Editor’s Note :: This post is a raw and vulnerable look into the honest thoughts of one local mom as she navigates life and motherhood during a global pandemic. We recognize that your thoughts may look different than her thoughts and that is okay.
I have always tried my hardest to make the best of bad situations. I laugh it off and make jokes about whatever is going on in an effort to not stress out and become crippled with anxiety. But 2020 has made this ability of mine more difficult to do than herding cats.
Throughout the entire year, the thoughts, questions, and nonsense that have run through my head range from complete chaos to “can someone honestly answer this?”
Let me just start with the chaos.
March 13th is the day that changed our world as we knew it. SHUT DOWN. Two weeks of kids home from school and a husband who left to go offshore 2 days before meant I was about to be in over my head and totally unprepared to keep my kids occupied. And there she went …. My brain over the next few weeks went a little something like this:
- Is it really only going to be 2 weeks?
- What exactly should I do with them to keep them from killing each other?
- What time is considered too early to start drinking?
- WHY ARE YOU BOTH THE WAY YOU ARE?!
- How many projects does Pinterest really have that I can do with them?
- My pediatrician better not say anything about the amount of screen time my kids are about to have; Mama is in survival mode right now.
- It’s 11:30 am, is that close enough to noon to have a glass of wine yet ……
- So quarantine means like EVERYONE ….. even the neighbors that have kids and will help me keep these children entertained … can’t we all just quarantine together?
- Where the hell is my bottle opener?!
Within the final 2-3 days of the “2-week” quarantine, the next bomb gets dropped.
“Dear Parents, We will remain closed until further notice. During this time we will be asking you to homeschool and complete assignments to send in for grading”
- How long is “until further notice?”
- Wait… I barely passed 2nd grade the first time around twenty something years ago and now you want me to teach my kid who literally NEVER listens to me?
- Do we still have to pay tuition?
- How do I even do this homework?
- Um, what is a google classroom??
- Google: “What is a predicate?”
- Google: “What is a prepositional phrase?”
- Google: “Answers to McGraw-Hill text book questions”
- Google: “Home school teachers near me”
- Google: “Alcohol delivery service near me”
Fast forward to May, by some grace of God we make it through and pass 2nd grade.
Thank God it’s summer! Then again, we’ve been home for 2 months now so what’s really the difference? Continue on with the daily UFC battles and WWE smackdown matches until FINALLY August comes around. BACK TO SCHOOOOOOL! Emails pour in with all of the information for returning to school. Here the brain goes again. One of the emails that I really laughed at was the one that included: “All students attending school on campus will be required to wear a mask.”
- Umh, I can barely keep pants on Bart at this point, and you want him to keep a mask on ALL DAY? (Thankfully that rule changed and only K-7th are required to wear masks.)
“All student desk will be 6 feet apart, pre-k students will have plastic dividers separating their tables”
- What is this, Boss Baby? They’re going to basically have their own cubicles?
- Best of luck keeping those things clean because I know my kid and he will more than likely lick his plastic cubicle to make his friend next to him laugh.
- I’m just going to wish the school a happy hunger games … may the odds be ever in your favor.
All in all, I will say so far, I have to applaud our school. They’ve done an amazing job keeping everyone safe and healthy. Their communication is amazing and we really couldn’t ask for better teachers and staff to take care of our kids.
While all of this so far has been about the kids and school time, let’s move onto the next topic that has caused ridiculous thoughts … MASKS!
To be totally honest (I’m sorry in advance), I CAN NOT STAND WEARING A MASK! I do it because we have to and I don’t want to ever put anyone else in harm’s way, but I really am so anti-mask. So when I sit here and think about my feelings regarding masks, I also ask myself:
- Why can I not stop buying them?
- OMG but look how cute this one is!
- Do I have a mask to go with this outfit?
- Where would I ever wear a sequin mask? Not sure but I’m getting it!
- How many masks do I really have at home?
- Where did my Louis Vuitton inspired one go?
But mostly …..
- What in the world am I going to do with all of these when all of this craziness is over?! Should I keep all of them and make a memory quilt like people do with old t-shirts??
I guess my ability to make light of a lot of things hasn’t gone completely out the window.
But I do have a lot of questions that are actually legitimate questions, concerns, and thoughts about everything that has arisen this year.
- What is our end game for COVID?
- Will we all have to get a vaccine? (For the record I’ve seen almost every apocalypse movie, and they all start with a vaccine.)
- Is this our new “normal?”
- At what point can we return to what we knew as normal? Do we have to wait until there are zero cases?
Trust me I understand the severity of this virus.
I understand that for some people the virus is potentially fatal. Then again, peanuts are potentially fatal for some people, but we haven’t stopped life as we know it and banned them. We cross the street and drive cars daily, both actions that have caused fatalities.
In April, my father passed away somewhat unexpectedly. He was diagnosed with liver cancer at the end of February and just a little over a month later he died from something completely unrelated to cancer and COVID. For the last month of his life, we couldn’t see him or hug him. The closest we were able to get was FaceTime. Knowing what I know now, knowing that day at my son’s 3rd birthday party would be the last time I saw my dad in person, alive and happy, knowing that would be my last hug to him, I would have held a little longer and a little tighter.
I guess my biggest question of all is this:
- At what point do we choose to keep living over hiding from the possibility of catching the virus?
- When will the quality of life outweigh fear?
The one question I’ve learned to avoid at all costs is this:
- What else could happen?!