Before the pandemic, I was an expert in parenting. It was a cushy concert. In 2019, I boarded 34 flights. I checked into beautiful hotels, put on make-up and adjusted jewel-toned dresses, walked on stages large and small, and tried to project an authoritative calm. I spoke to worried parents about the nine signs of tech overuse, like giving up sleep for screens. I advised them to write a “domestic media contract” and trust, but verify, their tweens’ actions online.
While I was on the road, my two daughters enjoyed small, cute doses of Peppa Pig and Roblox, between school, kindergarten, after-school activities, and playdates, safely under the care of their father, grandmother and our full time nanny.
Now, like Socrates, I know better. I know that I know nothing.
Parenting expert? Please. I only took 12 weeks of maternity leave, and for the second baby I had the help of both the nanny and the big girl in preschool five days a week. I finished my parenting book on screen time during this maternity leave, which was a bit like writing up lab results before the experiment ended.
What I mean is that I have never, ever, spent so much time with my children, or anyone’s children, as in the last four months during shelter orders. on the spot. I also didn’t consider working full time, while my husband also works full time, without sufficient childcare, not to mention several weekly deadlines and live radio hits at 5 a.m., in an incredibly stressful 24-hour news cycle where it’s actually, kind of, my doomscroll job via Twitter (well, at least it’s beside work). By the way, “zombie fires” are consuming the Arctic, and they’re as terrifying as they look.