by Alexa Peters
Before COVID-19, Ballard resident Gracey Cockram lived the busy, fulfilling life of a stay-at-home mom. On a typical day, she’d wake up early, get her 15-year-old daughter up for swim practice, shuttle her to the pool with friends, come home, check the news, take a shower, do the laundry, go to the gym, go to the grocery store, walk the dogs, drive her daughter to a part-time babysitting gig, then begin to prepare dinner.
These days, despite living in a 900-square-foot condo with her fiancé and daughter, Cockram spends a lot of time alone, feeling “defeated” — and it’s no wonder. Her once-active 15-year-old now remains in her room for nearly twelve hours a day studying for her AP classes, and has since become prone to anxiety and worrying emotional outbursts. After holding out for months, Cockram and her fiancé were forced to reschedule their June 2021 wedding due to the pandemic. Cockram’s extended family in Florida has stopped talking to them due to disagreement about how to handle COVID-19. And now, she can’t even get out of the house for a trip to the gym for an important kick of endorphins.
Continue reading As Pandemic Drags On, Parents Cope With Mental Health Challenges
by Liz Covey, LMHC
Question: Help! Lazy monsters have taken over my house! In other words, my kids aren’t doing so good. All they ever want to do is play video games or watch YouTube. When I ask them to do something like a chore, or even their homework, they bite my head off. What can we do to make it through this long winter?
Continue reading Ask a Therapist: Want to Help Your Frustrated Kids Survive This Hell Year? Try Encouraging Their Meltdowns
by Liz Covey, LMHC
Question: My kids are positively driving me crazy. At first, I was enjoying all the time together, but now I just want them to get out of the house for a few hours so I don’t go crazy. I know what I’m supposed to do, but I can’t do it. I have even read stuff online that has been helpful, but honestly, it’s just TOO MUCH parenting. Now all the camps are closed for the summer and I hear that school is pretty unlikely to reopen in September. What suggestions do you have for a mom at the end of her rope?
Your question reminds me of a tagline from an old movie, The Royal Tenenbaums, that has stuck with me over the years. It’s this: Family isn’t a word, it’s a sentence.
Never has that double entendre been more poignant than today, as our worlds have practically shrunk down to the size of just our families, and we as parents face the undulating highs and lows that come with this new and challenging reality. So, thank you, Reader, for highlighting a feature of this year’s mayhem that doesn’t seem to be getting the attention it deserves.
Continue reading Ask a Therapist: Tips for Weathering Parental Burnout