Expect the Unexpected: Musings of a Single Mom in Quarantine


Having to quarantine is tough.  Being a single mom in quarantine can be overwhelming; however, this single mom discovered her inner strength, along with some unexpected surprises during COVID-19.

When I signed up to write this blog, it was at the very start of the quarantine. Everything was strange and confusing. It felt like we were living in a sci-fi movie. Everything was the same, but different somehow. 

I was totally prepared to write about how hard it was. I was going to pull out all of the cards and try to garner as much sympathy as I possibly could. I mean, quarantine is hard for everyone, but I’m a single mom! You must know that it will be way harder for me than for those with loving spouses to pitch in and help out! (I am fully aware that not all spouses are loving and helpful– but that is a whole other article!) I was going to go on and on about the difficulties of having a toddler and a teenager. I was going to complain about online schooling and Zoom therapy sessions for the baby. I was going to write about how everything fell on me alone. I was going to say how sad and lonely it was. I was going to have everyone in tears about my predicament. 

a girl assembling a toy with the instructions outside in the grassBut you know what? It has not actually been that bad. There have been moments when I felt all of those things. But there have been other moments, better moments, moments that I have truly enjoyed. My teenager is forced to be at home without her friends. It turns out that when there is nobody at all for her to hang out with, when she has texted and FaceTimed everyone she can, when there is nobody at all left for her to interact with, I become an acceptable diversion. We have cooked together and played games and done puzzles. While we are doing those things, we have actually talked. We are spending quality time together, and I have realized that I really like her. I have always known how much I love her, but in recent years (since she turned about 13 to be exact), I have not always been sure about the liking part. She’s smart, and she has a great sense of humor, and we have laughed together a lot!

My baby is used to a very active schedule. We usually leave around 6:30 in the morning and don’t get home a smiling boy, playing with a water table in the grassuntil about 6:30 at night. He’s used to very full days. I thought we would never be able to keep him occupied. But he has also thrived in this quarantine. He’s sleeping in every morning. He is so happy to play with his toys and join us in the kitchen. We spend hours outside walking and playing. We sing songs and read books. He has been more than content just to stay home. 

Yes, there have been plenty of hard moments; times when I cry because there is just too much going on in my head. It is hard to have all of the responsibilities. And if I focused only on that, I actually could have you all in tears, because it is truly a challenge. But this quarantine has taught me to appreciate everything we have. We have our love and our laughter, and so far, we have our good health. I am so grateful for those things. And most importantly, we have each other. And there is nothing hard or challenging or sad about that.