Parenting through the uncertainty
It’s a weird time. A scary time. A time of uncertainty and a whole lot of chaos. As if parenting wasn’t hard enough, enter CORONAVIRUS. Hey thanks.
Personally, I am a working mom. My children generally go to school and childcare most days (while family helps out as well). Mornings were chaotic and stressful since one (and sometimes both) of the kids never liked to get up. Mornings were busy, rushed and not enjoyable AT ALL. You working moms and dads know the routine, it went something like this.
- Wake up and get into the shower before the kids woke up.
- Get yourself ready, again before ‘they’ awaken. This never happens. One, sometimes both will wake up and need you before your hair is fully dried and makeup is even started.
- You’ve now moved on to getting the kids up and ready. But they don’t want to get dressed yet. They claim their bodies need energy to get dressed so now it’s on to breakfast time.
- You all head downstairs to make breakfast. Cereal? No. Of course not. I blame this one on myself. The older one needs a yogurt parfait with cinnamon and chia sprinkled on top. The little one would like oatmeal with dried cranberries and fresh blueberries with a dollop of Greek yogurt. Yep. My fault. But ok – done.
- Now we’ve got the energy to get dressed. Sometimes I intervene, other times I just can’t. I like to think I’m giving them design creativity to be their own person. Sounds good no?
- I’ve got about 7 minutes to do make-up, something with my hair, find an outfit, feed the dog, throw on some jewelry, grab lunches/waters, backpacks and get out the door.
Inevitably we have always forgotten something. Coffee. Water bottles. Homework. Shoes. The dog outside. You totally know what I’m talking about.
And then we’re off to school/daycare drop offs and I’m on my way to work. All by 8:30.
Since we have been home and quarantined things have changed dramatically.
And don’t get me wrong here. Things are NOT easy. Not even a little bit. The days are SO long. I wake up every morning before the kids so I can start working before they get up. And then once they do, I set them up on their e-learning or get them started in a workbook. I sit back down to work some more and then it begins.
“Mommy I need you. “
“Mommy can you read this?”
“Mommy the screen is black.”
Make. It. Stop. I feel for them, really I do. They are little and don’t understand what it happening or really how to use a computer. So I get their frustration. We’re four weeks in at this point so it’s getting better and a little more routine regimented. But trust me when I say it’s not any easier.
For those of you parents who are still working, you surely feel the added pressure. Every day is a juggle between working, teaching, parenting, refereeing (if you have more than one kid), cleaning, snack/meal making, etc. It’s literally exhausting. And when it’s finally bedtime and you get to sit down and relax after a LONG day, you just can’t. You find yourself wiping down every surface. Because even though you didn’t leave the house all day, did that Amazon package bring Corona into your house? What about the mail? Please tell me I’m not the only one this crazy!?
And then work. You worked all day but not enough. It’s never enough. Because it’s not the solid 8 hours that you’d put in at the office. It’s scattered and broken up. And always interrupted. And if you don’t get it done, it won’t get done. So we have 8pm-10pm as extended work hours.
But there’s positive. We have to see the positivity here.
Do you notice a difference in your kids? In a good way. I see mine wake up in the morning and they are calm. Happy. Rested. There is no rushing around to get ready for the day and out the door in an impossible span of time. I’ll be honest, many days jammies stay on until afternoon (mine included) and showers happen when they happen. They come downstairs and say good morning and give me a hug. Every single day. There’s no yelling. No eye rolling. No frustration.
Between school work there is play. Indoors and out. And we find new ways to learn. We enjoy nature by taking walks in the woods and around the neighborhood. We’re able to explore outside of a book. Legos have become a learning tool (yet still fun!) and we’ve never done as much crafting as we have done the last 4 weeks. But I’m also so proud of them for wanting to learn skills like baking, cooking, power washing the house and wiring new lights for the bathroom after we painted the vanity (yep!). They are even making their own fancy breakfasts now. And that is a real-life skill they will hold on to.
So even though this time is scary and unsettling, it’s important to look at the good. You’re tired. So tired. And all you want to do is get out of your house and be with your friends and family. And that day will come. But for now, take the time to look at the good and appreciate it. Take advantage of the slow pace of each day. No rushing around. No place to be. Hug your kids and enjoy them because they are surely enjoying this time with you.