THERE are two types of parents in this Covid-19 crisis: those who are baking banana bread and helping their kids make 3D models of the Eiffel Tower out of toilet roll tubes, and the rest of us.
Muddling through. Exhausted, overwhelmed, barely managing to get from one day to the next.
If teachers, fairly or unfairly, are fast becoming the villains of the virus for some people in Northern Ireland, it's because working parents are under incredible pressure.
There are compelling reasons why children from vulnerable and deprived backgrounds, in particular, need to be in school. Being absent has taken a heavy toll on a range of youngsters. It's particularly hard on only children. And yet most parents I know say their kids are coping fine with being at home.
My two daughters love lockdown. I thought the novelty would wear off but, three months later, there have been no signs of slippage. It's only their mother who is hovering on the edge of despair.
There's nothing like your girls deciding to use their skipping ropes on the trampoline regardless of how often you've told them that a trip to A&E is to be avoided at all costs.
Schools are most certainly not creches but, let's face it, children being there five-plus hours a day enables parents to work.
The sight of Claire Hanna's two-year-old daughter Niamh, wandering into her mother's virtual appearance at Westminster's Northern Ireland Affairs Committee last week, showed that MPs struggle to juggle everything just like the rest of us.
Kids at home 24/7 means that the drudgery part of parenthood massively increases. There's more cooking, cleaning - and when you have the chance to step outside, it's to the supermarket with a lengthy list.
Remote learning hasn't been a success in our house. The moment that my back is turned, educational screens quickly switch to Roblox and Minecraft.
I gave up entirely on my youngest daughter, but we made a deal that she had to read a book a day. She's flown through 60 novels in two months, totalling two million words. She's as proud as punch because, not so long ago, she was in reading recovery at school.
Bar that sweet success, it's been all downhill. Screen-time limits unfortunately belong to the past because silence is guaranteed only when the kids have electronic devices in their hands. I know that's hugely unhealthy, so add guilt to all those other negative maternal feelings.
Yet despite a challenging situation, I am fearful of sending my children back to school, and I wholly understand teachers' concerns for their own safety. Teachers need to be constructive and find solutions, yet they shouldn't be bullied back to classrooms.
Youngsters are more protected against coronavirus than the rest of us, but they still can get and spread it - to each other and to adults, although at seemingly lower rates. There is a huge danger that we are developing a false sense of security on Covid-19 because of the downward trend during the warm weather.
It's far too early to be definitive about the virus and children. Some scientists argue that the incidence of infection is lower in kids because they haven't been exposed to it as much with schools being closed. They're also not being tested as often as adults because they have mild or no symptoms.
Yet it's one thing opening the school gates, it's another convincing parents - however stressed they might be - to send their children through them.
As mothers and fathers, we will make all sorts of calculations in our heads. My youngest daughter is in Year 5 and goes to a primary nearby. With the transfer test, next year is a crucial one for her so she'll be back in class in September.
My eldest daughter is in Year 8. She makes a 90-minute round-trip commute to secondary school in an always crowded bus. Unless a significant number of extra vehicles are laid on, I'd be very reluctant to send her back.
The Department of Education may have released its return-to-school roadmap, but the journey there will be rocky and unsure.