The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Parents at TCC face variety of challenges through pandemic

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April 8, 2020 | Jill Bold | editor-in-chief

 

For the students, faculty, and staff who are parents, COVID-19 has impacted their ability to protect their families’ mental and physical wellbeing.

NE general maintenance staffer Jeremy Greene is a single dad of two who is caring for his children alone. Child care has been a factor in every facet of his life now that the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders have closed all schools.

An act as simple as grocery shopping has become a risk when another parent or family member isn’t available to stay with the kids at home. Although he is only required to work on NE Campus one day per week, he is unable physically to go to work since he must stay home with his son and daughter.

He is all too aware of how easily germs are spread in a grocery store.

“It’s stressful and frightening to get out for groceries and necessities especially with the kids,” Greene said. “It’s strange to have to be scared of your kids being kids in public.”

Couples also struggle with the new task of home schooling. NE speech instructor Jamie Melton said that she spends about three hours a day with her son trying to complete his classwork while her husband works from home as well.

“It probably takes four to five hours with lunch, brain breaks and transitioning from thing to thing,” Melton said.

Besides home schooling, she teaches seven classes, and five classes have transitioned online.

“It is hard to find a work-life balance when everyone is working and learning from home,” she said. “I feel like I am working from the moment I get up and am often still working when my son goes to bed.”

TR, Connect and South student Vanessa Galindo said she’s had a rough time dealing with her children’s online schooling through Fort Worth ISD. After some initial setup problems, she said they are trying to find their groove.

“They are finally able to log in and start figuring out the online class world,” she said.

Families who are sheltered-in-place together feel the strain of being cooped up and unable to socialize outside the home. Melton said some of that restlessness results from everyone spending time together but not doing anything of value.

“It is hard because you are together constantly but not really doing anything of quality,” she said. “So we try to do something as the three of us as often as we can like walks, bike rides and mindful device-free time.”

Galindo said her kids are coping by socializing with their friends through Xbox, social media and FaceTime. Greene said his children are happy to be out of school but do miss their friends.

“We are doing a lot to try and keep busy and to keep our sanity,” Greene said.

Melton said she and her son are ready to get back to socializing when the time is safe.

“My son is an only child, so I really miss him getting to play with other kids,” Melton said. “I am not sure he will go back to school this year, and that is hard to think about.”

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