Is anyone else’s family looking and feeling more like a boorish group of cave dwellers than a modern day family lately? After nearly nine months together in our dwelling, I am starting to learn we’ve all become a little more wild in our ways… a bit more neanderthal so to speak.
The other day my husband, in all seriousness, asked me, “Do our kids brush their teeth anymore?” The problem with this scenario isn’t the fact that my husband had to ask me that question, it is that I had to stop and think about it for a minute. Do they?
Do my kids still brush their teeth? I don’t know. I assume so. Some of the “normal" life-skills things that I’d tracked before COVID have somehow gotten pushed to the wayside as we’ve progressed through 2020. Don’t get me wrong, my kids’ hygiene is just fine. No reason to call child services. I mean, it’s not stellar at the moment, but we are good to go. It’s just, well, our standards may have come down a notch or two this year. Living through this pandemic I can honestly say that we are not the “civilized” family we once were.
We live in northern California where many schools still haven't gone back to in-person teaching. Our kids have been 100% distance-learning this entire school year, which is fine, because I want to keep them safe... but holy cow it hasn't been easy. They have been here, with us, on top of us, since March. To make matters worse, my husband and I are both working from home as well. He’s now here until at least September of 2021. God help me.
There has been no separation, no breaks, and honestly, no motivation at times to even get dressed. Just the other day my daughter proudly announced over Zoom, to her entire class mind you, that “everyday is pajama day at my house!” The sad part is that it wasn’t a lie. We are in are pajamas. A lot. But, you know what? It is what it is. It’s surviving. We are surviving 2020 as a family. We may not be very pretty right now... we may be quite rough around the edges... but we still have the same heart, optimism, and hope for the future.
We are the family where, a year ago, I would have my daughter in a fun hairdo with a cute outfit, walking her all the way to her classroom, with hopes that I would get a chance to chat it up with another parent or two. That was last year. This year, my kids are the ones on zoom that look like they just crawled out of bed (because they did) with hair that hasn’t been brushed in days. Yes — we are still in our jammies. You know what? It’s okay. To quote Grug from The Croods, "I guess I was just busy keeping them all alive.” That might be the perfect quote for 2020. We are all just busy keeping our family and ourselves alive.
Remember to give yourself some credit: this year has been hard, life is not normal, and yes, sometimes It feels like we’ve regressed into caveman mode. So what. It’s not going to take us thousands of years to evolve back and adapt to the modern day when things get back to normal... whatever normal becomes. It may just take getting dressed, a little hair brushing, and some normal-life motivation before our 2020 wild caveman days become a distant memory.