So, I just finished unloading the dishwasher for the 11th time this week. I mean, y'all know how that feels. Quarantine, right?
(And before you start on me, my kids load it and hand wash certain dishes as well, so I’m not doing all of the work!)
I unload it in the mornings before I start work and while my coffee is brewing. So I was just standing there, thinking: I wasn’t sure how I would handle this quarantine life.
I'm a single mom of 4 elementary age kids AND I work full time. I have to work full time. And confession: I love going to work! Yes, you read that right. I love my kids and every minute outside of work is dedicated to them. But for me, going to work is my break. My adult time. My place to use my brain and feel accomplished. So, when all of this social distancing started and schools closed, this mama started to freak out a bit. (Okay, A LOT!)
But, after a few challenging days (okay, maybe weeks) of trying to juggle working from home and helping my kids with school, we have found a routine.
My Adjustments to Quarantine Life
First, I had to have a conversation with myself to not sweat the small stuff -- a conversation I often had with myself way before these times. If my 5th grader wants to do most of his schoolwork in the evening, fine, I let him. If my 3rd grader wants to knock hers out right after she wakes up, that works too. Something I have enjoyed about my kid’s distance learning is they can choose their schedule. Their work just needs to be turned in by Friday evening. Just knowing we have flexible days like that helps me mentally not stress out!
We’ve also had to adjust to the not being able to go anywhere. On these beautiful days, we’d be at the zoo no question. We’ve always been outdoorsy, so naturally we have "recess" every day. Cornhole has become our new favorite game. When it rains, I just pull the van out of the garage and they play in there. We must get out and burn off energy. Today, as I write this, I realize it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it was going to be and it’s also brought many blessings.
Finding Our Groove
1) My kids never get to sleep in except on Saturdays. Even when they’re out for the summer, they still must wake up early because I have to go to work. So it is nice they have that right now, and I know they’ve been grateful for it as well. They are catching up on some rest. Even the kids that are early birds see how they can just bum around; they don’t have to rush and start getting ready for the day, they can stay in their pjs all day. And, for the most part, they have! As long as they get their schoolwork done for the week all is well.
2) Working from home has gone fairly smoothly. I am grateful to work for a family-oriented company. I was set up with everything I needed with no issues, so I am still able to provide for my family. I know many are out of work and my heart goes out to them.
3) Church has still been church. Yes, I miss hugging my people. I miss high-fiving my Sunday school kiddos. Sunday mornings look different, but the messages are still powerful. So grateful for livestream.
4) Technology! How lucky are we to have FaceTime, FB Messenger, Marco Polo, Zoom, etc. I am still able to attend my Bible study and see my ladies every week. I probably talk to and "see" my family during this quarantine way more now than ever before because we’re all utilizing these avenues available to us.
So, in a nutshell, quarantine didn’t start off well simply because I was worried about the unknown. But it also hasn’t been so bad. This is the most time my kids and I have ever been home together, and yes that took a minute to get adjusted to, but now we’re here and I know when this is over, I will miss it.
The kids will never forget this time and I want these days to be some of their best memories, so I’m looking on the bright side and going to soak up these days for as long as we have them! Oh, the stories they will tell...