I absolutely lost it today.
The kind of lost it where too many cookies were consumed, a backlog of tears were released, and an impromptu nap was taken.
Truth be told, I lost it a long time ago. Being alone like this— it’s not in my makeup. I’m the furthest thing from introverted, as is my five-year-old son. We need people. We crave hugs. We long for escape.
Here in Austria, life is beginning to move albeit at a snail’s pace. Stores are reopening, movement is freer, people are bolder.
The little kindergarten our kids attend is open, though very few of their classmates are actually in attendance. It’s a tough call to make. Should I send the kids to kindergarten for a few hours for one afternoon for the sake of our entire family’s mental health? Or should we continue to keep them home for the sake of everyone’s physical health?
Will and I spent the morning going back and forth, though I admit to being the one who wished to throw caution to the wind in favor of spending around three hours (an equivalent to five years in COVID19 times) without being relentlessly summoned to play or build or clean or cook. The option was so close I could taste it. Together, we decided we’d send them for the afternoon. Just for today to see how it goes. We’d looked at the corona numbers, after all, and all reports pointed to a sinking rate in infections.
I’d gotten as far as contacting the kindergarten director about our visit before the articles surfaced; supported articles about kids and corona and other illness-related findings no parent wants to read about. Uncertainty remains high, high enough to backpedal and keep our kids home.
And that’s when everything I’d been stuffing down for weeks on end bubbled to the surface.
This quarantine life with a three and five-year-old is hard. So hard. Each day presents itself with the ongoing internal battle of thoughts that say “I want to keep my sweet kids safe” and “I want my sweet kids to stop touching me.”
It hit me that I don’t really know when the kids and I will be able to take a break from one another, a thought that was too much for me to bear at 10:30 in the morning on a Wednesday.
I don’t enjoy writing stuff like this on my blog which is why I’ve kept my fingers off the keyboard for the last several weeks. But after this morning’s experience, I thought,
You know. I’m not alone in feeling this way. Moms and dads around the world are struggling, too. Sometimes an encouraging note or a “hang in there!” article are exactly what we need. But perhaps, on days like today, all we want is for someone somewhere to go, “Yeah. This is pretty terrible,” and leave it at that because that’s the heartfelt empathy we need – the empathy we crave – at least for today, and perhaps the next.
So, yeah. From one struggling person to another—
This is pretty terrible.