Lockdown diary: ‘Justin Timberlake was right, 24/7 parenting isn’t human’

Mother and daughter in their living room. (PHOTO: MoMo Productions/Getty Images)
Mother and daughter in their living room. (PHOTO: MoMo Productions/Getty Images)
MoMo Productions

First and foremost, let me say that from the moment President Cyril Ramaphosa put national lockdown orders in place nine weeks ago, I have tried my best to be super-positive.

Anytime anyone would say they were bored, I’d hit back with: “We should all be grateful for some downtime.”

Someone would complain that they’re packing on the pounds and I’d be the person who remarks: “At least we have food.”

My husband would imply that we might need a break from the children, and I’d reply: “We should consider it a blessing that we have all this time with them.”

I know, I was that person.

In all fairness, as a mom to two little girls, staying upbeat and positive despite how bleak things looked wasn’t a choice but something I felt I needed to do.

But in the last few weeks I’ll admit that the chaos of working full-time, home-schooling two kids, running the household and staying sane has got to me.

Indeed, somewhere in between prepping meals, replying to emails and bleaching the toilet, I’d lost some of my “look on the bright side” sheen.

I realised this the moment minister of basic education Angie Motshekga announced that Grade 7 and 12 learners were heading back to school on 1 June.

The school moms’ Whatsapp group immediately erupted with moms livid at the idea of little Johnny returning to school while the number of positive Covid-19 cases soared.

My eldest daughter is currently in Grade 7 and while I’m anxious about her safety, there is also an overwhelming sense of . . . relief.

I’ll still be home-schooling my younger daughter, but at least I’ll only have the one to see to.

My immense sense of relief at being “one-child-down” reminded me of a controversial remark popstar Justin Timberlake had made in early April.

When asked about being quarantined with his actress wife, Jessica Biel, and their son, Silas (5), the SexyBack singer noted that while they’re “doing good”, their kid may beg to differ.

“We’re mostly commiserating over the fact that 24-hour parenting is just not human,” the 39-year-old remarked.

The backlash was swift.

Twitter was quick to call out the singer for being "tone deaf" as his comments made his wealth and privilege even more apparent during the current pandemic.

And while I never took to Twitter to make my anti-JT feelings known, I agreed with those insisting that Justin – who at that time was sitting out the pandemic in a lavish mansion in rural Montana – was in no position to complain.

Fast forward a few weeks and I’m just about ready to admit that 24-hour parenting does, in fact, not feel human at all.

Sorry, Justin!

Extra sources: Buzzfeed