Parents battle feelings of guilt over difficult decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic

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MORTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Many families are faced with difficult decisions for their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A local licensed counselor and a local therapist at Agape Counseling in Morton said some parents are balancing more responsibilities. They said parents are figuring out things like working from home and their kid’s schooling while trying to find the best solution for their household.

“We have working parents, working full time we have part time parents, we have parents that have kids coming home for e-learning becaues they got quarantined for two weeks,” said Dawn Smith, a licensed clinical professional counselor at Agape Counseling in Morton.

Kristen Leman is a child and family therapist and mother. She said the pandemic is causing parents to make crucial decisions with no way of knowing what’s the best choice.

“It’s not just the day to day decisions of what are we going to eat for supper but it is bringing in will this decision impact my child’s health,” said Leman.

Smith is also a mother and said the pandemic has created a new reality for families.

“It’s affected a wide range of families and I would say that a lot of them have this guilt in their parenting,” said Smith.

Smith said parenting guilt is so common, she even experienced it herself.

“I added to my schedule not only working, keeping the house going, doing groceries, but figuring out how to be responsible for my kid’s education,” said Smith.

Leman believes what works for one family, might not work best for every family.

“With what we have, everyone is just doing the best that they can to make the right choices for their family. It may not turn out right, but we know and we can learn from it and then we can try again the next time,” said Leman.

Both say parents can fight feelings of guilt and manage their expectations. Eating right, sleeping well, getting exercise, connecting with spirituality, and reaching out to others for support can all help.

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