Cheers to Us: This Pandemic Thing Sucks

I thought about writing a post about activities to do with your kids. About writing a post sharing the supplies and resources I’m using to homeschool my kids. Or the games and toys my kids are using now that they’re home from school for the remainder of the academic year.

But the truth is…

I don’t have the mental capacity for it right now.

Last week I shared the Social Distancing Journal with you. I created that over the boys’ spring break — Week 1 of social distancing when I had an “I got this” attitude about being home all day and homeschooling.

Reality set in at the end of Week 3 and I began to crack. This Sucks. We’ve all been thrown a curveball due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our kids are out of school. We’ve become teachers. Therapy has moved from in-person to some form of video chat. Daycare is reserved for essential workers. We’ve been told we shouldn’t go anywhere unless it is essential. 

I am overwhelmed.

Boy distance learning on computer with baby pointing to computer via muddybootsanddiamonds.com

I’m getting suggestions from too many people.

In a day I will receive suggested learning activities or questions for my kids to answer from: their teacher, the PE teacher, the art teacher, the librarian, the music teacher, and — in the case of my 2nd Grader — the gifted and talented teacher. Times that by two and that’s… about 11 times my phone goes off to let me know one of them has something to offer their students. (And no, I’m not changing the alert; that’s the ONLY way I can remember to check in with the school at this point.)

Teachers are not the only ones offering up suggestions to “help” me out with my kids.

My mom and mother-in-law seem concerned that we lack toys and games to keep our three boys occupied. They are worried the kids are bored so they keep texting and emailing me suggestions and ideas.

We’ve got 5.4860 billion toys/books/activities my kids can do; they just need to look around. They’re bored of being suck in the same place with the same people nearly 24/7. But they most definitely don’t lack things to do.

My husband is an essential worker.

He works for a commercial HVAC company that works on projects for area hospitals. You know what one of the projects he and his co-workers have been working on? Converting hospital rooms into anti-pressure isolation rooms. This is going on in the hardest-hit county in the state of Virginia. As soon as they complete a room, a patient is put inside it. He’s walking the same halls as COVID patients. The stress and worry about our family coming down with COVID-19 is constantly on my mind. Every day I waver between two extremes: feeling like we’ll be okay and believing we’re all going to die.

My brain is full of questions.

Are my worries and anxiety showing too much? Am I explaining the virus in a child-friendly way? How much are my kids going to regress from not being in school (L has signs of speech regression)? How much is being away from friends affecting them? Am I doing enough schoolwork with them? What will happen if one of us has to go to the hospital? Am I being too hard on myself? How much am I going to screw up my kids throughout all this?

And let’s not forget I’m still struggling with an almost-one-year-old who hates sleep and is a LOT more curious than either of his two brothers combined.

Even though I knew a Stay at Home Order was coming, I’m in a bit of shock over what reality is right now. Here in our house, we’re grieving over what we are missing out on over the next few months. We’re processing what our schools and employers are expecting of us. We are trying to work on a new normal based on trial and error. 

It’s overwhelming for me. I can’t wander off by myself to process what’s happening because at any given moment someone wants me for something. Right now I just want to know what the bare minimum I have to do because my brain is having a hard time handling the Extra.

I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. How many of you don’t have the mental capacity to even try to find the supplies for a craft project, let alone help your kids with one? How many of you will scream if someone suggests One. More. Activity to do with your kids because you don’t have enough hours in the day between work and homeschool?

I’ll eventually get around to sharing what’s working for us during this unique moment in history. Maybe even a science experiment or recipe. But not today.

Today, I’m writing to acknowledge that this sucks. It’s scary and it sucks.

I’m raising you my mug of now-cold coffee in solidarity instead.

Cheers to us!

This pandemic thing sucks.