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3 moms share COVID-19 pandemic struggles as kids give heartfelt 'thank you' message

As parents, we've seen it all: Toddler tantrums and teenage troubles. But the pandemic has prompted a whole new dynamic.

CLEVELAND — Ten months. Can you believe it? Nearly a year into the global COVID-19 pandemic, parents are still fighting off self-doubt and worry of lasting effects on their kids.

“I was not prepared to teach him in the way that he needed to be taught," DeNica Bishop said of her son, Kenan.

Remote learning and homeschooling is hard. We talked to three local moms who share a fear among so many of us: Am I doing enough?

“I started freaking out like, 'Oh my God, I don't know when this is going to end. How are we going to get you up to speed? School is about to start in August and the teachers are going to know that you haven't been working on your math,'" Bishop shared.

“There's days where things run smoothly and then I'm like, 'Oh, OK. That wasn't so bad.' And then there's days where it's really tough, and I'm like, 'OK, I didn't do enough. They're going to fall behind," said Zrinka Palmer, who chose to homeschool her girls, Gabriella and Isabelle while working full time.

"We don't have anybody to go back to," said Kattie Cool, who has two children, Ella and Ethan, and works full time. "It's not like we can go to our moms or even our grandmothers and say, 'Hey, tell me your experience in this situation and your global pandemic.'"

Mom guilt. Can we address it for a second? Plenty of days you're just trying to get by. But when your head hits that pillow, you still feel like you failed.

"Those are the days it's not because of his learning, it's because of my response," Bishop said.

"You think about what you did well. 'Did I lose my cool on this? Is it my fault that they don't understand? Where are they from a comprehension level?' You have absolutely no idea because you're not an educator," Cool said.

We're not educators. But, we are learning what really matters.

“I'm really proud of my girls. I really am," Palmer said.

We're all doing our best, and never forget: You are not alone. Most importantly? Those sweet faces you think you're letting down? They see you. They see the hard work. And, they know that even on the toughest days, you love them so much.

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