This time in our lives is so weird and unique. No one has ever been through this same set of circumstances. We are paving the way for this virus and making huge strides in technology to accommodate life. But we are also making history.
Our parents and grandparents have seen hard times and lived through historical events…wars, illnesses, political events, etc. But none of them have experienced it exactly like this. We can’t say “how did you deal with these things in the past?” “What did you do to solve this problem?” “How did it work out in the end?”
From the beginning of all of this, we have been lucky to have so many advances in technology. This has allowed us to be able to stay in touch with friends and family (which has greatly helped sanity levels I imagine). Technology has also allowed many businesses to stay open by allowing employees to work remotely, made a larger online presence for selling their items and coordinating pickups and delivery of items. Technology has also greatly improved the healthcare system by making virtual visits easier and more accessible to so many and they are learning more each day about how to do it better. Technology has also allowed children to continue learning from home with various distance learning elements and that is also improving and changing constantly as we learn more. Technology has also pushed companies to make their apps and websites and services function better to help serve our needs for effectively.
I am so proud of what we have done with technology and can not stop thinking about how different this experience would be if technology was not to prevalent in our lives.
Yes, I know we will one day need to set new screen limits for our kids and things will be harder in some ways because of all the time we have spent on our devices, but I still think life would have been so much harder without it.
We are setting the path for the future and this whole event will be written about in history books. I would really love for this time to be looked at and have our children and grandchildren say that we did a good job handling this and did all we could. I don’t want them to say “why couldn’t you have just stayed home longer and not been so anxious to get to a Target?”
I know that everyone’s situation is different and not everyone can stay home, But if you can…PLEASE DO IT! The other risk is that everyone stops taking this seriously, goes back to “normal” too quickly and we have to do this all again!! Let’s make sure that the history we are making is one that we can be proud to have been a part of.
My sweet boy had his last day of preschool ever yesterday. He didn’t seem to care that things are over for him. He was telling his sisters it was his last Zoom meeting and seemed pretty happy. He’s just so excited for kindergarten!
Me on the other hand, I was a mess! I cried off screen and just felt so bummed out when it was over. I was already feeling overwhelmed and sad about things and then this. I was just in a gloomy mood the rest of the day. We were supposed to give these sweet teachers hugs goodbye and gifts wrapped with love and thankfulness. Instead, there were kisses blown to the screen and mom’s sad about endings.
This pandemic is all so weird and unprecedented. We are all doing the best we can. I’m so proud of all Alex has accomplished this year and I know he’s ready to tackle kindergarten next year (no matter what form that may come in come Fall).
I know the end of preschool for my youngest isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things when others are ending high school, missing weddings, no funerals, no graduations, no proms, not working, virtually learning, moving on to middle school or high school and all the unknowns that our future holds. I’m sending hugs to you all because this shit is hard and it’s weird and strange and we can’t ask our parents or grandparents what something exactly like this was like. We are setting the path for the future. (I need to do another whole post on this thought.)
Hug your babies or kids or family or friends, in real life or virtually, and know that we are all going through changes of some sort and we are here for each other.
We have been doing distance learning for about a month now. It has been quite an adjustment, but I think we are doing better with it than we were at the beginning.
Before distance learning started, we did some homeschooling at home. A lot of people thought this was a little weird because we had a schedule and had things planned for the day. But we don’t do well just winging it. None of us do. I would have just given them iPads all day and read a book or played on my phone (which I did a lot of at the beginning following the news as everything was changing by the hour). So we made a schedule (the kids made their own daily schedule and lunch menus) and adjusted when need be. It was so fun to see them so enthusiastic and willing to make these changes. And we are still using the lunch chart – we are on week 1 for the 2nd time 😁.
After a couple weeks of homeschooling, the teachers were ready to start distance learning. At the beginning it was very overwhelming and we struggled at lot. Everyone was frustrated, there were a lot of tears and I was really worried about how we would do this long-term.
After about a month, as I said, things are much better. The girls have gotten into a good groove about what they need to accomplish and they are getting everything done like they should. Their school work is getting done in the mornings before lunch and then we do other activities in the afternoon. We go outside, watch movies, play Minecraft, play games, have quiet time, build LEGO, have screen time, or just be creative with their toys. It’s been working out really well. And aside from a question here and there, they don’t need my help very much now that they have learned how their programs work.
