Parents, are you struggling? You’re not alone

Reporter: Sydney Persing Writer: Jackie Winchester
Published: Updated:
Credit: Kat Jayne/Pexels

Parenting in a pandemic can be a challenge for a lot of reasons, and we’re handling it in many ways.

Some experts believe – and some parents say – they need to hear how other parents are coping.

Sometimes, an interview can change on a dime, like a recent one, our Reporter Sydney Persing did with the director of a local production of “Mamma Mia!

Persing was talking about the show with Amy McCleary when the director got emotional.

“The show means so much to me because it’s about a working mother and I think so many times … I’m sorry …” McClearly said, choking up.

Like so many moms and dads right now, she’s overwhelmed.

“So many times we lose our identity and we take care of other people, so I’ve been taking care of my actors, I’ve been taking care of my kids doing virtual school.”

It’s emotional to be sure. Alone? Not even close.

Since the start of the pandemic, parents – especially those with young kids and those struggling to pay the bills – say they’re stressed. Some even depressed.

McCleary is doing her best to raise her kids and now, teach them.

“I was just at school with my daughter from 9 to 12 and then my mother-in-law came to watch them. It’s just a lot.”

She also has to hold onto her job to provide for them, a job she finally got back months after COVID-19 closed down all local productions.

“You know, I was looking for jobs. I was thinking maybe I should do data entry, you know? And that’s not what I should be doing, I should be telling stories.”

She didn’t expect to cry on camera, in front of all of you. But now she hopes sharing her story might do for you what the story in her play has done for her.

“It’s about finding joy and finding our identity again and I think that’s what we all need right now.”

McCleary said that as challenging as this time is, being back at work has been her saving grace.

If you’re interested in seeing her hard work, “Mamma Mia!” is running through Nov. 14 at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in Fort Myers. For tickets and information, click here.

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