It has been a month. A long month. A history-changing kind of month. A month of reassessing and reevaluating. A month of planning and re-planning. A month filled with cuddle puddles, hugs, boo-boo kisses, tears, fights. A month of deep breath and yoga and compassion.￼￼
It. Has been. A month.￼
In fact, it has been a month and two days. Those extra two days matter. Because while each day seems indiscernible from the one before it, each day adds on an eternity to what already seems to be a lifelong sentence.
Yes, I am allowing myself to be a bit dramatic. But I am an essential worker. And I live where I work. And I am now homeschooling my three young children.
Through it all, I have seen silver linings, shimmers of hope, and some pretty epic epiphanies. This is what I have to offer you. My passing moments of wisdom.
- Be kind. Be kind to each other. Be kind to yourself. My own expectations have been lowered so drastically I have found a new layer of compassion for myself and others. While still an anal-retentive perfectionist, I can understand why someone forgot to take out the trash because I too forgot it the day before. Reserve your energy for the things that matter and just be kind.
- It is OK to just be with your kids. I have been multitasking for the totality of my mothering experience. Just a few weeks ago I let go of this notion that I had to be justifying my time at home by doing something beyond raising spectacular humans. It is OK to sit and read, and do crafts, and explore a hillside. The dishes will wait, the emails will wait, my meetings are not always essential. What is essential is my children and their well being at this time.
- This is a pandemic and it changes EVERYTHING. It changes how we get food, it changes how we work, it changes how we get medical care, schooling, etc. You are not just working from home, you are working from home in a pandemic. You are not just homeschooling your kids, you are homeschooling your kids during a pandemic. The emotional toll that takes can not yet as to be comprehended. If you are doing even half of what you did before all this shit sent down, then you are a rock star. Like actually say it out loud ”I am a rock star.”
- There are still ways to connect. Allot your self a few hours a day to connect with others. Face time, Facebook, email, snail mail, zoom, make a poster and stick it on your lawn are all viable options. Make this a priority so you don’t feel isolated during self-isolation.
- Have a schedule. Know what you are going to do the next day before you go to bed. Do this whether you have kids or not.
- Make food in big batches. Now when I cook I am already doing it for nine. But for tea, with it being as hard as it is to get food (not exaggerating NO ONE delivered where I live) do your self a favor and make each me big enough for three meals. Freeze one meal’s worth and have the other one for leftovers during the week.
- Remember this too shall pass. I know it seems like forever and the future is so unknown, but believe in the fact that this will end. Because it has to, the only constant is change.
- Trust in your destiny. My son got pneumonia in the middle of all this. So, of course, he was suspect for COVID because of his symptoms. This was such a stress enduring time and the only thing that made me feel better was trusting in my destiny. That even if he tested positive then that would be our destiny. And that our destiny is so interwoven with ”good” or ”bad” things it is impossible to pull them apart. Needless to say, he is fine now, but it was a sobering experience and one I had to release all control in.
- And last but not least: This will be what you make of it. The days that are really hard are because I have a shit mood. The days that are amazing is because I am looking for the beauty in each opportunity. Actively choose each day and each moment the experience you want to have.
Well, friends, I hope there are some helpful or comforting words here. Take what you want and leave what you don’t. Just remember to do your best, because that is all that matters.