On Zoom while parenting two fighting children


Photo courtesy of Lisbeth Hidalgo

Lisbeth Daniela Hidalgo, 21, is in her third semester at SRJC taking ESL classes while caring for her daughter and nephew.

Being locked up with my five-year-old daughter is very difficult because she does not understand what the pandemic is. Trying to explain to her why she cannot go to daycare or go to the park is very hard. My daughter is already bored and desperate to see my nephew every day, all day. Fighting between them is perhaps a relief for them, which makes me crazy. Both of them have their assignments, like practicing numbers, using the scissors and learning to write letters, in addition, cleaning the home, and let me tell you that is not easy. It is impossible to finish the assignments. Being with two desperate children in this quarantine is a huge challenge.

I take care of my daughter and my nephew from Monday to Friday, well every day to Sunday, but these days are like my other job. During classes on Monday and Thursday, I try to keep them quiet. Sometimes I just get quiet for 20 minutes, and then they starts fighting. The concentration seems that it will never come to me. The online class is fine, but it is not the same to see and have the support of the teacher, tutors, and classmates through the computer. I feel like going to SRJC is better. I feel more comfortable, more secure of what I’m doing by having the help in the Barnett room. And the tutors offer very substantial support.

The fear I have is of health insecurity that we are experiencing. I am under pressure and stress. Trying to have all the money for the beginning of each month is a challenge that I have achieved. Many places remain closed,  and for those of us who continue to work, there are only a few hours of work. My family and I go to work out of necessity, afraid that we may be infected.

In this 2020 pandemic, my family has gone through despair and frustrations, but also my family is having dinner as a family for the first time in many years. It is happiness.

So far my goal is to get out of this pandemic with my daughter and my healthy family.