It’s taken me some time to wrap my head around this new reality. Along with everyone else, I feel unprepared. How do I manage my kid’s schoolwork, stick to a schedule and routine, manage my practice and clients… all while living without much needed breaks from the kids, and with social distancing?
So far, the house is already a disaster. In an attempt to make lemonade, I thought, “wow, this is an opportunity to teach my kids new skills!” So, I tried to teach my kids to do their laundry, which just means now they don’t have anything to wear. Then, I tried to teach them how to tie their shoes, and they gave up in frustration.
I’m not giving up or drowning in self pity, I’m just overwhelmed. I have gotten no less than 30 emails from teachers and administration telling me to log onto 5 different sites and portals to access schoolwork. Caleb has a lot of teachers and supports, so we have to find a way to do all that needs to be done for each of those folks.
I’ve increased my Lexapro to manage the anxiety swirling in my stomach constantly. Sounds are loud. Everyone is chewing loudly to spite me.
Every single gosh forsaken time I leave the kids to their own devices, they are on the floor wrestling each other or the dog. Telling them to stop has the same effectiveness as limiting my sugar intake. (see also: two 5 pound bags of gummy bears I bought to weather the pandemic). They will not stop touching each other. Or talking. Or yelling. Or making the dog bark. When one wants a break, the other doesn’t. Parenting is useless. We might as well be speaking in tongues.
Josh’s workload has increased exponentially and he’s on calls for 1/3 of the day. People are still calling for counseling, which is good. And hard, because I know my kids need routine and structure, and they are incapable of independent learning. My year at home taught me that I’m not made to be a stay at home mom, but they need me. So, I’m going to try and figure out how to homeschool my kids, and show up for my clients.
AND YET. I know that what we are experiencing is a drop in the bucket compared to what I know many are going through. I am heartsick thinking of families living paycheck to paycheck and missing income, kids missing meals from school, healthcare workers and their families, single folks living alone drowning in loneliness, folks with mental illnesses exacerbated by lack of community or counseling sessions, seniors in college missing graduation and the last of their college days, kids missing much needed sports, friends, and teachers, the elderly unable to have life-giving visits from family, special needs families losing the support that helps them survive each day. I could go on.
AND YET. Despite the fact that I know so many people have it much worse than we do, I will not let that invalidate our own pain and loss during this time. I will be compassionate AND grateful AND grieve. These things can all exist together. We are all grieving. What we are grieving is different for each of us, but it’s all valid. It’s all worthy to be acknowledged. I will help where and how I can. We’ve donated to families in need, and we will again. I will make myself available online for my clients and supervisees to support them in this time. I will work for free sometimes.
AND YET. I’m so thankful so many companies are offering free virtual educational and exercise services. That schools are getting meals and finances to those in need. Teachers are doing their very best to tell their students they care. Trader Joes is giving their employees bonuses from the extra sales due to folks stocking up. And so many more examples of human kindness and generosity. We belong to each other. We were made for community and despite it looking very different during this strange time, we will get through this together.
AND ALSO. I believe in a God who is not a passive observer of our pain. He literally wore a human body and knows human suffering intimately. I believe He is with us. I believe we can trust Him.
AND NOW, here are some cute pictures of my dog because he is love incarnate.
Love to you all,