Parenting with a side of Pandemic

Mom brain is a thing, and it’s no joke. Just when you pop that baby out and think that “pregnancy brain” will go away, it doesn’t. It’s just levels up. 

It’s like having 467 internet tabs open. Always. 

Especially during this stay at home mommin’ pandemic lifestyle. When I tell my husband I’m tired, he suggests I take a nap. Oh honey, if only you knew. 

This isn’t the kind of exhaustion any duration of nap can cure. It might help a little, but this tired lives deep down in my bones. 

It’s a running tally of every pantry and fridge item, toiletry stock, cleaning supply stock pile. Knowing what store has the best price and what’s on sale and what’s in season. It’s planning a weeks worth of healthy, balanced… but also still delicious… meals. It’s knowing the exact and current location of every single item in the entire house at any given moment. It’s trying to keep up with the constant dishes, laundry, organization, cleaning, holiday decorations, paying bills, remembering every password to every account, app, on every device. It’s making sure I’m reading enough to my daughter and that the products we use and food we eat don’t have anything harmful in them at all. 

It’s making sure I’m not swearing, and am always on my best behavior. Because these kids are SPONGES, y’all. Making sure we’re doing enough educational play. Making sure that no one is screaming in the background of my husbands work calls now that he’s working from home again, making sure the fridge and pantry are fully stocked and will last us awhile now that we’re in the second wave of this pandemic. 

Making sure we’re calling all the grandparents enough. Making sure we’re having enough outside and fresh air time. Do we have clothes in the next size up? Do we have gear for the next season that will fit? Are we taking enough pictures? Making enough memories? Is this too much screen time? Let’s do more crafts. Wait, I killed today, should I post a photo on social media? What if it makes another mom feel like she’s not doing enough? Making sure we’re teaching appropriately about diversity and inclusion. Staying up to date on the current health and wellbeing of the whole world and politics. Learning baby sign language. Knowing when and how to potty train and wean from bottles to cups. 

And then when we snap, and yell and break down- we get criticism for not taking enough time for ourselves. 

WHEN?! WHERE?! HOW?!

This is hard. Harder than I ever thought it would be. Being a stay at home mom was, and still is, my dream. But DAMN. This shit is no joke. 

Moms are badass.

Motherhood is hard. Doing all this during a pandemic is hard. Guess what? I don’t know baby sign language. I don’t know how to teach a small human how to poop in a toilet. I’ll figure it out though. 

Because that’s what we do. 

Let’s also not forget that most of us are now working from home, or not working and staying at home, with partners we never expected to be with literally 24 freakin’ 7. Even without kids, this makes relationships hard. It totally blurs so many lines. It gives us no time to ourselves and forces us to create our own in-home boundaries between self, work, partner and parent. 

Even the most self aware, grounded people I know struggle with this. 

Oh, and those with school aged kids? If it’s not hard enough to be mom, partner, employee 24/7 with no break… now you have to teach your kids, too! Hooray!

Big shout out to ALL the teachers right now. Who would have thought you’d have to teach a classroom full of kids, from afar, while ~also~ teaching their parents how to teach the curriculum in person!? I imagine it’s a lot like that partner game in PE where you have to guide your blindfolded friend through an obstacle course. 

I have never tried so hard at something in my life as I am trying to survive the days right now. There are days that I sit in my messy house, while the dishes and laundry pile up around me, with layers of dry shampoo in my hair, while my toddler screams because I won’t let her climb the cat tree, and feel like a total and complete failure. These days are seemingly more and more frequent. 

I’m trying to let each day, and the emotions attached, come and go. I’m trying to find pieces of joy in each day, even on the days that feel heavy. I’m trying to remind myself to breathe. 

I’m still showing up. I’m still trying my hardest. My 100% looks totally different each day and I’m working really hard to be okay with that. I am, by nature, a people pleaser and very self critical. I know that trying my hardest should be okay, but I am terrified of letting my family down.

I’m trying to remember that I can’t pour from an empty cup. I’m trying to learn how to fill my cup because there are times I don’t really know anymore. 

For now, I will keep sipping (jk, chugging… ) my lukewarm coffee and take it day by day, hour by hour. 

You’re doing great, mama. xo

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