The GuardianThe Guardian

Mothers lived through hell during lockdown. For some of us, it’s not over

By Melissa Petro

06 Jun 2022 · 9 min read

Editor's Note

This personal essay talks about the difficulties of supporting a child with behavioural needs from home. Professional resources in many places are overwhelmed—so are mothers and their children.

My four-year-old son, Oscar, is a Covid kid. Born in 2017, he was two and a half when the world went into lockdown. Like the rest of his generation, he has spent a significant part of his formative years away from family, friends, classrooms and other aspects of public life.

Like everyone else at the start of the pandemic, we did our best: we pulled Oscar out of the small, at-home daycare he’d been attending for just three months and sheltered in place. I put my career aside and formed a pod with four other mothers. My husband and I took Oscar and his baby sister to parks, crossing our fingers they wouldn’t come too close to other kids.

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