On the question note, I have really been trying not to help them very much with their work. I have been encouraging them to ask their teachers if they don’t understand something, because that is what they would be doing at school. And that is not me being lazy. I would have a tendency to help too much or do more for them than I should. And that doesn’t benefit then at all. And it helps them to communicate with their teachers as well.
So the girls are doing well with this (they are in 3rd grade and 1st grade). My little guy (who will be in Kindergarten next year) has been having a little bit of a harder time. It is hit and miss about what he wants to do. The excitement has worn off for him. He will only work on activities for a few minutes at a time, says he wants to see his friends, and it is hit or miss whether he actively participates in virtual meetings with his class. The girls went through this as well, and now he is catching up and realizing this is what life is going to be for a while. After the girls are done with school work, though, he’s much better when he can play with them. So, I do what I can with him and try to make him excited, but we are just working with it and adjusting as we go.
Now that we have been told that this will continue for the rest of the school year (which I already expected and had been preparing the kids for this as well), it kind of feels like a relief in a way. Just to know what will be happening and we can move forward with this.
I definitely commend the teachers for all their hard work. I know it’s a strange time for them as well. I think they are doing the best they can and I’m thankful we have teachers who are involved and are very dedicated to their kids. I have heard that some other people aren’t having as good of an experience as we are. We have good and bad days and I am sure they do as well. Technology doesn’t always do what we want it to and problems arise. But the teachers have been really good above having some lenience and making sure the kids know that they are doing well and it’s ok if things aren’t perfect.
As I said the other day, I think there will be some lasting changes from this. I am not looking forward to tearing my kids away from screens when all of this is done. I feel like that is a huge downfall of all of this right now. They are just so addicted to screens. Getting outside as much as possible has definitely been helping and I am thankful this didn’t all happen in the dead of winter. The walks and sunshine (or PE time) have been great!
If (when?) we have another pandemic, teachers (and kids) will be prepared for it and have a better idea how to work remotely. I also think that this has the possibility to drastically change school in the future. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to have kids do work online instead of cancelling school on snow-days. Or kids could do some work from home if they are sick and not fall behind. I think this could be a very positive thing for schools in the future.
How is distance learning going for you and your kids? Are there ages you think are well-suited for this? Ages that aren’t?
I’m having a hard time today staying happy and feeling useful. I just feel like no matter what I suggest to my kids, someone whines about it or gets upset with me. I’m feeling kind of useless today.
I know that we are all going through feelings like this right now, but I’m just struggling today. I’m sad about all the changes and what the coming months and next school year are going to look like. I’m having a hard time knowing that everything is ending in Rosemount in a way we weren’t expecting or hoping for. I wanted to have a going away party with friends and neighbors and have promises to keep in touch. I’m disappointed we can’t have that.
I just feel like everything that is happening is happening so abruptly. Just ending.
But I am not looking for a pity party. I know we are so lucky our house sold and so lucky that things are falling into place fairly well to make this move happen. And I know we are lucky for having all of this going on. But it just feels like a lot today. A lot on my mind, a lot of my shoulders and I’m just having a hard time being the optimist and being happy every second for the kids.
I’m trying to do motivating things for them (playing outside, going on walks/bike rides/rollerblading, reading fun books with cousins, running through sprinklers…), but it just doesn’t feel like good enough….or enough at all. I know this will pass. It always does, but today it just feels like a struggle. The kids are kind of tired and cranky, and I’m finding it difficult to be happy enough to counteract their emotions today. So then we are all crankier. Yuk.
So I am going to take the kids and go read our book in the fort of our swing set. Even if only 2/3 of them are interested right now. I’m going to keep doing things even if I have to take two extra minutes between activities because I am crying and just mad at myself for not being happy today.
I don’t want to hide all my emotions from my kids either. I know this is all hard on them and I want them to know that they aren’t alone and that I am sad and mad and struggling, too. I think it helps them to see that their parents have emotions and that things bother them, too.
Things are hard right now, for a variety of reasons that change every day. I can do hard things, but I’m in the middle of a time that just feels
It will get better. I know this. But in the middle of it, it is ok that it is hard.
I have been thinking a lot about how we will act after all of this is over. So many people are so hopeful this will be over soon and go back to normal. But I fear what normal will be after this.
I have noticed this in simple things. While reading a book, while watching tv…I see (or read about) people gathering and I get a sudden panicked flutter “You shouldn’t be doing that! You are supposed to be 6 feet apart! That is dangerous! You’re going to get sick!” And I don’t foresee this bit of PTSD going away very quickly.
