My kids started school last month. They attend virtually. Every day has been a struggle, and every day I wonder if I’ve made the right
decision. I am exhausted from worry, yet I can’t sleep because of worry. It’s like I’m caught in a hellish loop of anxiety, and I just want to get off this ride. But, who is even the operator?
I am not special. I’m like many other parents and caregivers out here with younger children who are just trying to make it.
This can’t be the new normal. What is normal, even? Was everyone even experiencing the same normal to begin with?
I can tell you about how I feel about this: I feel like some days, every decision I make is probably wrong, and I am filled with what-ifs:
What if I should have sent them back to school? What if I hadn’t canceled those swimming lessons at the community center? What if they forget how to make friends?
For the sake of my own sanity, I’ve had to shift my thinking. What if instead of thinking everything is wrong, what if nothing is wrong? There are too many variables in play right now to think in such polarizing terms as right or wrong. All I’m really doing is thinking in options and praying for a favorable outcome. Geez, it is sure exhausting!
I’ve been trying to figure out exactly why I am so exhausted. I’ve been blessed that I’ve always worked from home in some capacity. I’ve taught online for a decade. Both of my boys went to pre-school the year before kindergarten. Before that, they were at home with me while I worked. So basically, I know how to work from home. I thought this was going to be pretty easy because of that. NOPE! I’ve never tried to keep a wonderfully neurodiverse home afloat while managing virtual school during a pandemic while keeping up with my course load and carving out a writing career.
Waking up and going to bed drained—that’s my new normal. I hate it here! But, I am in a similar situation as many. We all hate it here. So, while we’re here, let’s try to be kind to each other. After all, you’ll never know who is standing on the brink of tears with a single cup of re-warmed coffee holding them together.
I mentioned my exhaustion on Twitter recently, and I can’t tell you how good it did my heart for so many of you all to reach out and say that you understood. Thank you!
Deep down, I know that I am doing what I think is best for my kids in a way that I hope keeps them safe and doesn’t jeopardize the safety of others. Still, I can’t help but wish I could do more to make this pandemic easier on them.
I don’t have any tips or suggestions. Maybe you are reading this and have felt similarly. Just know that you are not alone.
Here’s a virtual hug (if you want/need one).