End of Year Performance Review: Parenting in a Pandemic

pandemic parenting

Hi, thanks for coming in today. Now, I know that performance reviews can be intimidating but we're just here to talk candidly about your work to date and what we can improve moving forward. 

As you know, the project that we're talking about is "raising children during a global pandemic." And yes, I'm aware that you did not volunteer for this project and have asked off it repeatedly. But since we're unable to accommodate that request at this time, let's begin. 

So, when this all started, we got together and set some goals. I know that the original project duration was listed as two weeks and is now moving into two years, and yes I do apologize for that, but you know how these things are. Deadlines shift and we just have to adapt. So let's go through our goals...

Homeschooling: 

Remember that color-coded schedule you made? You didn't really stick to that very long. Or ever. Here I see that you had "science experiments" but it seems like the only thing you did for that was to buy Costco-sized vinegar and baking soda and let the kids mix them together. What, exactly, did they learn? Something about acid? Foam? Oh, sometimes you let them dye the foam with food coloring? Well, that's...something, I suppose. I don't know how that helps their understanding of science, but it did stain the grout in your kitchen floor so I guess we'll call that "satisfactory." 

Not Homeschooling: Now, when you made the decision to keep your kids home from their daycare, you said you would stick with that until the pandemic was under control. But I see that you sent them back three months later once you realized there was no actual plan that would end this. Why was that? Oh, you work for a living? Was it really so hard to do both? OK, there's no need for profanity. 

And now that there are more cases than ever, I'm assuming you're keeping your kids home again? All right, I appreciate the creativity of your profanity but it's still hurtful. I'll just put "declined to answer."

Nutrition: Wow, you baked a lot of bread. How did that go? Oh, no one touched it and your kids cried when you made them sandwiches with the "weird bread"? Well, I guess that's to be expected. It did look weird. But it looks like you gave that up after about three weeks and then nutrition just devolved into...Goldfish crackers? Is that right? Anything else? Yes, no, I know about the global pandemic and the whole period where we were all wiping down groceries but that was a while ago and...I see. I'll just put down "children primarily survived on Goldfish."

Chores and cleanliness: Now this is impressive, it says that you had your children clean their rooms and make their beds every day. How did that go? Oh. Did they ever do it? Twice? Well, that's something. Are the beds made right now? Oh, your son turned his bed into an entire fort and now has every pillow in the house stacked on it and the rest of you need to go into his room and scrounge for pillows when you need them? Every day? No, I agree, that doesn't sound ideal. But...technically it's made, so let's let that one slide.

Screen Time Limits: OK, I'm going to need you to stop laughing so we can get through this. Are you ready yet? Please...all right, we'll skip this one for now.  

Self Care: I can tell by your reaction that we're skipping this one too. 

Summary: Looking over everything, it's clear that you're not meeting your goals on this and that you would need to substantially change every aspect of your approach in order to live up to them. That being said, I do have some great news. Literally the only goal that matters on this project is making it through, and you and your family are still here! So I'm going to mark your overall performance as "excellent." And no, I'm not saying that just to butter you up as I let you know we are extending this project indefinitely and we're going to need you to stick with it. And also that we will not be doing annual raises this year because you don't get paid for this. 

Anyway, great chat, always good to sit down with you, and we will check in again next January!


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