People in higher-paid occupations are much more likely to have worked from home during the...read more
What is cognitive parental overload? It’s the kind of everyday lists in your head that seem to grow longer every time you tick something off.
I read an article yesterday on cognitive parental overload or some such term. It was about all the things that parents have to remember, which usually, let’s face it, still falls to mums. Things like organising doctor’s appointments for kids, ensuring they take medication, having chats about their worries about exams/relationships/self confidence/grief, buying birthday presents, teeing them up for sex education sessions at school [“that’s gross, mum”], remembering to sign all the forms for school events [and crucially check that said forms have been handed in], handing in money for end of year parties/hoodies, helping to choose [cheap] prom dresses, working out timings for getting kids to outward bound courses with a stop-off to collect a friend, getting the homework done on time, weighing Depop packages, talking through student loans, investigating 16+ and 11-15 Oyster cards etc, etc. I’m just listing some specifics because these were the things I did last night.
This next week is a momentous one for many who have GCSE and A Level students in the house. It’s been a long, long haul over the last year of openings and closings, of exams being suspended and a regime of more or less continuous tests being imposed, of isolation, sickness and more. But we’re nearly there and, boy, do I intend to celebrate. I feel like I have lived every single second of the stress. And even now it’s not finished. Daughter three’s school sent home a whole year group yesterday due to Covid. Meanwhile, daughter three reports that no-one in the school apart from her is wearing a mask so could more classes be closed in the next week? Will we get to the end – brought forward by three days yesterday for daughter three – without another Covid closure?
And what happens after next week and after the celebrations? There are months and months of summer holidays, which is great except, with no routine or plan or job [yet], that could spell the kind of erratic sleep patterns and borderline depression associated with homeschooling. I’ve learned that part of my role in this pandemic is motivational guru and it’s quite draining. Which is not to say that I don’t realise they should take some responsibility for organising their summer, but with everything so unsettled still and such big transitions ahead I feel they may need some sort of a push. I’ve come up with a home improvements plan and daughter two has already put herself down for a project management role.
Meanwhile, only son has sex education after half term and three homework projects to complete, one involving surveying 36 people [why 36???] for which the family Whatsapp group and Facebook have come in handy. He is very irate about the injustice of being the only child still going to school next half term and is asking to be homeschooled. NOOOOOOOOOOO.