This is new territory for all of us. We have never been through a global pandemic before so it is not like we can turn to Grandma and ask “How did you cope?”. We are all learning as we go. We are figuring it out, and creating our new (temporary) normal in our homes. First of all, I want to say that I am grateful that my family is safe and under one roof. We are thankful for all the essential workers that are still providing for us in the economy.
Now, I have to admit…this is HARD! Some days more so than others, but I think I speak for many of us when I say that I did not realize how difficult this was going to be. I see all the funny memes making the rounds about watching TV and chilling. Well, that is not so for parents! How many of you have hit your breaking point? ME! I miss school, I love our teachers, and I long for the old normal.
This weekend…for the first time in FIVE weeks I had alone time. My husband took the kids for a bike ride and I was alone in the house. It was simply glorious! It reminded me how important alone time is, how important ME time is. I am sure you all are dying to know what I did?!? Well, I did what every mom would do during a global pandemic with her first time alone in the house. I cried. I took a nap. Then, when they got home, I pretended I was still asleep. Shh...don’t tell on me.
I am not ashamed to admit that I cried. I was just so relieved to be alone. I was grateful to have some space, to not be absorbing someone else’s emotions. To not be having to care for another human being for a few minutes. To be able to clear my mind, and just breathe. To not have to hold all the stress of the world in, and pretend everything is fine. As a mom, as a woman, we take on others emotions and when we are all trapped in the house, I think it is all escalated tenfold.
At that point, I knew for the well-being of myself (and the household), I needed to find time for myself throughout the week. How do you do that when we are all trapped? I encourage you all to take some time for yourself. Here are some tips:
- Get up early – if you are a morning person you can be the first one up and have the house to yourself.
- Stay up late – if you are a night person you can stay up late and have some peace while others sleep.
- Go for a walk ALONE. This is only possible if you have a spouse that can watch the kids or you have older kids.
- Nap time for them…nap time for you?
- Kick them out – If they can go for a walk without you, make it happen.
- Hide in the closet and read a book.
- Take a bath….and LOCK THE DOOR.
As you take care of everyone else remember that you also need to care for yourself. A happy mama is a good mama. I know, for myself, I am more patient and loving when I am taking care of my own needs. Communicate with your significant other about what you need as far as personal space. So often we leave ourselves for last, let’s not hit our breaking point. Let’s stay strong by taking a break and making sure we are healthy mentally. This may be hard, but if you are able to find time for YOU it will be a little bit easier.
Megan Pighetti loves coffee, is a mom of two amazing girls, and is the author of Fairy-Tailed Wish. Megan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Consumer and Family Sciences with a concentration in Education from Colorado State University.