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  • Writer's pictureWork & Play

Our COVID Dump

In this new year we see people posting their “photo dump” from the holidays or the year. Fair warning that what lies ahead is our COVID dump…and it’s full of things we really need to say.

We started Work & Play in 2020, amidst a global pandemic and during a time when parents and educators like us were facing unknowns and new frontiers like we’d never seen or imagined. And now, at the start of 2022, we are…Still. In. It.

We hear lots and lots of chatter and research about the impact this is having on our children. Of course, the impact is immeasurable. We just don’t know the impact yet. However what we see as parents and teachers is that children continue to learn, laugh, play and just be kids.

At Work & Play, we will always and steadfastly turn our attention back to you, the parents.

Are we still learning? Laughing? Playing? Just being adults?

This pandemic has impacted us as the adults in the room. We have missed years of parenting in a community.

Sharing ideas.

Connecting with peers.

Wallowing in just how hard raising children can be.

While many worry about children’s lost learning and experiences, we see that we, as parents, have also lost learning and experiences.

In the last month we have seen both of our own families test positive for COVID. Can we pause on what that moment felt like? Have you been there? We were each overwhelmed by the sadness, fear, relief and worry we had been carrying around for two years.

After the countless missed events, sleepless night, disagreements with partners about what’s ok and what’s not, strained familial relationships, concern for our own parents, guilt that we have access to information and resources that have been not available to others, the tantrums of our kids for being told “no” to something they were counting on…all of those pent up “losses” were entirely overwhelming to us as moms in the days after those positive results.

But like we have been seasoned to do, we carried on. We called each other. We tried to do what restored us and kept us upright. And now, as we thankfully are transitioning out of quarantine and back into more uncertainty, we felt spurred to write this and check in on all of you.

What has your experience been?

What we don’t see and hear about enough is how this lifestyle has impacted us as parents. We have had our journey in parenthood stunted and cut off - maybe just as it was starting, as it was ending or right when we were in the full, wild stride of parenthood.

We are in it with you, parents. We feel this so deeply and we are ready to unpack it with you.

We find ourselves questioning more, giving in more, overthinking and evaluating even small choices. Our goal here at Work & Play is to shine a light on parenthood - the exhausting, exhilarating, fulfilling and very messy nature of raising children today.

So what is it that is driving you? Weighing on you? What do you know for certain in this one small moment?

For us, right now, we are done. We are ready to blow off some of this heavy steam and feel better about who we are and what we do. Emily recently had the most real and refreshing experience at a doctor’s appointment. Still feeling sick after her quarantine had ended, she went to an urgent care to see if there was anything else she could do.

The PA who cared for her took the time to see her. Really see her as a mom, woman, and individual right now, in these times. The tears came easily and this rockstar PA gave some of the most needed advice we didn’t know we needed. She said to try this: Raise your arms straight up in the air. Raise your middle fingers and say whatever expletives you need to say to COVID, to the pressures, to the world and to this situation. And Emily did just that.

The result was a laugh, a connection and feeling seen. How simple yet profound to be acknowledged for all we are each carrying around with us right now.

Raise those arms, moms and dads. We see you. We acknowledge all that you are and the burdens you carry. Here’s to easier days ahead.

Amy Mockbee & Emily Boucher

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