QUARANTINE LIFE: A Little Bit Tired and a Lotta Bit Angsty

I was already out of the habit of writing consistently, but it feels exponentially more difficult to know where to start when it feels a little like the sky is falling. I've been thinking about how my 8th grade English teacher had us listen to the radio on 9/11/2001 and journal what we heard and how we were processing it. The middle schooler who wrote that journal entry had no understanding of what had happened or the cultural and societal impact that day would wind up having in my home country and around the world.

And yet, I'm so glad I have that journal entry to recall. Because hindsight is 20/20 and it feels nearly impossible to remember the actual emotions we had during times like the days post-9/11 or currently in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. I'm writing equally for 2020 Kaity, as well as for 2030 Kaity.

Today is Monday and I just began my second week of working from home (today marks Chuck's third). For over a week now, we've attempted to maintain our full-time working hours while also simultaneously watching over an energetic 5 year old and a needy 3 year old. (That isn't meant to be a complaint about my beloveds, but simply a statement of fact.) Chuck already had an "office"/Man Cave in our basement so the transition was pretty seamless for him. I had no such set up, so we moved all of the boys' toys upstairs to what will become their new bedroom and I turned what was essentially their playroom into my Office/Guest Room.

The day I found out my company was going to move toward having us work remotely I invested in a brand new computer and some rainbow-print bedding. Those two things may not seem like necessities, but they were for me. My surroundings have a huge impact on my functionality and mental health so I knew I had to create a space for myself that fostered creativity and positivity in the midst of a stressful and overwhelming situation. I finished painting this past weekend and was so happy with the results. Chuck made a comment that it looked like it should be our hypothetical daughter's bedroom. If I'm being honest, that's kind of exactly what it was for me (but I'm sure that ache is becoming old news to those who know and love me).

When all this began a couple weeks ago, Chuck and I joked about how our Enneagram types were on full display- my Type 1 Perfectionist was stressing about the prospect of losing my everyday structure and routine (I realize this sounds trivial, but is something I'm finding to be incredibly important to me). Chuck's Type 9 Peacemaker couldn't have seemed less ruffled. He was very go-with-the flow and has continued to be for the last few weeks. While I'm just about on the verge of a mental breakdown because of the constant stream of disruptions to my usual workflow, Chuck is just tickled about all of the family time we're getting as a result of this isolation.

I know who I married and I love his heart. I swing between being overwhelmingly grateful that he is steadfast and calm when I am rigid and impatient, and then totally annoyed because HOW IS HE SO UNBOTHERED WHILE WE'RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC?! I'm not a drinker, but I'm starting to see the appeal.

I feel like this time at home with my children has also given me flashbacks to my time as a stay-at-home Mom and let me tell you- there is a reason why I left the SAHM life behind. I wish with every ounce of my being that I could be the woman who devises activities and lesson plans and fills each day with organic learning and fun experiences, but I am most assuredly NOT. Before having kids, I was never a "kid person." I just have never related to kids- even as a child. When my sister and I were little and in social situations where we were thrust together with other kids, we would literally just find an isolated corner to hang out in where we would pass judgment on the other children. (Not a cute childhood story, but helps explain us both as adults). I simply don't relate well to kids or enjoy kid activities the way I feel like a Mom should.

Finding out I was a terrible stay-at-home parent and then subsequently finding my groove as a full-time working Mom made me realize that my best version of motherhood is one in which I have a long break from the incessant activity and noise. I am a better Mommy to my boys because I'm not always around them. And yet- here we are. Not only am I expected to perform my typical day-to-day office job, but I am also around my kids ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY.

I'm overstimulated, exhausted, and burnt out. It feels like we were just leaving the season of cooped-up, stir craziness behind and the freedom that Spring usually brings me has been snatched away. Life just feels...unsustainable at this moment in time and I worry that my children are going to somehow be hurt as a result of my melancholy and mental fragility.

I didn't mean for this to take such a depressing sharp turn, but it feels tiring to keep up the charade that I'm doing fine. And clearly, these emotions that have taken residence in my heart were bursting to spill out. I know when life returns to some semblance of normal, we'll collectively find our new rhythm. I also know that in the grand scheme of things I am considerably lucky to have my family's health, job security and a [very small] amount of savings to fall back on if things take a turn. I know I am not alone in my grief and overwhelm and I'm hopelessly optimistic that better things lie ahead. But today, I'm just a little bit tired and a lotta bit angsty. 

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