, high anxiety, discharge of anger, impatience, guilt, shame, grief, isolation, despondency, marital strife, weight gain, and alcohol abuse. Did I mention weight gain? And in many cases CPS has been triggered by homeschooling.
For parents and non-parents alike, “too much” has become the norm, a way of life that we’ve had to fashion into manageable, lest we sink. But life has taught me that every adversity is simply an opportunity for healing in disguise. And for me, homeschooling has presented me with the invitation for intense emotional work and growth. It has necessitated that I work diligently on managing my emotions and anxiety, become quick to ask for forgiveness when I fail miserably to do so, and just as readily forgive myself for my failures before shame and its vile minions take up internal, illegal residence.
And this is precisely why it’s critical for the army of homeschoolers to find healthy ways to recharge. While there aren’t any Caribbean vacations on the horizon, remember there’s always the tub. It’s amazing what a 20-minute soak in hot water and healing sea salts can do for one’s attitude after ten hours of CPS. For me, Pursoma’s bath soaks have been a port in the storm, a way thru the stress, something to look forward to (other than a glass of wine or an ice cream sandwich) when I’m five hours into a 10-hour day spent working at home while homeschooling. A word of wisdom before I go, ask your child if they need to use the bathroom before you hop on your next work call…