Apr 2, 2020

Don’t give up, but also please give in

Well? How’s everyone doing out there? We are at the end of week three of The Terrible Awful and we are still trying to sort things out.

We are used to going to the park, strolling around Target for no reason, going to loads of high school soccer games per week and eating out as a family. Now? That’s all over with, of course. And because of our town’s recent Shelter in Place order, we can’t even drive a few miles to play at the park. Like you, there are no more slow strolls around Target. It’s just in for the essentials and right back out.

Frozen pizzas and ice cream cookie sandwiches are essential, right?

As tricky as this new normal is to manage and with all of these new lessons I’m learning, I have found out one thing:

I’m not going to give up, but I’m also most certainly going to give in.

Yes, I KNOW I’m supposed to be the teacher right now. But, I’m also the counselor. Plus, I’m the fight-breaker-upper, the cook, the PE coach, the after school tutor, the time management manager and the code enforcer. Just to name a few. And yes, I also know that there are parents who choose to have their kids home with them all the time. But they also have libraries to visit, parks to run off steam, museums, and let’s not forget patience. I didn’t CHOOSE to have these people home all day every day. One of mine loves the concept of online school, but the rest are very social. We are not having a wonderful time most of the time.

I don’t plan on giving up, but I am also certainly giving in.

I’m giving in on expecting a lot from these kids. Actually, I’m giving up on expecting much of anything from these kids. Their entire world has been turned upside down. My kids and I’m sure your kids, too, went to school one day not knowing it was their last day. Nobody had a chance to say goodbye. Half of their things are still in their lockers. They will never return to those classes, classmates or teachers again. Sure, they have Zoom or Facetime, but it’s not anywhere close to being the same.

That’s why I’m giving in. I’m bending on things so that these kids don’t break right in half.

Let’s talk about sleeping in. Sure, I could have my girls wake up at 8:30 dressed and ready for “school”. But guess what? We don’t have ONE SINGLE PLACE to go so….they have all the livelong day to “do school”. I don’t know about you, but being thrown into this mess and ripped from our normal lives like we were is hard enough. You won’t catch me having calendar time with the preschooler or enforcing “school time hours” over here. In fact, there’s no pressure to get anything done rightthissecond unless it’s a test. If the work is due by the afternoon and you want to play outside up until an hour before it’s to be completed? Knock yourself out.

How about let’s discuss the menu. I really don’t care what they eat. I’m giving in on that. A banana and bag of Cheetos for lunch? Hey, at least there was a fruit. Not to mention I didn’t have to cook those two items.

I’m am most definitely a planner, but I haven’t marked a thing down in over three weeks. The only two things on my agenda right now is to keep going and not give up.

And to also give in. I’m clear about the goal…just making it through…but I’m going to be flexible on how we get there.

Is this a vacation for the kids? Not at all, but I’m not going to push them during the absolute crappiest time of their lives either. Are they sleeping late? Yes. Are they eating foods they probably shouldn’t? Yep. But their favorite foods are fruits so, that’s a nice balance. Are they getting all of their work done? They are, but I’m not right on top of them to do it either.

I just don’t have it in me.

We are all just….here. Missing friends and missing soccer. Missing horseback riding and missing being able to use that brand new driver’s license. Missing preschool and plastic playground slides with best friends. Missing playdates and band class.

Missing LIFE and every bit of it.

I’m not giving up on trying, but I am giving in.

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