I remember it like it was yesterday. One day, in early March of 2020, I was sitting with my Girl Scout co-leader at a last-minute cookie booth, talking about the possibility of lockdown with daycares and schools closing down. It seemed impossible back then to think that in a matter of weeks, life as we knew it would change forever. Lockdown would bring everything to a screeching halt.
Since that day, not a moment has gone by where the words coronavirus, new-normal, and pandemic haven’t triggered a reaction in me. Some may say I’m overdramatic, but others, especially others who have little people who depend on them, will totally feel this.
When we first went into lockdown, we thought it would be for a while. A small blip in the space-time continuum that we would be reminiscing on by summertime. Were we wrong? Hell yes, we were.
You know, I always wondered what it would have been like to be a stay-at-home mom. Do you know what I never imagined? Being a mom who stays at home with two school-aged kids– who had no idea how to navigate online learning… And of course, don’t forget also trying to balance the role of chef, educator, 25/8 dishwasher, and working full-time. Nope, that sounds like an absolute nightmare.
Don’t get me wrong. There were good moments. We enjoyed extra time together with more snuggles, more cuddles, more time reading and playing outside. But those aren’t the moments that flash before me when I hear talk about school closing back down.
No. When I know my girls will be staying home because of doctor’s appointments or planned time off, I start to feel an unwelcome bit of overwhelm and angst. It’s not that I don’t love having them home, I do, and it’s not that I don’t want them safe and sound. It’s just that I’m finally starting to feel like I’m getting back in the groove of work, and going back to the early days of the pandemic feels like a catastrophic event. Okay, maybe that’s a tad bit dramatic (but only a tad bit).
But as hard an adjustment as it’s been for them, it’s been hard for me too. Not only am I focusing on trying to help them navigate the world we’re living in, but I’m figuring it out myself. When I’m home alone, I can light a candle and put on my YouTube focus channel, and knock some work out.
But when my kiddos are home, they’re asking for a snack every 20-minutes and staring at a full pantry whining about there being nothing to eat. “Are you not entertained?” I ask them in my (Gladiator) Russell Crowe voice after they complain of boredom five seconds after I set up a crafting corner And, no, they were not entertained by my impression. The other day I had to separate them because they were arguing about how one of them was looking at the other. And honestly, I can’t take it anymore!.
In short: wear your damn mask, wash your freaking hands, get vaccinated and boosted. Then maybe, just maybe, we can all be like Stella and get our groove back. It certainly won’t ever be how it used to be, but at least it will be different than where we’ve been.
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