Yes, for some people, I think they will just immediately go back to normal as soon as they are told it is ok. I will definitely be much more hesitant. I will still want groceries delivered and I think it will be a while before just randomly wandering around stores. The idea of hanging out at the Mall of America freaks me out. So many people!!! I don’t think this will help my dislike of large crowds.
If they say our kids can go to school (which I don’t think they will), I don’t know that I would send them back. It’s just too risky. Just because kids have lesser symptoms, doesn’t mean they can’t get it and pass it on to others (parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.) and many of those are immunocompromised.
I am so glad to see that so many businesses are doing what they can to adjust. Online shopping, curbside pickup, delivery services, helping people work from home….It’s such a nice thing to see. And so many of these companies will now have better policies implemented in case this happens again. This is also a good time to see which companies are doing a good job and which companies maybe aren’t doing such a great job.
I don’t think this will be the last pandemic we will see. I believe that everyone will be better prepared if it does happen again, though. We will have a better idea of how to live and work virtually and how to function with minimal contact. I think this will ultimately change us. Hopefully for the better (help us to appreciate everything we have when we were so limited to what we could do). I hope we appreciate time with our family and friends more and I hope the lasting repercussions of this are not too harmful.
I hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy. Continue to do the best you can, because we aren’t alone. We are all going through this in our own ways and there’s no right way to do so. Hang in there!
I’ve always been an extrovert. I need to be around people to thrive. This means this quarantine time has been hard for me. But not as hard as I thought it would be….let’s figure out why.
I think if this had happened during a time where social media wasn’t so prevalent and we weren’t able to communicate so easily with phones/iPads, computers, this would be a very different situation. I think we should be so thankful we are able to stay in touch with friends and family via video chats, phone calls, texts, emails, and social media.
Along with being an extrovert, I am a huge people pleaser. I know I have talked about this on here before. Maybe these go hand in hand. I always feel the need to schedule things with people (play dates, hang outs, dinners, book clubs, family gatherings, etc.) and it can become stressful and time consuming. I never really thought about how much time I spent on all of the scheduling until I couldn’t do it anymore. It’s a weird feeling, but also a little freeing.
I am the person that my friends always thank for planning a gathering or get-together. But I also stress if I don’t make everyone happy with what is chosen. This is the case with book club as well. If not everyone can make it, I feel like I might be disappointing or letting someone down.
I am still missing my friends like crazy, but not as much as I expected to. Which kind of freaks me out.
I still connect with many of them via social media, video chats (on Duo), text and I have seen a couple from a distance. And these things have been very helpful and so much fun. It isn’t that I don’t miss them. I do, but I am not missing the in-person interaction like I thought I would.
On another note, with our pending move, I am having a bunch of emotional breakdowns about leaving friends. There’s a pretty good chance we will end up leaving the house before quarantine is over. I know we will still see each other and I can come visit (and they will probably want to visit the new house sometime), but we were supposed to have all summer together to hang out, let our kids play together, drink by the pool, make stronger friendships that are more likely to last with a move…it has just been emotional. And I have tried not to let my kids see how it makes me emotional because I know they are having similar feelings with their friends and not being at school and sports.
I am really curious what things will be like when we are done with this quarantine. I know there will be lasting consequences on all of us. But to what extent it is unknown. I know that I am still going to be very hesitant for in-person interactions for a long time after this. Because it will be what we have become accustomed to.
I guess all of my rambling was to say that yes, I am definitely an extrovert. But I’m finding that being secluded is not all that bad right now, due to all the ways I’m finding to be “with” people and help me thrive. I’m looking forward to a video chat with a friend tonight. And just realized there’s a few others I haven’t talked to in a few days…so I better go do that!
I hope you are finding ways to connect with those who are important to you during this hard time. What are some of your favorite ways to keep in touch? What do you think this time would be like without digital connections?
When all of this started, weekends were such a sought after time. You work all week to get to the weekend and get to play and make plans and do whatever.
But now, I don’t really look forward to the weekends.
What is there to look forward to? You don’t have plans. You can’t make plans. You don’t have sports or activities. I found myself almost dreading the weekend because we had to find so much time to fill up.
I told my hubby this weekend that I was looking forward to Monday. And he agreed. There’s a schedule, there’s a plan, there’s school work and actual work and things to accomplish. It just feels so backwards.
