The isolation of pandemic parenting is unprecedented



It really does “take a village,” which many families cannot access during the pandemic

The isolation of pandemic parenting is unprecedented


Apparently, 
people who are not parents are getting annoyed that peers with kids are getting “special treatment,” and/or these folks without children are peeved at exhausted parents looking for sympathy during a time of unprecedented upheaval for families. Despite knowing the pandemic is a time of off-the-charts stress for parents, for myriad reasons, they’re still irritated.

Really?

According to New York Times writer Jessica Grose, yes. For some (mostly in the meaner virtual world, naturally), the adage “people are at their best in the worst times” does not actually apply. Grose writes a lot about parenting, and says she’d received complaints like the aforementioned even before Covid-19, but such grievances have actually increased of late. You’d think with enormous job losses, the threat of illness, and uncertainties galore, it’d be obvious to all that sympathy was more called for than ever, but no. 

READ MORE: Asking if someone is OK is harder, but more important, than ever

Grose reminds all that the notion of the self-sufficient “nuclear family” is a myth. As far back as our species can recall, children were raised communally, with extended family and neighbors pitching in. It is how we are wired.

Biological anthropologists refer to this as “cooperative breeding.” “That’s the idea that family and community members help with holding, grooming, and sometimes even feeding your baby,” she writes. Anthropologist Sarah B Hardy posits these “alloparents,” may have been “the secret of human evolutionary success.”

Grose cites the fact that from colonial times through the early 20th century, families either took their kids to work with them in fields and sweatshops, or charged older siblings with childcare. Even the 50s-era Father Knows Best-type family – i.e. breadwinner dad, housewife mom, 2.5 kids and a dog – was much rarer than we realize. A roaring economy did allow the creation of the anomalous so-called “nuclear family,” but even then, housewives still depended on friends, and of course most obviously, on schools.

The upshot: this is all uncharted territory for families, a time that future social scientists and anthropologists will no doubt be looked back upon and study. Hopefully, in the final analysis, they’ll see more sympathy.



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • View eagles in Mongaup

    Mongaup Valley Wildlife Management Area designated a Bird Conservation Area

    Mongaup was designated a Bird Conservation Area because of its unique combination of habitats important to bird species. read more »
  • Hike Smart & Be Prepared

    Safety tips for getting out in the winter months

    NYS DEC offers tips to keep you and your family safe while enjoying the outdoors this winter. read more »
  • Hudson Highlands Nature Museum’s Homeschool Naturalist Program

    Adventure Awaits Students Ages 6-9

    The Hudson Highlands Nature Museum’s Homeschool Naturalist Program for children ages 6-9 has quickly become one of the Nature Museum’s most beloved programs. Originally created out of the needs of families undertaking distance/learning, the program has proved so popular it has remained in place by demand. read more »
  • 5 ways parents can get prepared for student loan repayments

    Tips to help you survive student loan payments

    If you’re a parent who took out a federal student loan for your child and you’ve been taking advantage of the payment freeze as part of the COVID-19 emergency relief, then things are about to change. Starting January 31, 2022, payments will resume and no further extensions are expected. read more »
  • STEAM learning toys for your little ones

    Young kids have fun while learning letters and numbers

    Edx Education teaches letters and numbers through hands-on play read more »
  • DCP offers tips to help New Yorkers stay safe and warm

    NYS Division of Consumer Protection warns New Yorkers of carbon monoxide and fire hazards during extreme cold weather

    The New York State Division of Consumer Protection today issued a consumer alert about the dangers of carbon monoxide and fire hazards in extreme cold weather. The winter months pose the most risk for these hazards—as the temperatures drop, consumers may turn to dangerous heating alternatives to stay warm. Propane heaters, generators, space heaters and/or outdoor grills all pose lethal risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and fire hazards when used improperly. read more »
  • New gardening series with Newburgh Free Library

    Learn about herbs, microgreens, seeds, planning and planting

    Newburgh Free Library has a new gardening series starting with NUFFI, or Newburgh Urban Farm and Food, starting in February! read more »
  • Get up to 4 free at-home Covid-19 tests for your family

    The Biden Administration to Begin Distributing At-Home, Rapid COVID-19 Tests

    The Biden Administration is Buying One Billion Tests to Give to Americans for Free; Online Ordering of a Half-Billion Tests Begins on January 19th; Builds on Significant Actions to Expand Testing Capacity and Increase Access to Free Testing read more »
  • New York’s Going Foam Free in 2022

    NYS is working to keep our environment safe

    In 2020, New York State adopted the nation's strongest statewide ban of expanded polystyrene, single-use foam food and beverage containers, and polystyrene loose fill packaging materials, commonly known as packing peanuts. read more »
  • Sherman Artists Open Studio – This Weekend!

    Painters, photographers, mixed media, jewelers, fused glass, and fabric artists will open their home studios

    This weekend is the very first Sherman Artists First Open Studio! Fifteen local Sherman artists are participating in the Sherman Open Studio Tour on Saturday and Sunday, December 4th and 5th, 2021, 10 am – 4 pm. Painters, photographers, mixed media, jewelers, fused glass, and fabric artists will open their home studios or participate in pop-up studios read more »