DEV Community


Posted on • Originally published at on

Yo Parents, How you doing?

When we started this pandemic thing, I was thinking positively. I had podcasts and art projects, and we had three weeks of school at home. And, as you know, I lost my job. Then I lost my fitness class. I lost my alone time, my quiet time, my sense of independence. I lost the feeling of making progress. I’ve lost the feeling of connectedness to the world around me.

I went from coding four hours a day to schooling at home four hours a day–and let me take a minute to say that homeschooling is not the same as school at home. I’ve homeschooled before. It’s not the same. When I homeschooled, I chose my lessons, I spent months working on plans I could use with all of my kids. Now, I am beholden to what is assigned to my kids. It’s not the same. I have a kid with OCD and a 5yo who can’t sit still for more than five minutes. I have an 8yo who misses her friends. I have a 3yo who wants the attention she used to get. None of this is the same for any of us.

And look, I know it’s not the same for everyone. I know some people love the slowed down pace and the time with family now. And I am genuinely happy for them. Me, I’ve bought more junk food and alcohol in the past week than I have all of last month. There is a lot going on.

And I want to say, cut yourself a break. It’s ok to feel that way. It’s ok to have a hard time spending all day with your kids. Almost none of us are used to it. We’re mourning an old way of life. It’s ok that you don’t feel like parent of the year right now while you put on tv for your kids so you can code for an hour. It’s ok that when you sit down to code that you don’t even know where to start because there is simultaneously too much and too little to do. It’s ok.

I’m not going to give you advice on how it gets easier or tell you the ‘five steps to a more organized quarantine.’ For me, it’s been waves of “I can do this!” and “I’m just going to sit on the couch and look at twitter for an unreasonable amount of time.” I have baked hundreds of muffins in the last month–and probably eaten a quarter of those. As I write this, my kids are watching Tangled, the series and I’m watching Mission Impossible: Fallout –which feels like a rare treat because I’m so exhausted by 9:00pm, that I am in bed. And some days, sleep doesn’t come. I think about what I couldn’t figure out when I was coding that day, I wonder what I should be doing to level up faster, I think about how I could have been a better mom, how I could’ve spent more time looking into my kids’ eyes instead of looking at my phone, about how I wish I could be building something new and cool like all those other people during quarantine time.

The truth is, I have less free time than I did before the quarantine. Most of the hours I get to code are the hours that I make my kids have “outdoor recess” or the time they get to have screen time or the sporadic times and Saturday mornings when my husband is actually off. I used to get up at 4:30am, but I can’t right now. I’ve been sick. I wake up at 5:30 or 6:00, and that’s barely enough time to have coffee by myself. Because my kids don’t sleep as long any more. I don’t know if they’re not as tired because they don’t go to school or because the weather has been crappy in Ohio and they don’t get to run outside most of the time.

I’m working to get to a point where I’ll have four hours a day again. Where I can hyperfocus on my code and feel like I’ve accomplished something. It won’t be four hours straight, but as a mom, I’m used to having to pivot and devote my full attention.

So maybe this doesn’t feel like a coding blog, and it kind of isn’t. It’s a blog to say that if you’re a parent who is trying to code right now, it’s hard. It’s hard to find balance when you’re on a balanced scale and then someone suddenly passes you 100lbs and says “good luck” as you try to keep that scale in balance. It’s a blog to say that life is complicated right now. It’s a blog to say that I’m in it with you

Top comments (1)

deepaldsilva profile image
Deepal Dsilva

I don’t know how you do it! I have only a 3yr old and that is tough.