Part of our mission as an organization developing support for caregivers in our field is to create resources that take the obligation of solution off the parents and caregivers themselves. When parents are the sole provider or executor of solutions, it increases the burden that parent experiences. For this time of crisis, we’d like to make 5 quick ways for non-parents to support parents and caregivers while sheltering in place.
Interestingly, a lot of these recommendations are part of best practices for supporting new parents right after birth and/or adoption, new foster charge in care, because, like in this time of closed schools and daycares and unemployment, the pressures of caregiving are at peak level of physical, emotional, mental, and financial exertion.
Here’s how you can stay in place and provide support that is desperately needed:
- Venmo boost for groceries/diapers/essentials. Most parents, especially those who are currently unemployed, are having to continually feed 2-5 people. If you are able, shoot a family you know a venmo boost to help with the burden of staying fed in this time.
- Facetime babysitting. Ask the parent or caregiver the best time to call to read stories/make jokes/talk with dependents so the parents/caregivers have 20 minutes of the day where they don’t have to be the primary source of entertainment and care.
- Employers + Colleagues: honor sacred time. Make mornings or afternoon off-hours where emails, texts, calls won’t come in. Creating this sacred time and acknowledging it + respecting it prevents caregivers from feeling mentally divided thinking about the emails and tasks piling up while they’re schooling, feeding, caregiving, etc. Let them know you won’t expect them to think of you for a dedicated portion of their day. And honor it.
- Check in to connect or do the work. Parents and caregivers are being bombarded with deadlines, school resources, reading materials, unemployment dial tones – check in with them for contact, friendship, and remind them how capable they are and unique this time is. The best way for them to feel supported is for you to be supportive with the gift of your time and heart. Are you great at filling out or deciphering unemployment? Engage with a phone call and be patient with the life on the other end of the line.
- Give. For the rest of April, all donations made to PAAL are being collected for the PAAL COVID Emergency Relief Fund for artists with families.
What other ways have you found that are helpful? Drop a comment and let us know. Here for you.