So, in case you missed it, we’re at home. And so are a whole lot of people here in Cleveland.
For the first two days that we were home (and especially after zoom officially started, when our school closed), I found myself falling back into the familiar routine of ping-ponging around my house, taking care of all the requests, so many requests, until by early afternoon my head was spinning and I felt very depleted.
That is an understatement. I was completely spent. Done. Stick a fork in me.
After a couple of days like that, I had the realization that if I just continued to react to the many requests and many needs and many, many, many interruptions (Mommy Mommy Mommy Mommy), I would obviously end up all stressed out again, like I was the first time around.
No thank you.
So I’m trying a new strategy – I’m taking the time to prioritize the things that seem impossible – making lists, setting goals for the day, exercising and eating reasonably well, and doing self-care things for myself (like writing this blog post, which took, understandably, forever to do, or making my bullet journal for the month, which also took ages), I’m hoping that I will be able to make this round of zooming and being at home a more positive experience for everyone.
In addition, my general plan is to keep my sense of humor, lower my expectations, understand that it will take me the entire day to do simple things like unload the dishwasher, and to be kind and patient and understanding to everyone, and to give many many many second chances and to cut much slack.
And to keep track of all the things that are going right, that I’m grateful for.
So far, it’s going well. Even though I didn’t feel so hot Thursday or Friday (seriously, what lousy timing is that?), and even though I inexplicably couldn’t fall asleep Saturday night (not fair! I didn’t even accidentally drink Dr. Pepper like that one time I couldn’t fall asleep!), I still managed to keep it mostly together Sunday, despite a packed schedule.
I’m calling that a major win.
This is week two of quarantine, and it’s definitely reached its sell-by date. I am woefully behind on housekeeping (there may or may not be a faint crunching sound underfoot in an alarming number of rooms), the number of random piles of stuff are growing at a worrying rate, and I am already exhausted at the thought of having to feed everyone lunch every day this week. I do not take you for granted, school lunch, you are a treasure.
But here are things that are going right: I love not having to rush out of the door in the morning. I love having unexpected moments of quality time that don’t really exist in the pressurized before- and after-school reality of “normal” life. I love actually getting to see what my kids are learning (or not, in some cases, lolsob). I love not having to drive carpool. I love the humor in the class chats. I love how the teachers and staff really go above and beyond. I love spending time with my kids. Yes, they totally drive me up the wall at times, but they are also just the best.
Case in point: My toddler does this thing where she will turn into an attack toddler. What do I mean? Once, I gave her an empty paper towel roll, to use as a little trumpet. I blew into it, she seemed to like it, so I gave it to her. She proceeded to put her hand through it, and then she went around poking everyone with that giant paper-towel-hand. I don’t know how it happened exactly, probably because I have so many boys, but it’s turned into a game of she hits us/we yell like we’re injured. She loves it. We love that she loves it. It’s a thing now.
Yesterday, she was playing this game, but with a slap bracelet. She’s flexible like that. She went up to my kindergartner, “attacked” him while he was sitting on a chair, and he fake yelled and fell off the chair onto the floor on his side, playing dead. It was epic.
Moments like that are what make quarantine completely awesome. And they are the memories I hold onto when I am muttering under my breath in some corner of the house when I have run out of patience.
I guess the point of this post is: You can do hard things.
How often do we get a chance for a real do-over in this life? This quarantine and zoom school is legit a chance to do things over, and I fully intend to make the most of it. I know that I’ll have moments where it feels like I’m failing, but that’s just part of life. As long as I get back up again, that’s what matters more.
Good luck to us all!
Feature Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash