Why does the return of a criticism make people angry?

Corona parents: torn, tired, angry

"What do parents actually do who can no longer do? I ask for, well, almost everyone I know," tweeted journalist Mareice Kaiser on April 20 under the Hahstag #coronaeltern. Kaiser, editor-in-chief of the online magazine "Edition F", thus meets the lifestyle of many. #Coronaeltern is picked up a thousand times over. Parents report on social media how they fare in the Corona crisis between home office, homeschooling and childcare. "I lay down crying on the kitchen floor," writes one. Another: "Corona parents are people who may have been at the end of their tether at the start of the pandemic." In other countries, parents report under the Hahags #coronaparents or #parentinginlockdown of ice cream for breakfast, Legobergen in the study and the impossibility of being able to hold conferences undisturbed at home.

By this time, daycare centers and schools have been closed to the vast majority of children for over a month, and playgrounds are also closed. Hire grandparents to look after them? Far too dangerous because of the risk of infection. Team up with neighboring families? Often not allowed because of the ban on contact.

Many parents have no choice but to do their jobs early in the morning or in the evening when the children are asleep - with a guilty conscience towards their employer. Soon the topic spills over into political discussions, the term corona parents becomes a term for the mothers and fathers who have to split between job and children. On the net, they often have to accept incomprehension and malice for their articulated anger.

"Exhausting and impossible"

Around three weeks have passed since the first #corona parents tweet, but the situation is still difficult for many families. "We get flowers today, although we need daycare places, equal opportunities and less sexism," said a tweet on Mother's Day.

Much has been relaxed in public life. In many places, however, care is still only provided for the children of single parents or parents who work in so-called systemically relevant professions, for example in clinics, in geriatric care, at the police station or in the supermarket. In addition, if you have a partner with a home office job, you are often not allowed to fall back on it. Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey explains in an interview that home office with children is exhausting, but feasible. "I would like to see this interview with two daycare children in the background. Tiring and impossible," Kaiser comments on Twitter.

Return of the old gender roles? That could also be an effect of the Corona crisis

In addition to all the frustration of not being able to do justice to their jobs or children, many also have anger about the so-called rollback of gender relations: the man earns the bread while the woman continues in her job, which she has often already done part-time backs away. And even if both work full-time, it is often the woman who feels more responsible for care work - a global phenomenon.

Sociologist Jutta Allmendinger therefore speaks in the television talk show "Anne Will" of a "retraditionalization" that women will experience and with which they will "lose three decades". "Many mothers bear the brunt of the corona measures," says the President of the Evangelical Family Working Group (eaf), Martin Bujard, in an interview with the "Apotheken Umschau". At the moment, mothers worked between 13 and 14 hours for their jobs, their children and families - per day. Many were currently going beyond their limits.

"Maybe in summer"

Despite announced easing, the future for many families remains uncertain, even if Federal Family Minister Giffey has announced to the "Welt am Sonntag" that daycare centers will be open from the summer - if the infection rate allows it. "But it is ultimately up to the federal states to decide."

While Saxony would like to make regular daycare facilities with shorter opening times possible again from mid-May, North Rhine-Westphalia is offering a gradual opening. In June the facilities are to be opened to all children, at least for two days. Each country also goes its own way with schools. But even if lessons take place on individual days - it will definitely not be like before the Corona crisis. Because the hygiene concepts stipulate that teaching is only allowed in small groups, that is: students are only allowed to come for a few hours, in some places only for 90 minutes a day. This is not a relief for the parents - on the contrary.

Lessons in times of the pandemic: A lot of distance is everything, like with this school class in Berlin

What makes the decision to open daycare centers and schools even more difficult is the lack of knowledge about the coronavirus itself: For example, while initial studies from Iceland or China indicate that children contribute little to the corona wave, virologist Christian Drosten from the Berlin Charité believes based on his research that children can probably be just as contagious as adults. If this is confirmed in further studies, it would be difficult to shape the coming months or years. Because small children usually cannot keep a distance from one another or wear a mask. Kindergarten teachers would be exposed to the viral load unprotected if they swaddled or comforted the little ones. Older children would be able to do this, but after puberty it could become difficult for some teenagers to follow the rules again, so the fear.

Between more money and more time

But what could the solution be, besides the support? For example, parents are not only demanding a so-called Corona parental allowance online. The Greens also want long-term financial support. Bujard from the Evangelical Working Group on Family would like Corona family working hours, during which both mothers and fathers can apply for a reduction in the weekly working hours and in some cases receive financial compensation.

In any case, the following applies: Even after the summer holidays, the corona pandemic is not over. And Corona parents have to see how they cope with their everyday lives - without ending up in burnout.