Remote working and remote schooling? Impossible!

Being a working parent has always been an uphill struggle ( = trudne zadanie). But now, it is so, more than ever. With the schools closed, parents are forced to ( = są zmuszeni do) combine at-home working, at-home parenting, at-home cooking and at-home teaching. If you ask me ( = moim zdaniem), that’s four jobs instead of one. Is that feasible ( = wykonalne)? I don’t think so…

Being a working parent has always been an uphill struggle ( = trudne zadanie). But now, it is so, more than ever. With the schools closed, parents are forced to ( = są zmuszeni do) combine at-home working, at-home parenting, at-home cooking and at-home teaching. If you ask me ( = moim zdaniem), that’s four jobs instead of one. Is that feasible ( = wykonalne)? I don’t think so…

 

My daughter Róża is 7, and is a first-grader ( = pierwszoklasistka). My son Krzyś is 10, and he’s in fifth grade ( = klasie). If you’re trying to figure out ( = rozkminić) the maths here, the ages and the grades – no, it doesn’t add up ( = nie zgadza się). Krzyś was born in December, on Christmas Day actually, and that was the weird year when parents could choose whether to keep the kids at preschool ( = przedszkole), or send them to school. So Krzyś went to school two years before many of his peers ( = rówieśnicy).

 

They’ve both had online classes for a few weeks now. And it’s a disaster. First of all, there is total chaos with the planning. Most of the classes are scheduled ( = zaplanowane) in MS Teams, the videoconferencing software used by the public education system. But some of them are announced ( = ogłoszone) only in Librus, the online register ( = dziennik szkolny). And about some classes, teachers inform students only orally ( = ustnie) during the previous class. 

 

There’s also my favourite approach: the combo. My Róża’s English class is scheduled for 11:40. But the teacher wrote us on Librus that she can’t actually start at 11:40, so she’ll start at 11:50. She doesn’t know how to change that in Teams. And then, during the 10 o’clock class, the kids are told that there will be Music instead of English, and the class will start at 11:30, not 11:40 or 11:50…

 

Doing it the right way? Why bother?! ( = po co zawracać sobie głowę)

Then there is the homework. Some teachers assign it ( = zadawać) orally during the class. Of course, the kids forget. Some write the homework in the chat, where immediately it gets covered by dozens ( = tuziny / dziesiątki) of messages exchanged by the kids. The kids don’t see that. Still others send it on Librus. But the kids have no access to ( = nie mają dostępu do) Librus – only the parents do. So as a parent, you have to be vigilant ( = czujny) not to miss any homework assignment ( = praca domowa)…

 

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg ( = wierzchołek góry lodowej). After doing the homework, the kids have to submit it somehow ( = jakoś). Some teachers prefer the Teams chat, some Librus, some an email, some a scan by phone. Often, the poor parent ends up ( = kończy) copying a website address from the kid’s Teams chat, entering it into their computer, downloading a handout ( = karta pracy), printing it on the printer, then the kid actually does the homework, then the parent scans the homework and sends it by email to the teacher… Total bedlam ( = dom wariatów)…

 

And in addition to that, you have all the cooking for the kids, taking care of them, making sure they don’t kill their siblings ( = rodzeństwo) or hurt themselves out of boredom and frustration. You feel like the pit crew ( = załoga pitstopu, która wymienia opony podczas wyścigu). Always ready, always waiting, never fully focused on your work. My student Maja, a working mother of three, said that she feels like a meerkat ( = surykatka): What do I do now? Who needs food? Who needs drink? Tablet not working? Can’t find the book? Who needs paints?

When I close the door to my room, to finally get some time to work in peace, I feel I’m a bad mother. Then I can’t focus on work, and I feel I’m doing a lousy job ( = robię kiepską robotę). I get frustrated, and take it out on ( = wyładowuję to na) my kids, who are always wanting something. Then they in turn ( = z kolei) get frustrated. It’s a vicious circle…( = błędne koło)

 

Well guys, I have to be finishing, because… guess what? Yes, my kids need me… Again…

 

And you? What are your experiences with being a working parent in the pandemic? Please let me know, so that we can suffer ( = cierpieć) together!

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