Updated: May 4, 2020
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I’m finding some days really hard right now being pulled in all different directions at once. Week 2 of isolation I had a mini breakdown. I didn’t get out of pj’s or very baggy lounge wear for the whole week and I slept a lot. Some days I’d sleep in and then feel so down and guilty that I did nothing apart from the bare minimum for the rest of the day. The first week of isolation I was super motivated, I felt good about my family being safe and I felt more in control about the pandemic. We baked, did school schedules, got up and dressed etc. But the week that followed, everything came crashing down around me and I struggled a lot. And since then I have good days and bad.
The one thing I’ve done that’s helped is to back off on the school work my primary school child is doing. This took so much pressure off and even the school said that was ok and they understand homes are sharing devices, parents need to work from home and of course we have a 3 year old who needs A LOT of attention. But I felt so much guilt about my struggles. The front line workers are putting themselves and their own families in harm’s way every day to protect us from this fast spreading virus and all I have to do is be at home with my family right? WRONG!
I applaud the amazing job our front line workers are doing, however we must remember that everyone’s situations are personal to them, and there are people at home feeling so overwhelmed with young children, dealing with stresses they have never had to face on this scale before, worrying about their jobs (or lack of right now), how they will pay the bills, mental health overload, the list goes on.
I also want to talk about the children. They too have been affected by this pandemic on a deeper level however most have the comfort of being home with their parents so they may not show the stress they are under, not understanding what’s really happening or why their life has changed so much recently. They feel something isn’t quite right and parents are most likely discussing death rates and worrying and even crying and feeling depressed sometimes. They feel all this on a subconscious level and don’t know how to show it. My youngest has been hitting. He has been emotionally unavailable sometimes. Even saying he hates us. This has been his way of telling me he doesn’t feel good about something. My daughter was supposed to be finishing up her last year of primary school and has lost all motivation for school work. She too has been very tired and sleeping a lot. I knew I needed to find some balance in these strange days we are all facing.
I decided to back off on some school work because they were definitely feeling overwhelmed. We needed to find some balance.
I let them have more down time and thank goodness the weather has been nice because they have been playing in the garden more. More fresh air has been a game changer for sure.
I was missing work and procrastinating about a course I was doing so I decided to get that finished and my website updated it really lifted my spirits. And I had more time for this because my children were spending more time together.
I relaxed the rules and said I didn’t mind when they did their school work as long as the minimum was done by the end of the day. This also allowed me to help them when I had the time around entertaining the 3 year old who I have been dedicating 1-1 time to getting on the floor and playing with. I’ve got my happy boy back.
I’m putting the news on less and watching more upbeat things on TV.
I’m definitely still having ups and downs. Some weeks I work out, get laundry done and I feel great! The next week I might not be able to get off the sofa and just do the bare minimum and that’s okay.
We have to have compassion for ourselves right now. There are always people in worse off situations, people putting their lives on the line for us, people sick, people not coping. It’s all relative. And you must not feel guilty or let anyone else make you feel guilty for having your own problems or feeling overwhelmed by something you believe to be trivial. It is not trivial! If you are struggling, it’s a problem to you. Be kind to yourself. I’m also here having the same day to day struggles and not coping well sometimes.
What could you do to find some balance right now? I’m here if you want to reach out and have a moan about something you feel you ‘shouldn’t’ because you feel guilty about those in a ‘worse off’ situation. Judgement free always. Sending hugs to all who need it right now...