The pandemic is beginning to dwindle, and it’s ok if part of you is grieving

The pandemic is beginning to dwindle, and it’s ok if part of you is grieving

In late March 2020, I sat on our reclining chair in the living room and watched the United States shut down. Within 72 hours, my children were home 24/7, I had multiple anxiety attacks about my husband going into his office for work, and my hands were cracked and bloody from overusing hand sanitizer.

I couldn’t process any of it, so I cried. I grieved. I grieved over our business, an art gallery, temporarily shutting down at the state’s request. I grieved for my kindergartner who wouldn’t see her friends for a long time (because let’s be honest, any of us who had a basic biology class knew that “fourteen days to stop the spread” was complete bullshit). I grieved for myself because all of my childcare was gone, but the job was still there and needed tending to. I grieved for my college students who were suddenly online learners and probably never wanted it to be that way. I anxiously grieved for my parents, in their sixties, who may not be able to survive COVID-19 if they caught it.

This probably sounds familiar, eh? The sudden changes, twists, and turns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic brought most of us to tears and to our knees. Suddenly, life as we knew it was over.

Fast-forward a year, and cases are down significantly from April 2020. We know how the virus works. We know social distancing works. We know that masks work. At least 18% of the US population 18+ has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Schools are back in session, and according to the CDC, people who have been fully vaccinated are permitted to hang out mask-free with other vaccinated folks and to travel again.

It is, however, a change — and any change can cause grief. If you’re a little sad that this season of your life is ending, well sis — you are not alone.

There will likely never again be a time during our lives when we will have our children with us 24/7. I know; I know — “thank God,” right? Sure, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to be “the person” for my children all day, every day. I remedied every cut, burn, or scratch. I dried every tear. I made the decision whether something was worth crying about. I resented the last parent-teacher conference where I was told my daughter is “too emotional over everything.” While the pandemic strapped me for any time whatsoever to myself, it allowed me to transfer that freedom to my children and give them the safe, comfy space that I know they deserve.

When our children are in school, we wonder. We worry. We overthink it. Despite the non-cholent way we brush our hair off our shoulders as we gossip over salads and lemonades with friends while our kids are in school, be honest: Deep down, we worry constantly.

Was that rambunctious kid mean to her again? Is the Spanish teacher snapping out on all of the kindergartners like she did last week? Did she It’s Tuesday — did I sent money for ice cream? For fuck’s sake, she better not solicit her friend for ice cream money if I forgot. Will she end up catching the stomach bug? Please God, no. Please. I can’t deal with puke.

The truth is that when something changes, we lose. We lose a routine; we lose our stability; we may even lose part of ourselves. And while “positive change” is the understatement of the past year from hell, it’s still a loss. It seemed unimaginable to us to settle into the “new normal” (can we cancel that phrase, please?) a year ago. We became grade school teachers, students of infectious diseases, and — albeit — zombies with hair that hadn’t been washed or died for quite some time. We became advocates for science. We stood up to friends and family members who wouldn’t take this horrific pandemic seriously. Those of us who were quiet spoke up, and those of us who spoke up learned to listen and to understand that we really are not in control of anything.

As we leave this phase of our lives as women, adult children, mothers, and employees, we will never forget where we came from over the past year. If you watch your partner leave for work after working at home for a year and sneak into the bathroom to cry afterwards, it’s okay. If you painfully watch your kids, donning a mask and a smile, hop onto the school bus and you feel a little bit angry inside, it’s okay.

If you’re grieving that this chapter is over, it’s okay.

ThreeThingsThursday: The top 3 reasons we have decided to homeschool

ThreeThingsThursday: The top 3 reasons we have decided to homeschool

Spoiler alert: the pandemic actually isn’t on the list. Moving along.

I am ready to do the walk of crisis-schooling shame. I failed. Truly. My husband works full time; I work part time. We are lucky to have kept our jobs through this. We have a kindergartner and a two year old. The meetings, the daily assignments…we just couldn’t do it. We couldn’t keep up, and eventually, we all fizzled out.

There has not been a moment in time during this pandemic bullshit that I have not felt like a failure in one of my roles: being a mom, being a teacher, being a wife, being someone who cares about her own mental health and well-being.

I have now finished my coronavirus crisis schooling walk of shame, because after going through all of the above for months, ya girl is comin’ out swinging and ready to stand thy ground.

Which is why…drumroll please…we are very excited to move to a homeschooling model of education beginning in fall 2020. Not cyber school; not crisis school — legit, mom-is-my-teacher-and-maybe-sometimes-dad-is-too- school.

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Ten things your kids won’t say to you when we look back on this time in history

Ten things your kids won’t say to you when we look back on this time in history

1. You fed me too many pre-packaged meals.

2. You let me watch too much TV and screens.

3. I wish you would have put more effort into making me do more common core math assignments.

4. Fresh fruit would have been better than packed fruit, obviously.

5. I wish you would have cooked more instead of ordering take-out meals that consisted of chicken fingers, French fries, and pizza.

6. It would have been great if you would have violated the rules and put me in danger for things like prom.

7. I’m behind in life because we didn’t finish every art or gym project my teacher assigned.

8. You unfortunately didn’t teach me a new language or skill.

9. I wish we would have done more virtual meet-ups that I probably won’t remember.

10. You should have demanded a more consistent bedtime schedule.

Take a deep breath, mama. You’re doing just fine, and when your kids look back on this time, they’ll fondly remember how courageous you were and how hard you tried.

Thrive Thirty! A Brief Introduction

Thrive Thirty! A Brief Introduction

Lately I have been thinking about how to bring more value to my audience. Most of my followers (over 2k on this blog and 9k on the Gram!) are moms who are athletic. I kept going through ideas in my head about what content I can produce that is easy to understand, implement, and share…

…and it hit me one night: Thrive Thirty.

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Five Momisms I’m Totally Done With

Five Momisms I’m Totally Done With

I’ve been focused on contentment, giving, and self-care lately (you can see a glimpse of this in my last post). I’m working to find contentment in each stage of life and to be thankful that I am here another day. God didn’t create us to be miserable complainers, so I am working on finding joy vs. finding things to criticize.

Part of that journey means assessing some of the bickering and arguing that goes on in my house. In five years, is it going to matter that the cereal bag wasn’t closed correctly? Is it going to stick out in my head that my husband forgot to put a bag in the trash? Am I going to be scarred for life replaying all the times I picked up clutter that probably didn’t result from me…? No, not really.

So, I’ve decided to give up on a few arguments with my kids that seem pretty pointless. As a first time mom, I harped on these over and over. Now that I am on kid #3, I’ve become a lot more laid back.

Here are five arguments that, going forward, I refused to have with my kids.

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