How COVID Impacts Children & Families

by Bill Codi 12 days ago in parents

Letter to the Board of Education

How COVID Impacts Children & Families

Letter to District School Board:

There’s an important issue I need to address.

Before I begin, this new program is hurting all of our children, not only my daughter. The system implemented by the district is designed to benefit stay-at-home mother‘s and people who have the luxury of childcare. I’ve spoken with you several times. Begged for other options. My daughter was only four weeks old when I had to start my own business. It wasn’t a luxury. It was something I had to do because I could not find work or childcare. My girl has an IEP, ADHD, PTSD, a developments delay, and a learning disability. She needs special attention. Attention I give my best effort to give her but I am not a teacher. I don’t have the tools or knowledge to give her the education that she needs. Her beautiful mind it too complex for me.

I could find a W-2 job, of which I’ve had to turn down four offers this season, I would take it without question. If I had a chance to make a friend who would watch my kids I’d search day and night. Any divorced or single parent living out of one bedroom with their two children knows the struggle in achieving simple tasks. I have time for dinner and bed in the evening. If I push myself I have the energy for a bedtime song. Every other week I drive 402 miles round trip to drop her off in Lincoln, IL for visitation with her father amidst the turbulent and dangerous circumstances the COVID pandemic presents, and pick her up the next Sunday.

Life doesn’t work out for all of us the way it should, no matter our efforts. Believe it or not, some people don’t have any family or friends or support and spend every day, every moment, trying to give their kids something...Anything!

Would any person who works full-time (or in my case much much more time for much less money) have to do to ensure their children has adequate shelter, security, good social health, AND an education? How was this supposed to work for every one of us? No available small classes or home visits?

I’ve been spreading myself too thin trying to provide bare minimum for my children and still coming short. The school district is responsible for her education. My kids and I don’t have one drawer each for our clothes. One room, 8X10 square foot, where we are being “sheltered”. We have nothing to call our own. I’m no drug addict. I’m not neglectful or abusive. Disadvantaged? Yes. To say the least.

Childcare is $200 or more a week per child and there is no assistance for the self-employed. I couldn’t work at McDonald’s if I wanted to. Note: I did at some point take a management position that I’m overqualified for at the local McDonald’s because that’s all there is. They sent me home after I’d walked a mile in the winter cold because I didn’t have the right type of black dress pants and non-slip black shoes. I wouldn’t have been able to stay anyway. The only other person I have in the world works from 2:00pm until midnight. Without childcare, resources, or support we’ve run out of options. My girl deserves as much attention as the children of married couples and advantaged mothers and fathers.

This is not working anymore. It never worked.

I’ve done my part. There should be a bus here every morning to pick her up. At least provide me the name of a tutor, as I’ve asked for several times. I’d sell my soul for ANY help. COVID had made us homeless, penniless, and left us without options to survive. Unfortunately, we live in a society that brushes off the people that need help and get trapped in their disposition: the minorities, the single parents (who are now a civilly protected class of disadvantaged people), the immigrants (a background most of us share). There must be another answer that solves the problem...for EVERYONE.


Mother Desperately Seeking Help

Bill Codi
Bill Codi
Read next: Allie on the Sand
Bill Codi

I'm a damn good mom, a good person. I'm not afraid of being hurt or falling down. I piece together a mosaic from the remnants of myself, an imperfect design, and move on. I refuse to give up on people. That's what will break me.

See all posts by Bill Codi