I think every single one of us had our own struggles during COVID lockdown. We each were weathering our own storms within the four walls of our house. I like to think of myself as a pretty happy and positive person. Sure, there are times when I am negative Nancy but not everyone gets that side of me. I save my negatives for the people who will love me at my worst. However, COVID broke me. I don’t know about you but being home all-day, every day took me to a place I never wanted to be. I was never a person who suffered with depression, until my youngest was born. At that point, I had 4 children ages 4 and under. Nathan refused to sleep anywhere but right next to me, he wouldn’t take a bottle, and wouldn’t let anyone but me hold him. I felt so broken, lost, and unseen.
Fast forward to 4.5 years later :
- COVID-19 strikes and I was only leaving my house once a week alone to go to the grocery store, and I was told how glad I should be that I “got a hour alone to myself”
- I suddenly am teaching three students at home, two of which have an autism diagnoses.
- Any therapy that was being received in school, wasn’t happening.
- We went from having 3 different people in the house a week providing Therapeutic Staff Support and Mobile Therapy Services to no one in our house and trying to facilitate services via Zoom
- My youngest basically was left to himself for the day because it took close to 10 hours to complete school with the other 3.
- Our school system literally failed us. The program that we used had so many inconsistencies and quirks that it would mark correct answers wrong, and the kids would have to re-do lessons 3 times just to get a passing grade.
- From March 13th-June 8th my kids didn’t step foot into a store because there was 4 of them and 1 of me and the places where I shopped were limiting how many people to a cart. Obviously, we were over the numbers.
- Ron has been working from home since the last week in March, and will be home for the foreseeable future.
- Our routine was disrupted and rocked to say the least.
- My job was basically non-existent. Direct Sales is fantastic way for moms to work and be home with their kiddos, but unfortunately there were no home parties happening under the #2020Lockdown
COVID broke me. It wasn’t just about the fact that my children were home, because it was only 3 weeks of having all of them in school all day . It wasn’t just the fact that I was cooking every night, because that was happening before.
The gym was closed. Schools were closed. Things that I had always been able to do with my kids, we could no longer do.
I went from being pretty confident in my abilities as a mother to doubting whether I was capable of doing what needed to be done. It was the first birthday in my life I can remember where I spent almost the whole day crying. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t keep up. Cooking three meals a day, non-stop laundry, someone constantly calling my name, trying to keep up with just the “required” school- I felt like I could barely keep my head above water. There was no gym in the morning to decompress, no getting a drink with friends after the kids went to bed, no date nights with the hubby, heck even the grocery store with a mask on and trying to follow the proper directions was exhausting. Lets not even talk about the comparison game that was going on behind the scenes where people were posting on social media about how happy they were with their quarantine bodies, how much they loved being home(and how could I not being savoring every moment with my blessed children?!) how supportive their spouse was during this time….the list goes on and on.
One day in May on the way to Aldi, you know during my “me time”, I broke down in tears in my car. I couldn’t breathe. I felt like I was having a panic attack. It was as if everything had finally caught up with me and because I was alone, I let it. I remember taking this picture thinking “well good I have my sunglasses on no one will know I was crying” and then I took one with them off, and you could definitely tell. There was no hiding it.
So here’s my #MomTruth for you all : sometimes you have to let it all hit you. Sometimes we need to stop pretending to be so strong. We all went through something HUGE. Something that is not over, something that will be around for a long time. Something we all have to work through and process in a way that works for each of us and our family.
While our schedule is more lax and we can now get out of the house, things will not be “normal” for quite a while. If we have learned nothing else over the past 4 months, I hope you learned to lower the bar. I hope you learned how to show grace to your kiddos, grace to your spouse and most importantly grace to yourself. These are unprecedented times; and at the end of the day we did the best that we could do. Cut yourself some slack, and spread kindness around like confetti. <3