A Love Letter to Parents

May 7, 2020

Dear Parents,

When I was younger I always loved hanging out with younger kids and taking care of them.  I started babysitting at 12 and continued to do so through my early 20s. At that time I also worked as an assistant teacher in a pre-school.  Everyone always said “Wow, Kasey is so good with kids. She’s going to make the best mom!” You know what? I heard it so often that I believed it.  I thought that being a mom was going to come naturally to me and that it would be easy.  Well folks, the joke is on me because this is by far the hardest and most challenging thing that I do every single day of my life.

Parenting and adulting were already hard enough and then COVID-19 hit with the stay at home order. Again, I heard “Kasey works in education, she has this handled.  She will be able to teach her kids and work and be just fine.”  Since I’m older and wiser now I did not believe everyone. You know what?! I am not fine. Really, none of us are right now.  Everyone I know is experiencing all of the feelings: shock, denial, disbelief, confusion, anger, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, fear, feelings of being disconnected, hopelessness, being overwhelmed, etc. We see social media posts that portray kids engaged in creative projects and think “how am I supposed to get my child to do that?”  We see images of families laughing and having game night or movie night and feel sad that our attempts all end up with yelling and tears. We wonder how people are keeping a schedule because we are trying to work, parent, educate, clean, etc. all at the same time. We are depleted.

One of the work groups I serve on in my full time job is the Trauma Sensitive Schools Team.  As part of this group, I have done extensive training’s on the causes of trauma and the impact trauma has on our brains and bodies. I am even taking another course right now because it was free and I guess I thought I wasn’t busy enough (Ha!).

A few quick facts about trauma:

  • There are different types of trauma.
  • No one else gets to define trauma for another person. If someone experiences an event as traumatic, then it affects them as such.
  • Proximity and duration of the traumatic event contribute to it’s impact.  So the closer you are to the event physically and/or emotionally and the longer it occurs, the greater the probability of impact.

Sometimes the knowledge I have gained in my studies to become a school counselor and soon an LPC (once the Virginia Board finalizes my paperwork) is super helpful, but sometimes it causes me a bit of angst.  Because of my work with trauma and it’s impact on individuals, I can’t help but think about the short-term and long-term effects this pandemic will have on peoples’ mental health.  But then I also remember that at the core of why I do this work, I believe in the resiliency of the human being.

In a few of my presentations I have ended with this quote “Ask for help not because you are weak but because you want to remain strong.”

We do all have strength and sometimes we need to share that with each other. We may be socially distancing for the benefit of all but we do not have to disengage with one another.  In fact, now more than ever, we need to make an effort to reach out to one another.

Hang in there!


Kasey Cain, Resident in Counseling

Need support for you and your family? The Wise Family is only a text or call away! Text ‘wisehelp’ to 66866 or call 1-844-WISE FAM ext. 1 to connect with a therapist.