This season of life is bringing out the best and worst in me. My brain seems to be at war with itself, and my heart is begging my brain to just calm down. I’m tired, anxious, irritable, snappy, uncomfortable. My I-can-get-through-this attitude has turned into a repeating “We will never get though this. Every day is deeper into the hole.”
We have been quarantined because of the COVID-19 virus for a month. My husband has been home for the last two weeks. For the first few days of him being home, it was fun. He was fun. The kids were living it up. We were spontaneously playing, laughing, and getting along. And then it stopped. There was crying, fussing, fighting. My husband busied himself with the Honey-Do list, I took on the roll of e-learning substitute teacher and Chief Chaos Coordinator. If the kids were crying, I handed them what they wanted. If they were playing nicely past their bedtime, I let them continue to avoid meltdowns.
Because of the new change, I fell into a rapid spiral. I had a day that I stood in one spot for an hour without a single thought in my brain. I couldn’t finish a sentence when talking to my husband. I was in a panic at 3 that afternoon because I didnt make my kids lunch, only to discover that my husband did. They had eaten together at the table. I had no idea.
After dinner that day, a moment of clarity reminded me that my children had not had an ounce of structure since their dad was home. He and I spent every day for two weeks pacifying problems, crawling to the finish line of bedtime. I looked at the time for the final countdown- 6:30. If my husband was at work, that would be the time for a Dance Party. I quietly opened my phone and pressed play on our favorite playlist. You know the scene of Cinderella where the fairy godmother waves her wand and Cindy is covered in her ball gown? Sparkles of magic fall from the sky and surrounds her as the gown wraps itself around her body. THAT is how I felt seeing my kids break from their attitudes and move their little bodies to the music. There were wiggles, laughter, and dance movies only a one and two year old could make look cute. I reset the alarm (PRO TIP) for bed time, and when they heard the tune, they all raced to the bathroom to start their bedtime routine. My husband and I looked at each other- this hadn’t happened in two weeks. There was no meltdown. No one was fighting over the stool in front of the sink. Kids got into their pajamas and into their beds. NO ONE CAME OUT OF THEIR ROOM A THOUSAND TIMES. It was the ultimate confirmation that we need structure in our day, no matter if dad is home or if we are on quarantine.
I am great at structure when school is in session. There is an obligation to get my daughter to school. There is an obligation to pick her up. There are things that need to get done in the day in between those two times. Something about taking away the obligation that scares the SHIT out of me. It makes me feel like I wont reach my goals. It makes me over analyze if I am being a good enough mother or wife or friend. Climbing out of my comfort zone, putting my foot down with myself, working against all of the negativity in my head- it gave me back the family flow that we lost. The best part? My kids knew first thing the next morning that we were back on our path, they gave much less fuss, they let me work in the studio peacefully! It was like they saw me doing my part so they did theirs. Friggen magic. Everything I wanted. Needed. Grateful for.