We are living in very weird and uncertain times right now. Everyday we wake in hopes of a better tomorrow. As a stay at home mom of three, I did not realized how much the pandemic affected us until my oldest asked to go to papa’s house and cried hysterically when I said, “No.”
My oldest is going to be four this month and I did not explain the pandemic to him. He is too young to understand. I told him today is not a good day, maybe another day. I have repeated this answer for the past how ever many weeks we have been asked to “stay home.”
Prior to the pandemic, we were home a majority of the time. Unless, we had a play date scheduled, I have to run some errands during the day, or a walk to the park, we never really leave the house. When we were asked to “stay home” and practice social distancing, I thought, “This is easy. We have already been doing this (somewhat).” Boy, was I wrong.
We have stayed away from the park and any playground equipment just for safe measures. We do not browse the aisles of Target just because we needed to get out for the day. We cannot meet up with our friends to play and have our usual lunch picnic dates. We cannot see family. The kids cannot visit their grandparents or cousins. Birthdays will not be celebrated the same as previous years. We have been secluded. Inside, the backyard, or a walk around the neighborhood are the only places we can go that is considered “safe” during this time.
My kids have missed their grandparents, their friends, and the playground. It does not help when we live a couple houses down from the park either. I feel terrible telling them they cannot go to the playground. My heart aches as much as theirs.
This pandemic made me have a whole new perspective. It affects me, a stay at home mom, as much as it affects the working mom or parent.
I know we are all in this together. I am not alone. My next door neighbor is experiencing the same thing. My friends are experiencing the same thing. My parents are experiencing the same thing. We are all experiencing the same thing. Regardless of how often we leave our house prior to the pandemic, we all have to agree this is not how our lives are supposed to be. We do not have the same freedom as before.
All of this will pass, someday. For now, my goal is to make my kids happy everyday. We do not always have something extravagant planned to make up for the lost of freedom, but we do have something small to look forward to everyday. Lately, it is taking an evening walk around our community and picking the flowers that we see along the way. I have also let my kids become helpers more by walking the dogs (with my supervision) or cleaning up or laundry. Sure, I will have to go over what they have done when it comes to household tasks but the idea is, when they feel like they are helping, it makes them feel GOOD. It changes their behavior too when mom is not always telling them “No” or “Stop making a mess.” My kids were not in school prior to the pandemic so I am not homeschooling them to make up for that area but I do have a preschool activity book that we work on a couple days a week. It is mostly coloring, learning numbers and ABCs.
Not all of our days are perfect. However, we make the best out of it because that is all we can do right now. We change our perspective and we continue to make messes and memories.