Hello to the outside world, from one of the only ways we’re able to communicate these days: digitally.
I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about our quarantine experience thus far and how we prepared, how we were managing, but it didn’t sit right with me. While I know so many other people are putting themselves more in harm’s way on a daily basis, and while others are losing their livelihoods and struggling to find basics at stores, here I was writing about how prepared and “comfortable” we are. It felt icky and I unpublished that post, but here’s the thing…this is our reality right now. We have food, we can pay our bills, Dan still has his job. I’m so incredibly grateful and fully recognize that any of these things could change in an instant.
A friend messaged me the other day to ask how I was and asked me if I was getting any more free time and I told her that no, I was actually getting less free time. Being a mom is a round-the-clock job, and without Kid’s Square and library and park play dates, keeping this guy entertained is a bit more challenging these days. I also don’t get date nights or girls’ nights out, so life can feel a little monotonous. I’m back to the way things were before I felt brave enough to go out with my infant, back to before I started carving out time for myself on a regular basis. This has been difficult for my mental health for sure, but I’m reminding myself each day how lucky I am to have this time with my family without the added stress many others are feeling at this time.
As a way of better educating myself on the challenges of others, I’ve been following a lot of people on Twitter who are very different than myself by following, for example, strong voices in the disabled community. A few days ago I came across a very active conversation in a thread posted by someone in that community discussing how it felt to watch so many abled-bodied people online complaining about being “stuck” inside right now, how hard it has been, and how they can’t wait to get back to living their normal lives. The sentiment was that some people who are disabled live this way all the time, and then how some who are immunocompromised and/or have chronic illnesses have to be this cautious every day. It was a humbling perspective. I suppose the argument against this is that this can feel like gatekeeping; that everyones’ feelings on the current situation are relative and that those who feel limited by this pandemic have valid feelings relative to their version of normal. I think both views hold a lot of weight: while I’m going to try to keep things in perspective during all of this (“we’re so fortunate, I can handle a little monotony,”) it is okay to give myself a little grace and feel my feelings (“I’m so stressed out, I’m used to being able to get a break and there isn’t one in sight.”)
I’m glad that Des is too young to know what is going on. While I don’t know for sure if he wonders why we haven’t gotten in the car and gone anywhere fun in the past three weeks, he seems to be doing just fine with our new daily routine here. I’m glad that he’s too young to have been pulled out of school and isn’t missing his friends and routine terribly right now. And as much as they’re not “essentials,” I did order him a few new things (Play Doh, some books, a little kitchen set,) to play with a few weeks ago that have trickled in over the past couple of weeks. They may not be toilet paper deliveries, but they’re essential to me in that he has something new to entertain himself with so that we can get through this time the best we can. Thank goodness for Amazon and the many delivery drivers who are on the front lines of this thing right now.
So how is everyone else doing? I go back and forth between having the energy to read blogs and get on Instagram, and not. I’m extremely grateful for Skype hangouts with our friends and FaceTime with our families. I’ve started reading e-books for the first time ever. We’re spending probably way too much time watching kids’ shows on Disney+. Any recommendations?