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Parent-teacher conferences during pandemic homeschooling devolve into petty arguments over laundry, chores

BANGOR, MAINE — As more kids are schooled at home during the virus pandemic, parent-teacher conferences have devolved into fights over laundry, cleaning, and taking out the dog, among other common household chores.

“He doesn’t do a danged thing around here to help me out,” Joanie Simmons said as she fumed at her husband, Jonathan, who is working from home. “I know he’s got a job and all that, but this is his house and these are his kids too. All I want is a little help, that’s it. Is that too much to ask?”

Jonathan Simmons said that homeschooling the children, ages 5, 7, and 10, hasn’t been that bad, but the parent-teacher conferences are a nightmare.

“I’m taking time out of my busy work schedule to meet with her over the progress of our kids in class, and all she does is bust my chops about picking up after myself,” he said. “Okay, so I didn’t wash out my soup bowl and I left some socks and sneakers on the bedroom floor. Big deal! Isn’t how my kids are doing in Math and English way more important?”

Joanie Simmons agreed that sometimes it’s just too hard to separate the homeschooling teacher from the mom and wife.

“Look, I’m trying to do better,” she said. “Honest to love, I am. But this man just gets under my skin so bad sometimes with his sloppiness. I’ve got to bring it up when I can!”

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