"Exhausting": The Stress of Parenting a Small Child With Covid
“Right now there’s less of that ‘we’re in this together’ and it feels more like ‘we have to keep going without you’”
Kelly’s almost-two-year-old son caught Covid in January.
It was a mild case, but that didn’t lessen the anxiety she and her husband felt as their child went through the illness.
“This is a black hole with no end in sight,” the 35-year-old Connecticut mother told me. “It feels like no one cares about this under-five group and it is exhausting.”
Both parents work at home and so could manage care. Kelly told me that she knows it’s a lucky break—”I cannot even imagine how hard it is to not have support, or not have flexible work arrangements”—but the expenses and stress have been taxing. Quarantine is almost up, but Kelly doesn’t expect that to last too long.
“I am fully expecting another 10 day shutdown within a week,” she told me.
I talked to parents of small children who recently caught the virus about what that experience was like as they navigated working from home, childcare, and the threat—however slight—of severe illness. Here’s what they told me.
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