I wrote a post in November after reading “Anxious for Nothing” by Max Lucado. Please read here: https://pittsburgh.momcollective.com/parenting-perspectives/choosing-gratefulness-over-anxiety
With so much going on in the world around us I figured it was a perfect time to revisit Max’s words about choosing gratefulness over anxiety.
To be honest, I am struggling. I was thrown into a situation where I must work from home full-time while my five-year old son is home from school. Not only am I supposed to be engaged as an employee, I need to be engaged as a home school teacher and a mother as well.
Trying to be engaged for multiple things at once is exhausting and I finally had my breaking point.
I had a stressful day at work, the weather was cold and dreary, and my son probably watched 6+ hours of television. I was so upset of the fact that my son was bored to tears and there was nothing I could do because I was attached to my desk.
The mental aspect of staying at home for over a week was starting to show. I was irritable and exhausted. All I wanted to do was be left alone in a dark, quiet room where no one would speak to me.
Working from home, parenting, and home schooling my son while my husband is at work because he owns an essential business and worrying about a potentially fatal virus while four months pregnant is making my anxiety skyrocket.
Then I remembered Max’s words. I wish the library was open so I could reread it again or maybe I need to buy it so I can reference it in a time of need.
I know it is hard to pick out blessings in regular every day stressful situations, but in a pandemic it can be extremely rare to focus on the good things.
After changing my mindset I was able to clearly identify my blessings.
The company I work for and my managers are understanding and flexible as many of them are going through the same struggles. Before we left the office to work from home a senior manager told us that the most important thing was our health and our families health. We were told to be as productive as possible, but also to take care of our families. It was refreshing to know that a big corporate company had and still have their employees and their families at the forefront of their minds.
Spending extra time with my son is always a balance struggle. My commute is over an hour and I am out the door before he even wakes up. Even though this situation is extreme and being home is driving me crazy, I would not trade any of this extra time for anything else. As much as it is frustrating, it is a blessing that I get to wake up with him every morning and make him breakfast (cereal, cinnamon toast, and chocolate milk). I get to enjoy my lunch breaks with him. As soon as I log off I get to spend my usual commute hour with him going outside for a walk or playing games.
Even though work can be stressful I am thankful I still have a job during this time. I am also thankful that my husband is still working. Many of our family and friends are affected by job losses and unemployment. It puts things into perspective that even though we complain about our long days at least we have long days to complain about.
We may not have all the answers, but right now we have our families, our health, our jobs, and each other.
The outcome of this pandemic is unknown. It is scary and it is frustrating, but I cannot dwell on every bad thing that may happen.
I need and maybe we all need to reassess and list things every day that made us happy. You will feel better, I promise. Fight your anxiety with gratefulness and enjoy being alive in this moment with all the extra time you have struggled to find because we will never get these extra wake-ups, extra lunches, extra playtime, and extra snuggles again.