Last night, I read almost 250 comments from parents who are emotionally exhausted from helping their kids with online school (and working, and doing a thousand other things right now just to keep living).

It was in response to an article in the Wall Street Journal about how millions of teachers and students are struggling with distance learning, and at this point, the school year should just end.

The comments were full of sadness, anxiety, and frustration, and I could FEEL what all of you are feeling, and it is/was so hard to read.

Then there was one comment from someone saying we all need to “just suck it up!” And that her kids were “doing fine!” and it’s called “being parental!”

That comment? THAT is why there is still a shame and stigma around depression and mental health issues. That is why mothers are struggling most days to keep their chin up.

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Because here are hundreds of people sharing their problems right now, looking for support and empathy and advice, and here is someone saying WE are the problem, and that in some way we are just doing it wrong.

I will say this again, THIS IS NOT NORMAL what is going on in our homes, communities, and the entire country.

It. Is. Not. Normal!

If you have hit rock bottom (and do so on a daily or hourly basis) you have plenty of company, and there is zero shame in saying you are DONE! Or that you can’t be “parental” right now, or that working and teaching algebra on your lunch break kind of really sucks. And that if you have to make another meal at home, well, that is a whole other kind of trauma at this point. And so is grocery shopping. And so is EVERYTHING right now.

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Anyway, just wanted to make sure that nobody read that one comment last night and felt discouraged and alone.

(Oh, and I deleted it, because none of us need that kind of sanctimonious nonsense in our lives right now. You’re welcome.)

Originally published on Facebook

Melissa Fenton

Melissa Fenton is a freelance writer, adjunct librarian, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Awareness Ambassador. She writes at Her writing can be found all over the internet, but her work is mostly on the dinner table.