Quarantine Parenting, Don’t try it at home.
Before Corona I would consider myself an okay parent. I adore my kids, document their every move, tell them ‘I love you’ before they go to sleep, remember to floss their teeth, give them eye contact for 5 minutes a day, tell them their feelings are valid, and take pride in their accomplishments.
During Corona the challenge has been trying to stay an okay parent. Now I scream at my kids from my bed instead of getting up to do it. If my kids get wet outside while playing with the hose, they are now bathed. If I drop cheese on the floor and they eat it, dinner has been served. If they’re wearing underwear, I consider them dressed. If there’s no fighting, I consider them happy.
My 3-year-old son Yosef has picked up two new habits recently.
He started throwing furniture around the house. An older sibling will take his seat or take some tiny piece of Lego and he’ll quickly transform into an angry bird. We’re all shocked at how he goes from not being able to wipe himself to being able to lift side tables above his head.
He’s found a new love for the Hot Lava game. The players of the game need to avoid any area deemed hot lava or else it’s game over for them.
“1, 2, 3, the floor’s hot lava!” Everyone who’s standing on the floor is out. My son Yosef does this without any warning and the intention of getting everyone to burn in hot lava. I’m a terrible player. I never attempt to move. “1,2,3 the chair you’re sitting on is hot lava!” Ok… so now that I’m burning in hot lava do I get to finish reading my book? I’m trying to figure out what the game will do for me in terms of peace and quiet. My 1-year-old daughter loves the hot lava game because she’s rarely standing on the actual floor. She’s either on a chair or a table so for the hours she’s awake, she’s kicking ass at this game.
I recently spoke to a child therapist about the difficulty I’m having with the furniture throwing habit. I told her about my difficulty with being a lot more reactive than proactive. “It’s really normal to be struggling to stay calm now when everyone is home and there’s less structure.”
I told the therapist my response to this behavior was coming up with a new version of hide and seek where I hide without telling my kids to come look for me. I’m not a game person but this is hands down my favorite one.
I’ve been hearing this a lot, “Right now we all just need to survive.”
I think for me, surviving means being okay with being mediocre. I’m really scared of being mediocre. I spend a lot of time trying to stand out as original. But thanks to corona, I’ve been renting out this space called “Rock Bottom.”
I’ve been making an effort to take care of myself. I virtually see my therapist once a week so I can quote her on Instagram through #mytherapistsays. I’ve read Lori Gottlieb’s book, “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone.” I’ve listened to Brene Brown’s podcasts. I know that all pain is real pain. I’m very developed and self enlightened.
And yet I’ve been berating myself for weeks based on the belief that my pain isn’t deserving enough. This question keeps coming up, “I’m self caring so well, why isn’t it working ?”
“If the queen had balls, she would be a king.”
This sentence from Lorri Gotlieb is hitting home for me right now. I am not different than who I am. I am where I am. I feel what I feel. Just verbalizing that simple truth has power to it. I don’t know why I’m struggling more than what seems like normal. I don’t know why I feel rage and sadness and then joy so close together.
I am who I am and I am where I am.
Rock Bottom. It’s been in this space that I’ve pushed myself to exercise every morning. It’s been in this space that I’ve pushed myself to journal every day because who knows, maybe one day it will be published as a book. It’s been in this space where I’ve pushed myself to create more space to breathe deeply. It happens to be that my rock bottom involves moments of me slamming chrome books onto the couch and ripping up the economist magazine because I know how much my husband loves that magazine. The bottom of our rocks are going to look different from one another’s but I think it’s through seeing the bottom that we start to see the beginning of a new route.
Anyways, I’m at rock bottom, how are you?