You’re a stay-at-home mom anyway, so this ‘staying at home’ isn’t really different for you.
I have heard some version of that sentence at least twice since COVID-19 led us all to social distancing. I wish I was kidding because it makes my blood pressure increase a little bit every time I hear those words echo in my head. Just because I am staying home with my kids while they are little versus going to an outside job doesn’t mean that I literally stay home every day. Sorry, I really felt the need to clarify that before I continue.
We are in our third week of social distancing, and ending our first week of an actual “Stay At Home” order, and I can tell you that this is NOT normal for us. No, my kids didn’t have to stop going to school or daycare. No, I don’t have to try to juggle working from home and caring for my kids. No, I don’t have to organize homeschooling every day. No, our lives haven’t changed in the typical sense that everyone else is dealing with nationwide, but I would be doing myself and my kids a disservice if I didn’t provide insight into how our lives have changed as well. We have lost our daily outings. Yes, daily. No stores, no library, no zoo, no playdates, no parks. Since my kids don’t go to daycare or school yet, we rely on those outings to socialize (both them and me), do interactive learning, and get energy out outside of our own environment. We have lost some of our structure to the day as I know everyone has. My toddler has lost his playdates and his exploration of new places. He told my husband the other night, “I want to go to preschool so I can play with other kids”. That made me want to cry because this is impacting him more than I realized. On a personal note, all of my in-person socialization has also been cancelled, of course. This is no different than anyone else (except all of you amazing essential workers), but my kids’ playdates and my bi-monthly Moms’ group were my only non-mom outlets.
I don’t want to dwell on this too much because we ALL are dealing with uncharted territory here. We are all putting on hats we didn’t even know we owned, and we are all coping with this in different ways. We have all had to alter some or many parts of our day to day lives, and things look a lot different than they did a month ago. We will all learn to appreciate new things at the end of this, and I think if you let it, a lot of positive changes will come from this new, forced lifestyle.
The past few weeks, and the upcoming unknown amount of weeks have been and will be full of adaptations for my family. It will be full of learning how to teach my kids without the activities I am used to. It will be full of MANY more sit down meals as a family, and tons more backyard play time. It will also be speckled with tantrums, lost naps, and meltdowns because monotony will have that effect on all of us. We will benefit from learning new forms of connecting with our friends and family, and really relying on those relationships more than we ever have. We will be grateful for the jobs my husband, family, and friends still have. We will be grateful for our health and the opportunity to all be able to stay safe under one roof when many, many people don’t have that luxury.
Thanks for reading this today. Kudos to you and all you are doing to make it through these crazy days. Please remember that everyone is dealing with their own challenges and changes, and lessening someone else’s struggles only breaks down the sense of community we really need right now. 💕