Let’s face it, I think it’s safe to say that life looks nothing like any of us thought it would this year. We’re now into September and have been staring down this coronavirus pandemic for the majority of the year. Face masks are required everywhere you go, if you choose to leave your house. Large gatherings are banned or at least frowned upon, which means so many events, including weddings, have been postponed or rescheduled. People haven’t been able to attend funerals of their oved ones in person or hugged family and friends of those who have died. Visitors aren’t allowed in hospitals with only very strict exceptions. There are so many stories of people’s experiences during this time that are just soul crushing. It’s a whole different world today, and there’s no end in sight.
I’m thankful beyond words to have been minimally impacted thus far and thank God every day for this fact. The main difference in my life is that on March 17, 2020, I began my new normal: telecommuting. And I haven’t been back to work in the office since.
Here’s a glimpse at what my day used to look like: waking up by 5 am, commuting to and from work 4 hours a day, dropping my son off at daycare, picking him up after work, getting home after 6:30 pm every night and rush through supper, play/TV time with Landon, bath, and bed. And laying with him for bedtime resulted in my falling asleep right there with him 9 times out of 10. Full transparency here. Rinse and repeat. Every day.
Now, I sleep in until 7 am (or later), sleepily make my way to the kitchen table to turn on my laptop. As it’s booting up, I get Landon some breakfast and caffeinate myself in preparation for a long day of working from home while also tending to the wants and needs of my three-year-old son that only barely understands “mommy is working.”
I’ve really had to adjust to the different kind of exhaustion I deal with on a regular basis. Being home full time with Landon and also working full-time while being home has been a challenge, to put it best. We’re adjusting and still have rough days, and I’m constantly reminding myself to have patience. Add in that Landon has finally started showing interest in the potty, so we’ve also been officially potty training for the last month or so. Cue the need for extra doses of patience. And prayers. I find myself working through a lot of mom guilt throughout the day and have cried a number of tears – turning down yet another request from Landon to play or watch TV with him, snapping at him for demanding yet another snack after wanting absolutely nothing to do with his lunch, and jokingly stating that I wish he’d forget the word ‘mama’, to only name a few instances. I absolutely love my son, but my role as a mom has shifted so drastically from only seeing and being with Landon for maybe 2-3 hours per day to 24/7 at the drop of a hat. It’s been…real.
But through all the hard, struggling moments I’ve experienced, I also constantly remind myself to cherish this extra time I’m getting with Landon. I’m seeing him grow and learn more than I ever would have, and it’s time I will never get back! So, I take more breaks than I probably should to play PJ Masks or watch another episode of Octonauts with him. I lay with him and snuggle him close to me more than is probably healthy and/or necessary. And I tell him that I love him a thousand times more than I was able to before. It’s an all-day everyday affair, and hearing those words uttered back to me is the absolute best.
So although I have some seriously hard days (one last week stands out in particular), I’m still unbelievably grateful that things aren’t worse for us. I’m still receiving a paycheck. We’re healthy and continuing to take precautions against COVID while still living our lives. My car is getting a nice break from being run into the ground and I’m saving money on gas like you wouldn’t believe. I’m getting more quality time with my son, my parents, and even my sister and husband although they both live far away [my sister = 6 hours; my husband = 1,200+ miles]. And I’m getting more sleep, praise God! I remember quite vividly telling a friend of mine in early March that I just needed a break from the commuting and lack of sleep and just the go, go, go of every day. Little did I know those prayers would be answered in such a crazy and unprecedented way.