This isolation is starting to chip away at my sanity. I spoke with a friend the other day via text. She works full-time and is balancing the utterly impossible task of maintaining her work productivity while caring for three small children. Her partner is essential, working outside the home. She is broken down. Defeated. My heart goes out to her. It goes out to everyone:
a dear friend who lost her father suddenly to a heart attack
a best friend whose aunt passed away from COVID
a team member who is ready to have her first child without the family support she anticipated
cousins on both sides of the family who are working in a hospital setting
my nephew who has a compromised immune system
small business owner friends who aren’t sure if their business will survive this
So much uncertainty and pain.
My friend then said, “Well, you’ve got the best situation. You’re primarily a stay-at-home mom…you were meant for this. You know what to do with the kids and don’t have to worry about anything else. AND! You were a teacher! You’ve GOT this, girl.”
I couldn’t reply. I cried…and hard.
In the first few weeks, I DID feel like I had things controlled in the house. We got into a rhythm. I rolled up my sleeves and dove into days filled with e-learning, refereeing, snack making, and so on. From roughly 7 AM-9 PM, I was ON it. I was keeping up that positivity for the mental well-being of my kiddos, staying active, working out, baking. And then working out some more. Then baking some more. Yes, I was a teacher for many years (for the record, I taught teens not littles-lol). I could manage the kids, organize and keep the metaphorical train on the track. But as we move to week seven of shelter-in-place, the isolation is what is most difficult. Since my co-workers are pint-sized, the only adult interaction I really get is at school pick up, drop off, and a few events here and there. With those taken away, it’s lonely. Really, really lonely. I hear my partner on phone calls all day and just want to jump in and grab the phone to talk to someone. Anyone.
I am grateful for the occasional virtual calls. I am grateful for my friends and my partner and my mom. I miss my family. I miss people. The extrovert in me is craving interaction. We’ll get there. I know we will. Until then, I am going to allow myself the bad days, the tears, and the woes. I will honor those feelings because they are truthful. I will continue to appreciate the cute kid moments, the projects, and the sweet treats…and know that with every rough moment or bad day, there’s a beautiful one waiting for me, for all of us.