An open letter to every parent doing their best right now…


It’s no secret that we are living in very challenging times. Our world as we know it has been turned upside down, and so has our children’s. Some days, it’s definitely a hard concept to swallow. One North Shore mum shares her thoughts for any parent who needs to hear this right now.

From the mum who is still sending her kids to daycare…

I see you.

To all the other parents doing the juggle right now.

Home schooling. Looking after younger kids. Shopping. Cooking. Putting dinner on the table. Washing. Cleaning. Getting outdoors for exercise. Trying to maintain some semblance of normal for their family.

Getting up each and every morning.

Some days I’d rather not. It feels like ground hog day and my temper can’t handle it.

I snap at the little things.

I know I shouldn’t. And the guilt that comes with it is overwhelming. One day it was too much and I found myself simultaneously flooded with tears and unable to stop.

It was eight weeks of tears coming out – and there was no off switch. Every home schooling frustration. Every 11am press conference of doom and gloom. Every two-year-old tantrum. Every. Single. Thing.

My five year old gently patted me on the back and told me it’s OK.

She sat there watching me cry and rubbing my back and told me again it’s OK.

I didn’t sign up for this. She didn’t sign up for this either. And we are quite simply doing the best we can.

We are lucky.

My husband and I both have great jobs. Live in a great house with plenty of space for the kids to run around. Have three gorgeous children.

But it’s still hard.

The guilt creeps in so many different ways.

I feel guilty for finding it all so hard some days, when I feel like we have it easy compared to others.

I feel guilty that I have to ignore my 5 year old for half the day so I can get what I need to done.

I feel guilty that she’s missing out on so much as well.

I feel guilty every time I send my younger kids to daycare.

I feel like one big ball of guilt on and off, over and over.

And then the latest announcement hit. “Just” working from home was no longer considered a reason for using daycare.

“Just” working from home.

I’m not “just” working from home. I am already getting up in the early hours of the morning to get work done before the kids wake.

I am home schooling my 5 year old each and every day.

I am making sure we have breakfast, lunch and dinner on the table.

I am entertaining my kids when they are home and making sure they are happy and loved.

I am cleaning, cooking, washing, folding, ironing…

I am just holding it all together.

And some days, I’m just not.

But the guilt ate at me, fuelled by all the comments from every parent who wanted to weigh in on Facebook.

Another mum who no doubt feels like me, but who is MUCH braver than me, asks the question: are you sending your kids?

The comments come flooding.

So many mums stating it’s an explicit health order, how could anyone even consider sending their child to daycare?

Mums questioning whether they even love their child. If so, why would you risk them getting Covid?

Each comment felt like a knife digging into me.

Daycare is my lifeline. It’s the one thing keeping my head above water and allowing me to continue each and every day.

I love my kids more than anything in the world.

But we needed this.

I felt judged by these mums online, who weren’t even talking to me.

I felt so entirely lost and questioned every decision I had made.

I cried.

Mums were commenting, “I know this is hard, but…” You don’t know what anyone else is going through. You don’t have the right to judge anyone’s decisions.

To those parents still sending their kids. I see you.

Like me, you’re making the best decisions for you and your family, and it’s enough.

Don’t let the guilt eat away at you.

Don’t let other people’s opinions get to you.

And don’t ever feel that you shouldn’t feel the way you feel. You are entitled to feelings. It doesn’t matter if other people are worse off than you. It doesn’t matter if that mother next door is keeping all 5 of her kids home and managing. All that matters is that you need to do what’s best for your family.

We have no cases in our area. Our daycare is staying open and has welcomed all parents to keep sending their kids if they need to.

I need to.

If the situation changes, then I will reassess.

But for now, I’m doing what works for us.

And you need to do what works for you.

This post originally appeared on the North Shore Mums Facebook page.

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