Losing sleep ✅
Mom of color ✅
Parent depression ✅
These are the feelings of many parents like myself during this pandemic. In the last 4 months as a parent I have been trusting our health care system and government to prioritize the needs of my household, but it seems I am waiting for someone to save me from uncertainly this pandemic has exposed to the world. And it feels like no one can save us, especially those of color. It feels lonely and super isolating when your life is being determined by policies and procedures being made by elected officials and the educational system without you input.
As a parent of children with unique learning styles, I have never felt so conflicted in our public educational system, which is in return is causing me to lose sleep, develop anxiety, and fighting against my body not go into full depression. My thoughts are racing with repetitive questions such as: “should I send my children back to school? Am I subjecting my children to being political casualties if I send them back into a school building?” But in the midst of this all I am also thinking about how will my bills get paid and if I can continue to feed my family. All these thoughts are wearing me down. It feels like constantly carrying a bag of bricks hoping they turn into a bag of balloons to lighten up the load. Meanwhile, the uncertainty of education is still not up in the air with NO real plan to give our family any stability for the fall. My boys are happy, the house is somewhat clean, and snacks are on the higher priority list. Being a parent of children with special needs am faced with a continuous barrage of challenges from societal isolation, yup society makes me feel lonely. The financial hardships is real, the extra $600 from unemployment has ended and now what? It’s not fun going to the grocery store to buy out all popcorn, because popcorn makes things easier on a day where the energy in the house feels like you can’t breath. Let’s not even add trying to find resources during a pandemic... it is like trying to find a needle in the haystack! You will exhausted yourself trying to Google anything for hhaallpp!!! While the help we need is aiding families to ensure mentally, financially, and emotionally everyone is okay.
It is a month away from school starting, but yet no actual plan has been released by my district. Our teachers union have rallied for more funding, our union only comes out during budget season. The special education department from what I am hearing is being prioritized for the district, but no one knows what the looks like. There has been no data provided to see how many parents completed the “re-opening survey” nor any updates virtually from our district. Nor are parents being looped in on the conversation. This itself is causing major stress because my babies deserve better and respect as the little people’s who make education go around. Our educational system is at stake, but parents are continuously expected to be patient and work as district partners. This partnership is NOT working and we need accountability now, as we can’t wait any long. Nor should we be having parents or educators have this level of stressors while this pandemic is already stressful. We need answers NOW!
Pinnacle Partnerships thanks Yahaira for her openness and candor in sharing her experiences and amplifying family voice.
You may contact Yahaira at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on all social media outlets.