Friday, March 27, 2020…2:37pm
We’re at the end of week two. Shortly after I posted last Friday, we got word that our school district extended remote learning until at least May 4th. So we are looking at a minimum of 5 more weeks – but my gut is telling me they may not physically return to a classroom until September.
Truth? I cringed as I typed that last sentence.
Here’s the thing. I love my kids with every fiber of my being. But I also know that I am my best me – and their best mom – when we are not together 24/7. Earlier this week on a Zoom chat with a small group from church, I compared my current physical and mental exhaustion to how I felt when the kids were both under 3, and I was home full time, and my husband was traveling for work a ton while also completing his MBA, and the kids needed so darn much of me and from me.
At 13 and 14, they don’t have the same constant physical needs as they did when they were toddlers. Nevertheless, they occupy so much space, and somebody is always talking, and somebody is always eating, and somebody is always complaining, and they are often bickering, and they leave messes everywhere they go, and somebody seems to always need me for something. We’re just at the end of week 2, and my mental/emotional/physical reserves are running low.
So what next? How do we navigate through weeks (months?) of togetherness/remote learning/remote working? While it’s tempting to make a plan (I love making plans!), my gut is telling me that I have to slow my roll and just do the next right thing.
For me, the next right thing needs to be carving out more quiet time. I have kept my pre-pandemic habit of rising early for yoga in a quiet house but it is clearly not enough for this time. So top on my list is to find another time and space in the day where nobody needs anything from me or of me. The next right thing for me, is to make taking care of my well being as important (more important?) as taking care of the constant needs of housebound teenagers. I know I’ll be a better me – and a better mom – if I do just that one small thing.
What comes after that? Who knows!
While it’s unsettling to not know what comes next, I am beginning to make peace with the unknown. There is something slightly freeing in deciding to live in the liminal space and navigate the days one decision at a time.
Be well my friends.