Discovering the silver-linings of this pandemic is like receiving an unexpected gift.
Life is hard right now … honestly, that’s probably an understatement. It’s hard to find the good when I feel that COVID has brought so much change, depression, and, unfortunately, death, into our everyday. I feel like most of us would agree that the “new normal” has been taking a toll for a while now.
But if I am honest – this pandemic has actually brought about very positive change in my life. I’m a person who has struggled with anxiety for a long time now – and a few years ago, when I became a single mom, my anxiety seemed to suddenly revolve around my new role as mom and dad. I felt so overwhelmed at the idea of parenting alone that I basically started to avoid it whenever possible. I was so afraid of failing, at turning into a “bad mom,” that I tried to find reasons not to “mom.”
My daughter would go to before and aftercare while I worked, and after I picked her up, our weeknights were full of way too many activities. Afterward, we’d come home for a quick dinner, and then suddenly it was bath time and then bed. This was how basically every day went for us, and the cycle would start all over again the next day. And weekends were no different – I filled those with playdates, errands, going to the movies, and dinners at grandma and grandpa’s house. We would just go through the motions day after day – and even though we were spending time together – we weren’t really “spending time together.”
And then COVID happened last March, and we found ourselves stuck in the apartment, with all activities canceled, everything closed, and even grandma and grandpa didn’t want to get within 6 feet of us. We were suddenly forced to be together – truly be together. I couldn’t avoid “mom-ing” anymore because we only had each other, and alone time really only happened during sleeping hours.
Being forced to be together was the best thing that could have ever happened to us. COVID was a wake-up call on everything that I had been missing out on due to my anxiety surrounding solo parenting. We actually talk now. We get ice cream and watch a movie on the couch together – and neither of us feels the need to reach for a phone or tablet. We go on walks with our dogs, dance and sing along to music in the car, and read next to each other almost daily.
I honestly don’t know when I would have gotten out of my anxiety-fueled parenting funk if it hadn’t been for the coronavirus. I guess you could say I found my own personal, pandemic silver-lining? Grateful for the lesson learned and excited to challenge myself to maintain our new, positive relationship as we (hopefully) start returning to the “old normal”.