Feeling guilty because you don’t love every moment of time home with your kids? Let the guilt go, Moms!
Quarantine has got me in a real funk. I don’t NEED to be going anywhere, and I don’t even mind that I can’t. I mean, I did have big dreams of a vacation in Mexico this summer and lots of wine nights on the deck with friends. What I am struggling with is a motherhood, wife-ing, and loss of self funk. When we began quarantine in March, I left my classroom believing we’d be back in two weeks. I honestly was thinking this was just a weird small break. When it became clear we weren’t going back, the stress of trying to “teach” virtually in a special education setting from my house was overwhelming. Paperwork, guidelines, and Zoom meetings, many where my child would run in screaming “PEE PEE POTTY!!!” or “Humpy Dumpy AGAIN!” were weighing me down. We kept our normal routine of scheduled nap time, lunch, bedtime, etc. with extra outside time and walks. In between those times were the real hangups. My normally sweet boy who listened fairly well really came into the difficult two’s. Now, I know he’s not “terrible” he’s learning, he’s growing but as we get ready to enter the what… fifth month of just him and me home all day every day I’m starting to lose it.
My husband is an essential worker, so he leaves early in the morning and is home in the afternoon. He never worked from home or was off (which I am thankful for). Normally he decompresses after work because I wouldn’t get home from work until about 4:45-5:00 pm. Welp, not anymore. So, my husband is exhausted trying to hold it together, having left for work about 4 am and being outside a big chunk of his day. Meanwhile, I’m over here, starved for adult conversation/attention and tired of StoryBots, tantrums, and hearing “MOMMA, SNAAAAACKS!” I am sure some of you can relate, right? The adults arguing over who had more downtime, who needs a nap more, the house projects (our basement has flooded twice for example), and other just ridiculous things. I’m an Enneagram Type 4: I’m just an emotional feel all the feels type of gal, and anything, especially recently, is a big set off for me.
I also have anxiety. Before quarantine, I was happily attending therapy every other week, handling all the big things. Now I do virtual therapy, which isn’t the same. So, on top of all the anxiety of the world, momming, and life, I’m over here like “Hello? Melissa? Where are you?” Many mornings I stand in front of the coffee maker for a good 10 minutes, trying to be like “go, make your dang list, get started.” Social Media will tell you all the cute things we are doing and how joyful life is as a mom. We all know it isn’t like that all the time. That’s the scary thing about social media. It’s all rainbows and unicorns. Rarely do you see a post where the kid threw a coffee mug down the steps and it exploded at the dad’s feet as he was bringing up laundry, the upset that happens after an argument with a spouse, or the picture of a child screaming at bedtime and hitting the mom in the chest and the mom crying as she puts her child in a time-out.
I was looking forward to so much togetherness time! I love my sweet boy, and I know he’s loving having me home, but some days, it’s just hard. Not every day, but some days. I don’t love every moment. I only have one child, I know, and yes, stay-at-home moms do this every day and are QUEENS, but that doesn’t make what’s going on in the world/quarantine life easier. It doesn’t matter if everyone is in the same boat, because each boat is different. I remember every day to look for the positives, I try to keep my chin up, and remember this is all temporary. I hope if you’re in this current rut, you are looking for the sunshine too! Just know you aren’t alone if you aren’t in love with all this togetherness. It’s completely ok. You’re still doing a fabulous job raising humans.