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Embrace Your New Best

By March 31, 2020 No Comments

Dear Parents,

This coronavirus crisis came about so suddenly. It’s impacted every single aspect of your lives. There’s grief, shock, adjustment, and of course, hope. There is always hope. But the one consistent thing is that you want to do the best for your children. You thought life was challenging before but this is a whole new level that requires an updated definition of “best.” Why should you be kind to yourselves? Here’s a sample recap of how far you’ve come:

We didn’t see this coming. One day our heads are full of the day unfolding before us. The usual. Did Gabe do all his homework? I forgot it was trash day. I have to get to work on time. What am I going to wear? I’m running out of clothes. Maybe I can mix and match. I just have to get ready. If I get to work a little early, I can print out the meeting notes to share with my team. I’m already exhausted and we haven’t even gotten out the door. Remember.  Tonight, we have to have a quick dinner because there’s a science fair at school. Science fairs!

But I’m doing my best.

Then news of a new virulent virus creeps in. News from China. How can they close down a whole country? It’s so far away, the footage seems less like news and more like a movie trailer. But every day, we’re hearing more. More deaths in their country. And now South Korea? More talk about it spreading here. I still have to sign homework and make a little pasta (again) for dinner. There’s still the problem of clothes for tomorrow. Wait. Did I wash the gym clothes?

But I’m doing my best.

Fast forward with the emphasis on fast. It’s here. Rearing its ugly head. What does all this coronavirus mean? The doctors say that kids may get it but they may not have symptoms and if they do, they’d most likely be mild.  I’m not going to worry. I feel safe so let’s get through this day without any challenges.

I’m doing my best.

What? People are dying in nursing homes? What about my neighbor’s mother? How does she feel? Must be scary. I have to call her.

My kids are a little nervous. They hear about COVID-19 but what is it? Why are people wearing masks? Why do adults seem scared? I have to explain it to them so they feel safe.  They need to understand that it’s important to keep others safe, too. No, they can’t go next door to play. They have a grandmother.

I’m doing my best.

Seriously. Schools are closing? We feel fine. Don’t they understand that I CAN’T stay home? What’s essential? My job is essential to me. How the hell are we going to do this? Maybe we can trade off and on. Wait. Is my job safe? Is my husband’s job safe? Whoa. This is too much. So many businesses closing. I can’t even think about the global economy. This wasn’t a worry even a week ago.

 Breathe.

I’m doing my best.

Kids are home. There’s no structure. Breakfast is walking around with frozen waffles in our mouths. No rush to get dressed. I need to get myself together so screen time rules are out the window. Oh no. They’re fighting and I can’t take a whole day of this. I have to work! Zoom? I’ve never used it. I’ve had no time to clean up either the house or myself. Where am I supposed to work? How am I supposed to think?

I’m doing my best.

Today is a new day. I get up, get showered, get dressed and put on enough makeup so that I don’t scare myself when I see the image of me pop up during my virtual meetings. I’m glad I set up a corner of my living room. It’s a little more private but I can still keep an eye on the kids. They’re still in their pajamas but they’ve had a little breakfast. They poured their own cereal (no milk but we have to figure that out later) and put their own dishes in the dishwasher. They’re also still squabbling but they know if they keep it up, they won’t get any screen time.

I’m doing my best.

Connecting to school has given us a little structure but it’s hard to get the hang of this new virtual classroom thing. What? Do they use the chat option? I have to call one of the other moms. How are they doing this?  My company is slowly making steps to streamline a bit. Less calls. A little more efficiency. I’ll have to share with them some advice I got from a colleague about creating balance in this crazy time.

 It’s raining. A bit dreary and we’re all going stir crazy. I pull out a board game. Haven’t played one of those in years. What’s a game we can all play? We take an hour to hang out. We laugh. I hug each one. I make dinner. Pasta. Again. Hey, I’m not perfect and that’s ok because…

This is my NEW best.

You’re warriors, my friends.

Love from my home to yours,

Susie

P.S. Check out this drawing. It was in our mailbox (the real one that holds letters). The artist is Oliver, our 5-year-old neighbor. Oliver colored it for us although I think it’s really for my husband who he either sees as a 1.) grandfather figure or 2.) fellow 5-year-old friend. Love the rainbow theme (yes, Oliver, things WILL get better); the fact that it’s in a clear plastic bag and it has a packet of Purell attached to it. This made our day!

 

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