Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Living Life In a New Way

Scarlett's last day of school was March 12th before all state schools were ordered to be closed indefinitely.  Little did I know how different life would truly be in those following days.

I tried to explain to Scarlett that everyone has to stay home to keep healthy, because a lot of people in the world are sick.  I said to avoid getting sick it's just better to stay home until people are better.  She seemed to understand, and didn't ask much else.  We have showed her a kid friendly corona virus video that helped to reinforce what we were telling her.

The first week home was definitely an adjustment.  Not that I don't love my children and love spending time with them, but I'm used to Scarlett being in school four days a week.  I'm also used to going out and taking them places.  Between baby playdates, park dates, Scarlett playdates, library story time and school, we had a weekly agenda of fun activities for both kids.  Being home around the clock was incredibly difficult.  Time stood still.

Having Scarlett on top of me literally the entire day was a lot for me.  Not only did she consider me responsible for planning all her daily entertainment, but I also felt great pressure to teach her which was stressful.  I am NOT a teacher and have no qualifications to be one.  With guidance from her school, I taught her what I felt like she needed.  We also did fun crafts and activities throughout the day.  By day 3 or so, I felt like I was going to jump out the window.  Being responsible for a 5 year old and a 7 month old while cooking and cleaning and doing laundry with zero break was not something I was used to.  

I kept saving activities and videos on my phone that people shared on Facebook that I thought would be good for her.  Her school posted daily updates from the staff giving parents ideas on how to keep the little ones entertained, which was helpful.  The days just blurred into one with no structure or meaning.  I felt like I had no purpose and was concerned for the future.  I looked forward to bed-time more than I ever had before, and I felt guilty for feeling that way.

As we got into the weekend, things seemed to pick up for me.  I accepted that this is how it's going to be for a while.  Instead of focusing on how difficult things are (and will continue to be), I focused on spending uninterrupted time with my children.  My husband is working from home and we now have three meals a day together, which I'm sure Scarlett loves!  Scarlett and I have movie nights, we bake, we talk, we share thoughts, we play, and we enjoy each other's company.  So far Scarlett has not complained at all about having to be home, and I hope her spirits can stay up. 

Of course at the end of the day I look forward to bed time, but it's not something that I think about every second like before.  I'm still teaching her, but we're having fun.  I'm not making this time in life solely education focused.  Mostly, I'm not inflicting any of my worries or concerns on her.  I don't want her to worry about anything.

There are rumors that school in our state may not resume until the Fall.  I am saddened by this, but I will not allow myself to believe it until it's true.  If Scarlett can't finish her final year of preschool and won't be able to say goodbye to the school and teachers that she's loved for four years, it's not going to be easy for her.  I don't even want to begin to explain this to her, but I may have to. 

I have no idea what the future holds for the world, or when the virus will be past us.  I only go to the grocery store to get food for my family, and I have anxiety when doing so.  We wash our hands as much as possible, but I feel nervous at the thought of being in contact with anyone or anything that can potentially have germs.  The corona virus cases are climbing day by day.  It's very scary.  All anyone can do is protect themselves and hope they are spared.

While this is an alarming time for all, I am grateful for this slow time in life.  No rushing, no alarms, no hectic school mornings (although now I miss them!) and a lessened sense of urgency in our days.  

Take care of yourself and your family, and take one day at a time.  That's all anyone can do. 

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