This English Teacher is too Tired to Read to Her Own Kids

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My husband and I both work full time and we have two kids under 5 with no childcare (you know, because of the pandemic).

Here’s our schedule
3:30 a.m. Husband goes to work while I watch the kids (this includes trying to take care of the house, feeding them, doing nap time, doing laundry, and attending periodic zoom meetings with the kids in the house)
11:30 a.m. Husband returns from work
1:50 p.m. I start teaching
5:15 p.m. I finish teaching
6:30 p.m. the 17-month-old goes to sleep
8:30 p.m. Husband and 4-year-old go to sleep while I grade

My 17-month-old is not talking as much as her brother did at that age. She’s not meeting the standards for speech, and due to swallowing issues, she was already supposed to be seeing a Speech Language Pathologist. When Covid started the SLP switched to virtual appointments. It was almost impossible to get anything out of those appointments with my camera unable to see inside her mouth, nobody to hold the baby while I adjusted the camera, and my son running around. I had to let them go. It wasn’t worth it.

The pediatrician said she knows I read to my kids all the time. I teach English after all. It pains me to say this, but I have not been reading to my kids each day. I used to read to my first child for hours, but now I’m so tired both physically and mentally. Bathing, feeding, dressing, and caring for two humans with no break is exhausting on its own. Add a full-time teaching job to that and I’m wiped. I’m just trying to keep my head above water. Now that we don’t have childcare there is no recharge time.

I have been trying to put out books to remind myself to read to the kids. It has helped somewhat. I can usually get one interested while the other destroys the couch or tries to scale the fridge shelves. I wonder what the long term results will be. Will my kids be okay in the end?

So many moms are leaving the workforce because they either don’t have the scheduling luxuries and a partner as I do, or they just can’t do this anymore. It is an impossible situation. Unfortunately, kids from working-class and poor families will bear the brunt of the strain.

Moms, if you are cutting out parts of your routine that used to be “essential,” if you feel like some days you fail to be the mom you want to be, if you wish you had enough energy for work or for home, if you feel stuck, if you are angry, if you are sad, just know that I see you. It takes a village but most of the village is closed. You are doing the best you can.