Quality time hard to find
Stressed families becoming the norm
December 14, 2015
Filed under People and Places
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At 2:30, Sofiya Zarutska has to rush from her study hall in the basement all the way upstairs to the opposite side of the school, where she’ll be mentoring the freshmen in ACCESS, ending at 3:00. She drives herself home, usually getting stuck by a freight train on Belmont and 25th Avenue. Irritated with the stressful day she had at school, she finally arrives at home.
Zarutska still has many tasks to do on this cold day in November, just a few days before her mom’s birthday. She had to drop off and pick up her six-year-old brother from karate, go to the mall to shop for her mom’s gift, and clean her house. On top of it all she has to complete her homework, which includes an essay, 25 math problems, and a worksheet from Spanish class.
“I always feel rushed and I always feel like I won’t have time, but at the end of the day, I get everything completed with time left to enjoy myself. When I catch a break from everything, I usually like to enjoy a quick snack until it’s dinner time,” Zarutska explained. Regardless of the number of stressors, however, Zarutska and her family make time for one another.
Zarutska’s family sits down for dinner, and then they like to spend the rest of their night with each other. During this time, her family usually likes to watch movies. Zarutska described the scene: all of them sitting in their living room, her dad on one of the reclining chairs and her mom on the other. Her brother lying on the loveseat, and her cuddled up with her dog on a beanie chair.
According to the article “Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family,” many American families are “unhealthy” in that they don’t make time the way Zarutska’s family does. According to the article, “Fifty-six percent of all working parents say the balancing act is difficult, and those who do are more likely to say that parenting is tiring and stressful, and less likely to find it always enjoyable and rewarding.”
As families face more and more stress, rewarding moments are hard to create. Parents and children are running in opposite directions, and often eat by themselves every night and don’t get the same opportunities as others.
Senior Gisselle Reyes is in one of those families. “I barely have time to breath,” Reyes said. After school, she goes straight to work, Forever 21, in the Rosemont mall. It’s not until about 9:30-10:00 she starts heading home.
Reyes comes home to a full house of snoring almost every night. She has to eat dinner by herself, do her homework, and shower all in preparation for school the next day.
On top of Reyes herself being very busy, so is her family. She told me about a time when she had plans with her mom, and they were completely blown apart due to their schedules.
“I was really looking forward to taking my mom out to dinner after school,” Reyes told me, “but her boss asked her to come into work last minute. My sisters and I barely see her. It’s hard,” she added. “It’s hard to cope with honestly because not only am I exhausted, but I also feel like there’s a bigger space between my parents and I. We’re just not as close as we used to be.”