COVID-19 Conversations: Life as a Single, Working Parent

Tyler is a single mother of two kids, ages five and nine, living in Michigan. In April 2020, she was working from home, as an advisor at an online high school, but her schedule was disrupted as she took on her children’s teaching duties.

Selfie of a woman with glasses in a room.
Tyler opens up about the challenges of being a single parent amid COVID-19.

How are your kids doing?

Tyler: There have been times when they’re frustrated or questioning why they just can’t go outside and play with the neighborhood kids and things like that. But hopefully it’s not anything that’s long lasting…. They’re not really fully understanding all of the effects to their health this can have. So trying to explain it to them in a way that doesn’t scare them is very difficult.

Due to my daughter’s asthma, I’ve limited her visits to other family members. My children’s father lives in Ohio… But I haven’t let her visit as frequently just due to me not having control over that environment and what she might come in contact with.

How are you managing as a single parent?

Tyler: All of our basic needs are met, but I’ve been unable to save like I was previously able to. I’ve been spending more money on food because previously my children were getting breakfast and lunch at school, and I was not providing that and now I am. It definitely has to be planned out for me to take a grocery store trip…. So, I live in Monroe, Michigan, and I drive a half hour to Toledo, Ohio, to drop my children off with my mother. And then I go grocery shopping…. I usually only go on the weekends, so that I’m not interfering with my work schedule, or the children’s school schedule.

I feel like a lot of extra stress has been placed on me with trying to homeschool my children and also work full time.
- Tyler

I think my children are able to tell when I’m overwhelmed. When I start to become overwhelmed, I really have a short temper, I’m not really in the mood to talk or play, and they just go do their own thing. They go in their room and there’s not much interaction between us. I think they’re able to pick up that I’m frustrated or overwhelmed.

We’re just trying to make the best of it with both of my children now going to school online and me working online, we’re just trying to adjust schedules as best we can.


Story Type
long form written
Topics
COVID-19
Location
Michigan
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