Well, today was one of those days. The type of day that warrants the phrases, “This too shall pass,” or my favorite, “Little kids, little problems.” The type of day that you start looking at the wine at noon and the bottle answers back.
I’m not talking about quitting my “new” virtual teaching position. Online teaching has its own set of challenges, but not like my second job. The job I almost quit is the more important one. The one that doesn’t pay me one dime and yet expects the world. In any other conditions, I would have quit this job on the spot: no respect, overstepping boundaries, bosses that keep pushing, and no life outside of work. I’ve heard people don’t quit jobs - they quit bosses, and let me tell you, today, my bosses were deserving of my resignation.
Isolating in your home with a baby, toddler and school age child is equivalent to herding cats. It is near impossible. You really have to let go of any and all expectations for your family. In my old life, before covid-19, I would plan for things. I enjoyed writing out our weeks on a calendar filled with sports, school events, and birthday parties. I knew when my husband was traveling for work and we would plan for additional support. Life now is day-by-day, hour-by-hour, sometimes minute-by-minute, and it is absolutely exhausting. The days of planning and expecting are gone. Each day is a blank slate and it is difficult for a micromanager, like myself.
For example, tonight I had to leave the splattered spaghetti sauce on the wall. I had to leave the dishes in the sink. I didn’t anticipate the havoc that spaghetti could bring. I had to leave the baby covered in food, only in a diaper, and take the herd outside to get some fresh air. Tonight I had to walk away. The mess, which would usually cause me to go into a panic, had to wait. And guess what happened?
Nothing! We had fun! The kids enjoyed playing outside, in underwear, getting muddy and bruised. My sanity slowly came back with sunshine and wiffle ball.
Before my husband came out to join us, he washed the dishes and mopped the floor. He understood that this wasn’t normal and took action. These really small acts of consideration add up when our home life has changed so drastically.
I understand that we will never have this much time in close quarters, and trust me, I’m trying to enjoy it. I’ve created goals that have absolutely nothing to do with school or work. The goals I want to instill are cooperation, consideration, and respect. It is strange to think my kids will never spend this much time together again. They need to learn to work together - as if life itself depends on it, because right now, it does.
So today I pushed through even though the mental load had me wanting to quit. I guess I’m learning resilience much like our children. Some days you just have to leave the work on the desk (or the wall). The most important thing is that you are mentally prepared to tackle the workload again tomorrow.