We parents, superheroes in the emergency.
Today I don't want to talk about extreme situations but about families united, couples who love each other and still think about a future together but who feel that the situation at home is becoming really complicated.
I would like if everyone managed to take a moment and in this difficult moment, they made a brief reflection for the well-being of the whole family: children and parents.
As parents we are asked for a considerable effort: we must stay at home, work in smart working, look after the children, replace the teachers.
Being mothers and fathers today, in this spring 2020, means doing at least three activities simultaneously: parents, teachers and workers.
These are all very important functions that are normally carried out either by different people or at different times and times.
This emergency requires us to do everything, we have to go from the computer to the homework, from the homework to the fun, how important it is to keep the children happy, to the kitchen, then you have to clean organize and also get food with the nightmare of queues and lists of waiting for online supermarkets.
Many of us arrive to set the alarm at 4:00 in the morning to do the shopping with the apps or search, through friends and relatives, with carbonari maneuvers, the email address or the number of those who make home deliveries.
None of us, just forty days ago woke up with the nightmare of not having enough milk for the week or with the fear of wasting food or breaking an accessory and then having to struggle to buy it back. I have an expensive rented smartphone, I dropped it and it has a broken screen, every time I see it I regret the times with which I have placed it on unlikely surfaces lightly and all the times it has fallen badly but not nothing happened to him. Two months ago if I had broken it in a few hours I would have had a new one, including Sundays and holidays.
Now everything is complicated and it is no longer as fast and simple as we were used to and so I keep the broken screen happy to be able to use the phone anyway.
And then let's remember that in the absence of school, recreational sports activities and snacks from friends we do not have a moment of respite from the children.
Schools, teachers are doing what they can, but with younger children, those who cannot be left in front of a monitor for three to four hours, school becomes a nightmare, results in filling in cards, searching for files on rickety portals, hunt for YouTube videos (with the wrong strings), exorbitant chats with other parents to figure out what to do and where to find him in the absence of books left at school, all while the connection drops, the printer jams and they end up paper and ink that were not thought to be so useful in a home.
At home, husband and wife, although they are 24 hours together, struggle to talk to each other, communicating becomes difficult due to the constant interruptions of the children, no entertainment, no possibility of doing activities outside the home (theater, cinema, dinners for two in a restaurant, walks ... seem like childhood memories) and even the most close-knit couples quarrel: they fight over who has to make their child do their homework who would like to watch TV all day, who has to go shopping, who's dirty and who's cleaning.
Often they quarrel because both would like to go out to do the shopping, a moment that is seen as a liberation, only to then remain in the tail harnessed for hours fearing the breath of the one behind who, ignorant in mathematics, cannot measure the saving measure.
The frustration of those with children also comes from the many friends, hardened singles or couples of all ages who have decided not to want to reproduce or have already grown-up and independent children, who pontificate on the chats of the twelfth book read, of the ballets of La Scala on the web, the opening of yet another online museum, of the Harvard course that they followed for free and became experts in statistics. All infectious biologists graduated on Facebook, relaxed by the new working order, detoxified by centrifuged with shallots and by Paltrow herbal teas, in perfect shape thanks to the latest yoga and gymnastics apps to do at home.
All while you discover that you have eaten, without noticing, half a kilo of Nutella while trying to make your child read the story of the duck, who suddenly becomes illiterate while he was perfectly able to read the impossible instructions of a drone and so you feel like those caged chickens you saw in the pro-vegan Netflix documentary.
I want to break a spear in favor of us "in charge" parents, we are very good, we have adapted to an emergency and we are doing the best for our children.
Psychological friends tell me that great cause for stress is uncertainty, the lack of information about when all this will end.
Without a certain date we are all possible victims of anxiety, in search of positive news or methods to avoid contagion while just staying at home.
This is not good for us, it is not good for us to constantly have to select the news we receive from countless sources including true, false, alarmist or conspiracy.
Let's take a break from social media. Let's do a simple exercise: for every hour of news we look for seven hours of laughter, fun: for the economy of the day and to respect the proportion, I recommend a maximum of 15 minutes of news.
We start doing simple things, we play on the ground with our children, we teach them to do somersaults on the carpet of the room but also to do "housework" we start with the little things, set, clear, clean the cat's box.
With the little ones we mix, mix, sing, invent games and refrains, play the game of screams and burps (I don't do it ... I guarantee).
We all return to children and try to give ourselves a little respite, we must love each other. You cannot check your emails in the morning right away, as soon as you wake up and then continuously until you fall asleep upset. We limit access, we are not made to be bombarded with information, emails, phone calls, SMS and WhatsApp, including chats and messages on at least four social platforms, we do not wander around the house with the tablet or phone, do not bring them to bed.
We are human, not machines, remember that we are already doing at least three things at the same time as parents, teachers and workers and, in hindsight, many more we have all become chefs, housekeepers, bellboys, network experts and programmers, managers of fresh warehouses !
Let's take a break, put our children with serenity in front of a film or cartoon (possibly suitable for their age) that guarantees us at least 60 minutes of peace and, without guilt, we try to read a book, listen to music maybe do some gymnastic exercise. Let's talk to adults, let's ask ourselves how we are, if we need help, a hug.
And let's stop thinking, mulling over waiting for news that gives us hope, they are here, now and we are all well, this is the only important thing.
All this will soon end and let us live with the awareness that we are doing our best for our children and for ourselves.
Cecatiello Law Firm, Milan. Marriage lawyer, divorce lawyer, specialized in family law, child rights, juvenile criminal. Contact us.