At Storm Peak — Coronavirus Chronicles
It felt like the end of the world a few times this year, but maybe being a Millennial my generation has simply been more fortunate than others in our experience of hard times. What everyone around the world is experiencing is tough, but I am so grateful there is a preliminary vaccine coming out as of last week. The timing couldn’t be better because our state went into phase 3 COVID-19 mitigation last Friday, on the eve of what would’ve been my late maternal grandfather’s birthday. I loved him very much. I wonder what advice he’d give me now, afterall, he lived through WWII and served.
How Are The Waves?
In surfing you learn to feel your body in order to catch the next wave. It’s called proprioception, or the 6th sense. I wrote last month that I felt a sea change, that progress was coming and in a way there is progress because there is a prelimenary vaccine that will be distributed. But let me tell you this— since the last time I wrote a Coronavirus Chronicle type blog post I’ve been more worried than at any time during this quarantine so far. How about you?
The why for me was due to ignoring deep seated fears about the virus and the lack of control I over it impacted the lives of the people in my life.
My husband’s uncle Joh died due to coronavirus last month as well, so I think hitting soo close to home, the ripple effect hit me harder than I’d ever imagined. The reverberation just took a little while to strike me, and strike it did.
So you see how I did myself in. Ignoring your feelings and trying to numb them with adventures and other fun stuff is not the way to go. I try to be positive and do a lot to distract myself from the worry, obviously it couldn’t prevent me from having to deal with the fear I was burying deep in the sand. There was no balance. The other bad habit I picked up was gathering too much information. I would gather information about how to get through this tough time but not go through with all of the recommendations. I skipped around to what was easiest and what would keep me from crying in front of my daughter. Also, I would gather information about what we are facing so as to be prepared, and all the information co-mingled in my subsconscious and I crashed one day.
One day I needed my husband and my in-laws, who live close, to come to my rescue. I needed me-time to decompress and stop trying to be Super Woman; to stop trying to make sure my daughter’s childhood wasn’t being negatively impacted by COVID-19. I was a casualty of trying to do good, but I’m better now.
Relearning Balance Allover
I’m re-learning balance in everything I do and most importantly I’m learning how to make time for me. That’s what we parents and everybody needs right now, at the bottle neck of this stormy year: we need a big break. Maybe we should call it the Me Time Movement? We need it more than ever now and it starts by asking for help. So it’s time to say “Uncle!”, because when you have too much on your proverbial plate you will end up hurting yourself and others if you don’t admit you need help. It’s so simple, so easy, but for whatever reason, pride or habit, we don’t always ask for help when we need it. There’s a mom actually who told me she went inpatient somewhere because she had a breakdown. I can’t even imagine what it’s like staying in a hospital for a week. Can you?
My day that I cried and asked for me time was the right thing to do and I encourage all you moms to ask who you can to get a me-day once a week. I myself am making a conscious effort to ask for help when I need help balancing everything. I thought I had it all figured out, but COVID-19 has prevented me from getting a babysitter, housecleaner, and it has disrupted my child’s schedule. We used to go to Gymboree 3 times a week for socializing, play, and development. We went shopping together. We would go to the park when it is busy to meet new friends. We would jump for hours at SkyZone. With the first snow of this winter season being today we will now be more indoors than ever. Cabin fever is a real thing, but thank God we have my inlaws closeby. A change of scenery is a luxury for us now.
Moms You Are Not Alone
Being a mom is hard, but you are not alone! Ask for help in taking care of your kid(s). Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. That was my lesson this year: being mom doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. I have the best husband and family in the world who stepped in when I felt overwhelmed by everything and was doing too much. I hope you have the support system or know where to seek a support system. Life is hard, but when we work with others it becomes so much better. Trust me, I’ve been to hell and back, and in the words of my favorite current celebrity Britney Spears:
Find your guiding light, right your ship… lead by example for your child(ren). Sometimes it feels like you’re a weather vain but life is too precious to spend it between a rock and hard place alone.
Disconnect from social media for a bit. Try that Apple trick of unplugging then replugging back into what’s going on in the world. It worked for me, and I hope it works for you.