We thought about going to a local park to walk on some trails this weekend, but as I drove by one, it was packed. Because everyone had the same thought. Having so many people on these trails sort of defeats the purpose of what we are supposed to be doing. But there just aren’t that many options to stay active and stay away from people.
When our boat gets in the lake, we will have that as an option of something to do. And that will be nice. I am thankful for our new lot so we can have somewhere else to go for a change of scenery.
But honestly. I am so thankful the kids have some school things to work on and a semblance of a plan for the week. It makes the days go more quickly, more smoothly and helps keep me from going insane. This monotony is going to make us all a little batty as time goes on I think.
Some day, when this has all passed, I think we will be excited about weekends again. But for now, I am going to continue to be more excited about the weekdays than the weekends.
What are you doing on the weekends to stay busy and away from others?
We have all been told that it’s a good thing to make time for yourself. As a mom or parent, the majority of your time is spent taking care of kids, doing adult things, working, cleaning, shopping, keeping everyone alive and happy, keeping that fun, love and spark alive in a marriage and also balancing time for yourself.
I work from home and I “stay home” with the kids. Mind you, two are in school and the third goes to preschool four days a week. I do meal plans, help get kids to sports, make lunches, get them ready for school and all those other random things that need to be done when squeezed in with work. My husband works from home as well and does all of these things, too. But when I have a few free minutes I feel guilty. Like LOTS of guilt.
“I should be vacuuming”, “I should be cleaning”, “I have hundred loads of laundry to put away”, “I should be learning some more coding”, “I need to get my work done”, “I need to get dinner started”, “Crap, I forgot about my to-do list”, “shoot, the car needs service”, “OMG I need to get these library books back today”, “I should probably eat so I’m not so hangry”, “Ahh I signed up to volunteer today”, “I forgot to plan a birthday party”, “LEGO group isn’t scheduled yet”, and on and on and on and….
I think “I really wanted to finish this chapter of my book”, “I really wanted to get that blog post published”, “I meant to run on the treadmill this morning but decided to sleep in instead”, “I wanted to have tea with my best friend”, “I wanted to use that massage gift card”, “I would love to take a quick nap”…..and then the guilt comes.
I have all these things I should do for myself. Paint my nails. Take a bath. Take a shower. Finish a book. Go on a walk. Just stare out the window. But I feel like I might “get caught” sitting around or being lazy and then I need to justify what I did before that to make it OK for me to be sitting. Seriously. Who is going to catch me? My husband? He knows what I do during the day. I’m not a quiet person and he hears me stomping around all day. I’m also a chatty person so I am usually talking to him non-stop all day so he knows pretty much everything I am doing. He doesn’t need these updates. I just feel like “maybe he will wonder why I’m not doing XYZ right now.” Guess what?! HE’S NOT. And no one else is for that matter.
I have always been a guilt-filled person. I have sent texts late at night to friends to make sure I haven’t said anything overly offensive or hurt feelings. I have wondered if not talking to someone long enough at school or preschool made them think I wasn’t a nice person. I am clearly a people pleaser. But why is it that I don’t quite care enough to please myself. (That sounded a lot dirtier than I intended BTW.)
I can’t even call to order a pizza or call someone who has the sole job of talking to me when I call because I feel like I am inconveniencing them. I just don’t want to bother anyone.
This is an exhausting way to live, by the way. Holy cow am I spent by the time I tuck the kids into bed. I just want to go to sleep. Because my brain has been on overdrive all day. I’ve been worrying about how every little thing I do is perceived and I haven’t taken one minute to just breathe and say “it’s ok to take a minute to yourself.”
With full honesty here, I DO take time for myself. I tell my kid to read a book so I can scroll Facebook or Instagram. But honestly, scrolling doesn’t make me happy. I oddly feel more happy when I post something for other people to see. It isn’t really FOR them. It’s actually for me because I love to see the memories pop up each year. That is more of a high for me. I like to use it as a journaling outlet.
If I’m being honest here, I think the reason I feel so much guilt is because, although I have a part-time job, I don’t work full-time and don’t feel like I contribute enough. I feel like I am being wasteful with my time if I am not working or doing something useful with any extra time I have. Maybe this is a personal issue. Maybe this is a stay-at-home-mom issue. Whatever it is…I feel it.
So maybe I do find more time for myself than I think I do, but I just wanted to see if I was alone. Am I the only one who feels guilty when they take some time for themselves? Is this guilt just a mom-thing? Am I hallucinating and getting more me-time than I think I am and just being whiny? Who knows. Maybe I’ll find some balance in my 40s.
