I am healthy. My children are healthy. My family members are all healthy. I am not being abused. I have food, I have shelter, and I am working from home. In the grand scheme of things, I am blessed beyond measure, and I do not take that blessing for granted.
But low-key? Between us? I am not okay. And this is the only space where I feel I can say so out loud and without fear of judgment.
And yes, I can rattle off a list of complaints about our current way of life: pandemic schooling, working from home with two small children (one of them an exclusively breastfed baby), decrease in income, increase in the cost of living, etc, but none of that begins to scratch at the surface of what I’m feeling which, ultimately, boils down to two things: exhaustion and fear.
I’m exhausted. Children require around the clock care and attention. They are mine and I love them, but I’m accustomed to getting small breaks here and there. Whether it’s the break that comes with school or the breaks I get from my extended family members who keep them from time-to-time, some respite is our norm.
But this, our current way of life, is not normal.
And beyond all of that. Beyond the exhaustion is this unrelenting fear. Each time we go out for essential supplies, for instance, we are taking the chance that we could be bringing this virus back home to our families. And while they say children aren’t at risk, we’ve all read the articles about the many young and able-bodied people who have succumb to this illness. Will one of my children be next? My parents? My husband? My sister, a nurse practitioner in a COVID-19 unit who just last week asked us to try to help her secure some PPE? or even me? Will I be next?
Of course, you can’t give in to these thoughts. You must take each day, each moment, each breath at a time. If you’re religious or spiritual you pray. And I do. We do. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I often feel as though I’m being made to function while having a gun pointed at my head. And living like that, like this, is beginning to take its toll.
The days seem to have no beginning and no end. And the mind, as far as I understand it, wasn’t built to compute this nonsensical way of existing. So here we are. Are there people who are worse off? Yes, but that very logical line of reasoning does nothing to abate my anxiety, so rather than beat myself over feeling what I feel, I’m owning it. And between us? It’s okay for you to own it, too.
When I considered writing this piece, it occurred to me that I should perhaps write something motivational instead. Perhaps tips on how to navigate pandemic living with children. Or how to date your lover during this time. I even considered creating an online book club. Ultimately, though, I decided that publishing this piece, while not necessarily uplifting, is important. This is a weird time. We feel weird. Our kids are being weird. We’re being stretched in ways we never thought possible, but we’re here. Together. So yeah, I’m not okay. But I will be. And you will be, too.
Hey, Boo! My name is Lisa and you’ve stumbled upon my own little corner of the world. I’m a 30 something-year-old writer/mother/wife who happens to love lipstick, high heels, blackness, and the truth. You’ll find a mix of everything on this site, so I won’t bore you by trying to define this space. I hope you stay awhile!