For the most part, I feel like I have this parenting thing figured out. I also know to expect a few surprises along the way. Our routine is mostly flawless. Cereal while I make lunches, careful not to show any kids what is going into these lunches, for the whining will begin. Car rides are usually a verbal wrestling match, in which everyone does more talking than listening. Grocery shopping is done Mondays. Lists of upcoming tests are on the fridge and our family calendar is always up to date.
I thrive in a world of multitasking and check lists. I wouldn't ever pretend that I am perfect at it, but the life of juggling three youngsters fits me well. I like the schedule, the routine; the certainty of what tomorrow will bring. For this reason, the current global pandemic has thrown me, and all families all over the world, into a pit of uncertainty. I find myself struggling with homeschooling a fourth and first grader while attempting to keep a three-year-old happy and quiet while feet away, my husband takes conference calls like it's business as usual.
Nothing about our lives is 'business as usual' at the moment. Today marks 24 days since the kids were at school and hubs was off at the office. And yet, I'm not sure if the kids even know how strange this moment in time actually is. The youngest probably has yet to noticed that we have all been in this house for weeks because, even in times of fear, we are parents first. We are the brave face they see. We are the disheveled home-school teachers who have
become obsessed with the toilet paper supply.
I think it would be easy to drown myself in lists and spring cleaning jobs so that I feel I made the best of our months inside this house. In fact, day 1 of the quarantine I decided we should take the opportunity to potty train the little one. But now, as we sit weeks into the 'new normal', I see that it is enough to simply find a way to keep our family happy and healthy. I don't need the accomplishments and to-do lists to prove that I was hard at work. Living in this house, without sports and school and friends or date nights, we are making it work and that is all I need to do.
This is enough. Say goodbye to your color coded chore chart and forgive yourself for losing your temper about a board game. We are all in this together, yet socially distant. We can do this.