"I can't do this anymore."
"This isn't fair."
That's me. I'm that mom. The"woe is me" mom, constantly complaining about my plight -having to parent during a global pandemic. Poor me, "trapped" in my safe, beautiful home with my healthy husband and children.
Well, I've recently gained a bit of perspective. A three day migraine will give you that.
I mean, I'll admit, for the first few hours, it was pretty awesome. After nine months at home with my toddlers, I had scored myself a break (albeit with a thundering headache) and was thankful for a bit of social distancing from my husband and two toddlers.
But the headache escalated. I've never felt anything like it. I took all the things-nothing gave me any relief. I couldn't get up and walk around but it also hurt to lay flat.
I found myself longing for the day prior- a day when I was tired, frustrated and "trapped" in my home, but not in physical pain.
I'm embarrassed to admit that for months, I've been feeling sorry for myself. I recently complained to a friend that I was "not OK" and questioned aloud, "how much longer are we were gonna have to do this?"
Being stuck in the house sucks. My patience has been tested. My marriage has been tested after months of exchanging a few (a hundred) “don’t try me” glances with my husband after a full day of family togetherness (unrelated, but also related: Do men even see messes? Like do they block them out entirely or are they just unfazed?)
Today, I am back on my feet. My head's not hurting but (like every day of this quarantine), my son refuses to nap.
He cries. He negotiates- anything to bring me back into his room.
I wait outside his door, willing him to fall asleep as he calls for me again and again. The frustration starts to bubble up in my chest, but this time I catch it. I'm present.
All he wants is me.
I open his door, scoop him up, take a deep breath and fully breathe him in. I’m not thinking about another thing. I’m fully present as he lays on my chest, smiling up at me.
This won’t last forever. Other moms warned me of how fast it goes. I’m going to miss this. One day, he won’t want to lay with me. He’ll choose his girlfriend, his buddies – a video game over time with his mommy. But today, he says insists on me.
During this pandemic, I choose to be grateful for the gift of presence.
Soak it in. Embrace this gift and have gratitude for what you do have in this moment-your children, your family, your health. Breathe in each moment because each moment as a gift.
Before the pandemic, the perspective was missing.
It's hard. It is.
But you're healthy.
Hundreds of thousands of people are not.
And while I've been complaining about not having enough activities to keep my kids busy, over 300,000 families in this country are planning funerals for people they love right now.
Be present. Be grateful for what you do have. Hug your people.