This story below has been on my mind and I can’t stop thinking about it. I have had similar things happen, but not to this extent and I just need to share it.
A man’s son (a 5 year old in kindergarten) wanted his nails painted and then got bullied at school for it. Before I say what my feelings are and why this resonates with me, I want you to read what this dad said.
When I read this I wanted to hug this little boy and high five his parents. This poor kid gets bullied and picked on by his peers for something as small as painting his nails. It breaks my heart.
My youngest is 5. He will be in Kindergarten in the Fall. And this boy loves his nails painted, tutus, skirts and all things glittery and sparkly. His favorite book is called “Just Add Glitter”. Now some people might say that he likes these things because he has two older sisters, or because I, myself, like to have my nails painted and LOVE glitter and sparkly things. But (1) his sisters are not very girly. Their dress-wearing is sporadic, they have buzzed undercuts on their hair, play hockey and softball and are both tough as nails! And (2) he just likes them. He isn’t pressured by his sisters to wear skirts, he just chooses them when he picks out his own clothes. Because they spin and sparkle and make him happy.
I also have a daughter who is 9 and she loves sports, video games, has short hair (because it makes her feel awesome!) and loves to ride her bike and rollerblade and go skating and skiing and is one of the funniest people I know. But she has been told that she “looks like a boy” because her hair is short. WHAT?! It makes me so sad.
Who are we or these kids to judge this and say it isn’t ok? Even into adulthood, women especially are judged for how they look or what they wear if it might not fit into the norm or just doesn’t appeal to one person. I am almost 40 and in my head I don’t give a damn what people say or think about me, but I know that I do to some extent.
And my son and this boy above are 5! I’m an adult and I can handle it. But these kids are just learning who they are, finding themselves and learning to love themselves. So it makes me so sad that this happens.
I know this happens. I am naive enough to think that “this won’t happen to my kid” or “things will change” or “it’ll be ok”. It can hurt. And it sucks when my kid comes home and tells me that someone said “skirts are for girls”. No they freaking aren’t. They are for anyone that wants to freaking wear them.
Let me digress briefly about toys being gendered. This makes me INSANE! My kids (both girls and boy) play with EVERYTHING! They dress up, play with pretend food, play all kinds of games, play with doll houses, play with dolls, play with cars, play with LEGO, play sports, play video games, play with PlayDoh, etc. And never once have they said they can’t play with something because it’s “for a boy” or “for a girl”. I know my husband and I would have a conversation with them if they did, but we raised them to know that TOYS ARE TOYS. There are not boy-toys or girl-toys. Just like it is nonsense that blue is for boys and pink is for girls. I have many male adult friends I have seen wear pink. And my girls rock blue all the time!
The picture at the beginning of this post was from a couple weeks ago. I was working and I needed my son to play by himself for a while. I snapped a couple pictures and a video of him playing and it was so sweet. I loved listening to the way the parents talked to the kids, the voices he used for mom, dad, kids and just how he made everyone interact. It really shows what goes through their heads as you see them play with these things. The parents were nurturing, the siblings in his pretend house we helpful and I was so proud of the interactions I overheard. And I never would have gotten this sweet moment if I had told him “Alex, that dollhouse isn’t for you to play with, it is for your sisters.”
It is hard to talk to your kids about these things. And not hard in the sense that I don’t know what to say, but hard that I HAVE to tell them “don’t worry about what people say”, “don’t listen to them”, “you can like anything you like”, “you are beautiful”, “you are you and you are amazing and spectacular”, “tell those kids that it’s ok to like what you want and it is ok that they don’t like the same things”. And for the most part, this works, We have very emotionally strong kids, but it still makes my heart hurt that these things even need to be said.
We need to get our heads out of the clouds and stop thinking in this way of the past. It is 2020. We should be above this. Shouldn’t we have bigger things to worry about than what color our kids are wearing, what toys they are playing with or if they want to accessorize themselves?
So stop and listen to yourself when you are talking to your kids. It is not ok to put this pressure on them. They need to see they are loved and accepted for any choices they make. Someday they will be older and have much bigger and harder things they are dealing with than whether someone says they shouldn’t wear nail polish and you will want them to be able to come to you about it and not be embarrassed. So step up your game and make sure you are teaching your children acceptance. And maybe it will be a good refresher course for you as well.