How are you doing mamas? I am not well and I will admit it. As most of you know, I consider this my safe place to vent- a platform for mamas to share the good things, the bad things, and everything in between. We are living in an unprecedented time, a time where we have no control and absolutely no idea what will happen next. This horrible virus has taken over the WORLD, not just us but the whole world. It is affecting everyone, whether you know someone who has had the virus, or been exposed, or lost their job, or are at home working WITH your own children OR husband. Honestly, I am not sure who drives me more crazy. My house is a disaster and by disaster I mean absolutely trashed. My kids have lost all sense of routine and control. Literally. And I am so thankful they have each other but for the love of God, I am exhausted and I sound like a broken record. I swear all I talk about is how exhausted I am. But you try having 2 LITTLE kids who need you and need to be supervised at all times and multitask. You feel like you can do anything right or good enough. Thank you to those who remind me that I can.
Eventually you snap. This virus has me snapping left and right (I know I’m not the only one). Snapping at my kids. At my husband. At my family. I cry and yell and demand to be left alone and for my kids to get off me. Who am I? I throw the dishes in the sink knowing they will pill up to the sky and I will have anxiety later about how messy the kitchen is. Then my OCD eats me up whole and wants me to do the dishes while Hudson is grabbing onto my leg asking me to play with him. Then I remember I have a zoom call at 10am with my students that I have to at least look like I haven’t been crying or yelling at my kids. I will be zooming with my kids and throwing the iPad at my 4 year old who is happy as can be. But Hudson? He is almost 3. He can’t sustain attention long enough for Blippi to even load. He is sitting on my lap crawling on my head and the counters while I am zooming. Wow, Mrs. Coro is a hot mess.
I know I can do this. I can multitask. I am a professional multitasker but it’s wearing on me. My husband and I rarely see eye to eye with certain things, especially our jobs. He has been trying to help but bless his heart, he can only handle being with the kids for so long. His max is about 2 hours and then he wants to run away. Moms? We don’t get to run away. Especially in today’s corona world.
One day, my beautiful strong willed fierce mood changing by the minute daughter flipped out because she fell and “scraped” her toe. There was a drop of blood and the world was about to end. I actually think it might soon anyways at this rate, but she was crying and screaming and couldn’t be consoled. She is one of those fierce personalities that doesn’t like to be consoled or touched when she is hurting- only sometimes by mama. This was not one of those times. I had to give her a few minutes to calm down while Hudson was trying to climb the deck stairs. The neighbors are starting, I was texting someone from work, Juliana was screaming, and I am not screaming at Hudson to get down from the stairs. I lost it again. I started yelling and telling Jules to figure it out and try to get over while snatching Hudson from the stairs while watching Howie jam out to music in his barn while doing his favorite thing- welding. Yes I get to run- mostly downstairs with both kids on the treadmill. Yes, I teach China alone, but it’s a job. I start to get resentful and hate everyone and everything- even my own kids. NO I DON’T HATE THEM, but I get SO annoyed. When I was at work, I had balance. In today’s corona world, there is no balance.
You are home with your kids for an indefinite amount of time. We aren’t sure when you are going back to work and we aren’t sure how you will teach the students on your caseload or when you will see them again, but make it work. Learn what balance is. Try to make sure your marriage stays afloat and try not to hate your husband for getting to leave to go to work on in the barn. (Disclaimer: he is a first responder so there is a chance he will be quarantined and moving out for 2 weeks). Make sure to work from home for a good amount of time like all the other teachers, be available for zoom calls and emails with students and co-workers but make sure your kids are being supervised at the same time even if they are the most freaking active kids you’ve ever met. Try to keep in shape and keep running since all of your races have been canceled and you can’t stop eating. Make it work even if it’s with both kids downstairs on the treadmill. Oh yeah, and you have OCD so you can’t handle when things are messy so you constantly have to clean up every single room when you clean it. Try to be in the moment but don’t forget to email every single parent the zoom link for the next days meetings. Oh, by the way, Mother Nature is pissed so it’s been cold and dreary for the majority of the time you are home so you have to stay inside. Try to explain to your kids they can’t go in any stores, play with their own cousin or go to any playgrounds. They are off their routine so they probably won’t sleep well and may have extra energy since they can’t burn it off, go to school or see their friends. But make it work, Mama. You always do.
It’s too much. I surrender. I can’t do it all. I can’t keep my house clean- toys are everywhere to the point that it looks like a hoarding house. My zoom calls actually look like this.
My almost 3 year old is actually on the counter trying to jump off. My 4 year old is neglected in her room on the iPad losing brain cells to Peppa. Going to the bathroom usually entails both kids watching me. And our naps mean long drives around town aka mama getting Starbucks waiting in an hour line since no one can go inside.
My best friend is a nurse in the PICU and is on the front lines working this pandemic. I’m alone at home with both kids and my husband who really has a hard time as it is being here with all of us- she’s working the front lines and has 2 kids at home and I am over here complaining. I feel like a horrible person, but I talk to her a lot and she feels the same. She understands how both of us are feeling alone and overworked and tired with no place to go. We may not be on the front lines, but we sure are working hard. Life is a balance and during this pandemic, there is no balance for ANYONE. Times like these, especially talking to Stephanie, make me feel grateful. Grateful that my kids love me unconditionally, grateful that my friends are feeling this way, grateful that I have friends who can get me through feeling alone. Next time you snap or scream or feel alone, call your friends, hug your kids. I am married to a strong willed human and I have a strong willed daughter. I need all the help and wine I can get.
If I learned anything from this pandemic, it’s this:
Wanting alone time doesn’t make you a bad mom…or a bad wife
It’s okay to want to be away from your kids. It doesn’t mean you don’t love them. It means you are burnt out and need a break.
Try not to resent your husband that he gets to leave the house without kids and you don’t…even if it’s for the barn. They can’t handle half the shit we can.
There are no rules in this pandemic. Give yourself grace. If you want to eat a bag of Doritos, do it. If your kids want to eat candy for breakfast, f it. Even if you want to drink a glass of wine at noon.
If your toddler is on top of your head during a zoom call, just apologize to the parents and students and make light of it. We are all in this together and more often than not, they will understand.
Let go of ANY expectations.
Our kids are feeling it too.
Enjoy THIS TIME. This won’t last forever. We will want this back- when we get to wake up and not have to rush out the door. When our kids want to PLAY with us over anyone else. Where we can let go of all our “real life” work duties and just be with our kids, even if they are crazy. Where we can live in sweatpants and not have to answer to anyone.
Let yourself feel whatever you need to. This is a hard time for everyone right now.
There is a reason why God made us mamas. And if you are juggling working while being a mama, more power to ya.
I secretly love this time that I get to be with my kids. I JUST NEED TO GET BETTER at being WITH THEM instead of worrying about the other crap. This takes practice and I promise I am working on it.
I am grateful for this pandemic in a weird way and quite honestly, I don’t want to go back to normal. I read an article about this last night. Our normal was not nice. People were rushing, people were rude, people were judging. Let’s be done with it and learn from this. Learn to appreciate TIME TOGETHER.
The last thing I have learned: You got this, even when you think you don’t.