Welcome, Mamma Crew! Today is Mamma Thursdays when it’s all about us! The mammas!
I have to admit that I had a completely different episode scheduled for today. And by ‘scheduled’ I mean a narrative outline that was going to help me stay on track and discuss something interesting with you.
But I’m feeling The Big Overwhelm. No, I’m not depressed (although I suppose, given the situation, I have every right to be). I’m just having an off-day, you know what I mean? Tired of being stuck at home; tired of dealing with the challenges that this word pandemic has brought upon us. And I started thinking of you. How tired you must be; or how over-stressed or how challenged.
It’s getting close to mother’s day and as my husband prepares for the fact that the kids are not going to be doing their own shopping or creating their own gifts this year, I started thinking about my mother. My relationship with my mother and how challenging it could be at times. And now, I wonder — did I truly appreciate all of her efforts? No, she was not the perfect mother, None of us are, really. But just thinking about the challenges she had to face, you know?
As I sit here stuck in my own home, dealing with children who are sick and tired of being at home, who are missing their friends, missing their activities, who are really beginning to feel that this is endless; that they don’t know when ‘normal’ will return. If there will be a new normal.
But what is that new normal? Does it mean that it would be normal just like before? Or a new normal until we get a vaccine? Or is it a new normal until we get an actual treatment for the disease? I mean, what is normal?
And the thing is, that when they ask me questions, I usually have answers but right now, I have no answers. And I’m tired of not having answers. And of course, as it gets to them, the situation, it starts to get to me. My children are my weak point and I have a really hard time seeing them struggle through this. If they go down, I know I will go down. It’s a vicious circle because if I go down, I know I will bring them down. And I can’t do that.
So I only allow myself these moments late at night. Or in private, Now I realize this isn’t very private but it feels private. I’m alone. In the living room. Recording. Talking to no one, and talking to everyone. And just feeling The Big Overwhelm.
I tell myself it won’t feel quite as challenging once the school year is over, which is four weeks from now. I won’t be running a homeschool co-op; I won’t be homeschooling; the kids will have some time off… And we’ll all have some time to relax. But relax doing what?
I mean, they can bike around here in the community and they can talk to their friends. They can hang out in their rooms — but that’s just not the life that we’re used to! We’re used to such a high level of activity. This is just… It’s hard. It’s very, very hard.
And of course, it is getting to that point my husband and I are bickering. No marriage is perfect. And it’s normal to have arguments, disagreements, and fights. But it’s just bickering. You know, that bickering you do because you’re getting on each other’s nerves? And how could we avoid being on each other’s nerves? We’ve been stuck in our home for six weeks! Six weeks and counting and no end in sight!
Yes, there’s talk about reopening states, and there’s talk about opening restaurants and there’s talk about all these things. But I have a compromised autoimmune system. So it’s hard for us to take that chance, expose ourselves. So here we are, with no end in sight. Back to feeling The Big Overwhelm. The kids tired of being locked down, my husband tired of being locked down, me tired of having everybody on top of me all day long.
And of course, in all of these, feeling guilt — enormous guilt — that I dare complain about any of it because the bottom line is my family is healthy, it’s safe — we’re good. We’re good. I mean all we really have to complain about is cabin fever. Okay, that’s minimizing it, isn’t it? This has been an extremely stressful situation. So stressful.
And again the sense that there is no end in sight. I think that has a tremendous amount of stress on everything because you can’t tell yourself, “By this date, it will be over.”
I love history and the kids and I were just reading about the Spanish flu of 1812. And I keep telling myself, “If they were able to overcome the Spanish flu back then, with very little knowledge of medicine compared to today, we will overcome again, right?” We will be okay. Things will go back to normal. Eventually. But that doesn’t stop me from feeling down today.
And frankly, it’s especially annoying when I go online and see my friends and they’re learning French; and they’re learning how to crochet or they’re learning some new software or SEO; or whatever it is that they’re doing. And I think, “Wow! Where do they get the gumption to do that?” I find myself cooking three meals a day, trying to keep the house clean, trying to keep these kids happy, trying not to kill my husband — how do they have time to do that on top of that?
Okay, so they don’t run a co-op and okay, they don’t homeschool. They don’t have grading to do (as a matter of fact, most of them don’t even have children at home anymore). And then I feel guilty again. Guilt that I’m comparing myself to somebody else when I’m always telling my daughters, “Stay in your lane. Stop looking at what other people are doing. Do the best that you can do.”
So when I came to do this podcast today, I realized this was the best that I could do. Share my frustrations with you. Share the fact that I’m still that imperfect mom — doesn’t always get it right; can’t always be Mary Sunshine. Today, I’m just feeling The Big Overwhelm. And that’s okay because I’m a human being.
If you’re feeling The Big Overwhelm too, please share with me. I would love to hear from you.