By Jessica Tyler of I Dream of Naptime
Social media during coronavirus is a tricky thing. It’s entertainment and connection. I’m spending more time on there than ever, craving some human (i.e. not married to me) interaction. But in all these hours of scrolling, I’m seeing utter insanity.
I see new hobbies. Insane fitness challenges. Home makeovers. Kondo-ing the crap out of all the things. Cooking and baking 24-7. Two-a-day workouts. Questions about “what do I do with all this free time?” And it leaves me with one question.
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?
Seriously. Who. Are. These. People? First, I want to know if you have children. Second, WHY?
Between work, kitchen kindergarten, and keeping everyone alive I don’t have time. I haven’t watched an episode of the Real Housewives in weeks let alone started a new hobby. Grocery shopping takes hours more than ever before. I’m avoiding stores for fear of coronavirus, so I’m shopping online. I spend hours building the perfect cart only to find out I can’t get it delivered for sixteen days.
Ever tried telehealth with a three-year-old? My younger son has some special needs that require therapy which has moved online in these times. He has a huge personality. Equal parts hilarious and opinionated, so if he doesn’t want to do therapy he makes himself known. Imagine the cutest face ever yelling “you’re a bad mom!” while slamming his bedroom door.
Trying to get my older son to learn online is a fiasco itself. He adores his teacher but does not love Professor Mom. He is smarter than my husband and I when it comes to ways to avoid all things education. We spend a good bit of time bargaining, threatening, and bribing.
Then there’s my job. I’m a WFH veteran, so my job consists of conference calls all the live-long day. I’m busy! Throw in a quick workout so my jeans fit someday-when-I wear-real-pants-again and I’m spent.
Don’t get me wrong. I am very aware that there is a privilege in my quarantine. I am thankful for every single person out on the front line. Whether it’s the clerk in the grocery store or my brother-in-law the ER doctor, you have my appreciation. But these things are my reality. While it’s filled with the privilege of being able to work from home, having a job, and a house full of food—it’s freaking hard.
Finding my best self? Organizing, starting a new hobby? Nope. I don’t want to. And, more importantly—I don’t feel guilty about it. I’m trying to keep my head above water. I’m like the duck you see in the pond—all is good above the water but below I’m paddling like hell.
There is a whole internet movement focused on bettering ourselves during this time, and why? Someday (and it will happen), we will go back to some sort of normalcy. We will be back to being over-scheduled and running our children every which way all the time. Back to a total lack of work/life balance. Dinners on the fly.
Whatever happened to enjoying the silence and hitting the pause button? Why do we need to strive to be our better (best) selves in a time that is a total shit show? While I agree that these times are lonely and I miss seeing people live and in-person, I’m also enjoying the calm before the renewal of the 21st Century storm.
When we un-pause and our life and social commitments are renewed, we will never get this time back. Stop. Breathe. Skip the shower and hit the dry shampoo. Let your child have some (gasp!) screen time.
Can’t we stop holding ourselves to a standard of excellence that is unrealistic in our real lives? Read a book instead of organizing the closet. Hug your kiddos- those temper tantrums and middle of the night wake-up calls? This is hard for them too. Turn on some trash TV. Life will return. Enjoy the peace while it lasts.
About the Author
Jessica Tyler is wife to Jeff and mom to two boys, Will and Ben. She is a non-profit professional by day and an expert in cleaning marker off upholstery by night. She lives in Colorado with her boys and her cat Gracie, who adds another female to the mix. You can find her at I Dream of Naptime and on Instagram at jlintyler.