We are rounding the corner into week 5 of the official stay at home order issued in my state. I’m personally heading into week six of working from home at my employer’s direction.
Like many of you, my routine has drastically changed.
My husband was transitioned back to his regular schedule off of his special training assignment, but still tasked with completing the training that would continue to occur during first shift hours. This meant he went from working 8 hour days on 1st shift, to pulling 12 hour days on 3rd shift. He had 3 days to switch his sleep schedule around and get adjusted to his new shift.
He’s been run down and exhausted and sleeping as much as he can. Our kids miss him. I miss him. I get to see him for about 15 minutes when he gets home in the morning and another 30 minutes when he’s getting ready to leave for work after the kids are in bed.
Before I continue, I know that there are families out there who are struggling way harder than we are currently. The intent of my writing is not to draw comparisons and play the “woe is me card”. I’m trying to make you feel heard. To know that, if you’re in a similar situation like I am, it’s OK to feel everything you’re feeling.
I know how lucky we are to still be working and have income coming in the door and to not have to worry about how we’re going to pay the bills. But working through this pandemic isn’t without it’s own set of challenges and stressors.
My husband came home from work a couple of weeks ago and we had to discuss what we wanted to do, should he start showing symptoms of COVID-19 while on the job. The department is providing housing for employees that test positive as a way for their employees to help mitigate the exposure and potential spread of the virus to their family members.
Pretty sure my stomach fell out of my asshole when he told me that. The thought of him contracting the virus and trying to recover in an apartment/potentially having a heart attack alone sent me spiraling down a black hole of worst case scenario.
Now every day when he leaves for work, I never know if he’s coming home after his shift, or if that will be the last time we’ll see him for 2 weeks should he get sick while at his job. I do my best to not think about that every day when he leaves for work, but it’s tough.
My job doesn’t seem to have slowed down at all. They are making policy changes for employees for every reason related to COVID-19, except for childcare. Should we need to be the primary care givers for our children, whether it’s a COVID-19 related reason or not, we are expected to use PTO.
I understand from a business perspective they can’t just allow everyone unlimited time off. I get it. But the reality is, I don’t have the ability to work in shifts with my husband because of the insane workload he’s pulling right now.
Could I work after the kids go to bed? For sure. I could work 8:30 pm – 2:30 am and then wake up at 6:30 am to be up with the kids all day. But how effective of an employee would I be? How effective of a mother would I be? How long would I be able to maintain that? For sure, my mental health would suffer.
We are hella fortunate that for the time being, our nanny is still considered an essential employee and is able to be here to love my kids while I’m still working. But that could change in an instant.
I’m doing more of the things I love to do. I’m binge watching TV shows, and going on walks every day the weather is nice, I’m reading more. I’m spending extra time in the morning snuggling my babies because I have the time. I’m unplugging more. I’m more intentional with the time I get with my husband because it’s all we get now.
Working out every day is part of my routine. Routine helps to keep me grounded and feel in control. I’m not thinking to tomorrow or next week because I simply can’t.
It’s OK to be afraid. But in the same breath, find things to ground yourself and try to enjoy the time we’ve been given with our families.
Ignore all these memes floating around about how you don’t have an excuse to NOT have a clean house, or to not have mastered a new skill. They’re bullshit.
Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not learning something new, or keeping your house spotless. That’s only adding undue pressure on yourself when the world is throwing a fuck ton your way already.
Right now is the time to survive.
That’s it. Get back to basics.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay sane. Make sure you’re doing something that brings YOU peace, Momma.
Don’t run from whatever you’re feeling. Lean into it. Allow yourself to feel it. Because if you don’t, I guarantee it will manifest in some other way, some other time.