Guys, I don’t know about you, but the internet seems to have missed its mark this past week. Where it usually knows me way too well (creepy Google ads parading Daydreamer tees and AGOLDE denim in my face at every turn, I’m looking at you), this week the peddled headlines just felt…off.
25 Baking Recipes for Self-Quarantine and Self-Care.
10 Best Quarantine Date Ideas.
25 TV Shows We’re Binging Right Now.
Oh wait, that last one was us. Heh.
I’m sorry, friends — I love the intent, but…am I missing something? Where is all this extra time I am assumed to suddenly have on my hands in light of our new normal? When exactly, between Zoom calls and hosting birthday parties for teddy bears and shooting client work and building forts and joining good ol’ Harry as he tracks down the last.freaking.three.horcuxes — oh, and let’s not forget washing everyone’s hands 196 times a day and getting outside and prepping three square meals (and god knows how many snacks) and doing bedtime and convincing my Apple Watch that dancing to Stupid Love on repeat counts as movement…
Where, exactly, amidst all those seemingly superfluous activities am I to find the time to make laminated pastry and host an at-home paint night with my husband and finally, finally, finish Season 8 of the Walking Dead?
What am I doing wrong, guys?
To be clear: I’m not complaining about any of those aforementioned, uh, activities, let’s call them. They are, in fact, the nature of the beast that is Working From Home with a Four-Year-Old (and, I’ll sheepishly admit, the teddy bear birthday party was my idea) — but, as such, how am I the only one that feels like I have less time — far less time, even — than ever before?
And that’s with me putting in a seriously low amount of effort when it comes to developing a schedule or proactively coming up with tasks to keep Lana entertained. The intent of this rant (because, it’s going that direction a bit, huh?) isn’t to humblebrag about all the wholesome activities I’ve orchestrated to fill our waking hours. Conversely, without any help from me, I’m already finding those hours filled to the brim with all the bits of everything and nothing that I usually accomplish during the few hours a week that Lana is in school. And she’s not even in school school yet. The majority of people reading this have kids who are typically in school full-time. Kids who, in the wake of Sheltering in Place, have now been sent home with syllabi to adhere to and Zoom calls with teachers and quadratic equations that aren’t going to solve themselves. Hell, you probably have more than one kid! And here I am over here, in a household with two relatively attentive, communicative parents and one preschool-aged child wondering where in the hell did the time go?
I had a speedy text chat with some girlfriends tonight (while Chris handled bath time and I sort of half-assed a few sets of squats as the laundry tumbled for its last minute), and maybe, they reasoned, the solution lies in the problem: in an attempt not to overburden myself with Pinterest-worthy schedules (or even non-Pinterest-worthy schedules, a la Linzi), I’ve invited chaos into our lives. Without time dedicated specifically to my work, my husband’s work, and Lana’s activities, they’re all essentially at war with one another. Maybe our relatively simple system, which consists of Chris and me checking in with each other at night and blocking out a couple hours here or there where we’d prefer minimal interruption the following day, leaves too much to chance.
Or maybe the reality is that I’m not as freaking crazy as I feel. That we’re all just barely holding the wheels on. Responding to emails while the pasta boils over, and scowling at every homeschool activity that flits across our feeds (while at the same time guiltily bookmarking it for another time, because maybe the intent counts for…something). I can’t be the only one who feels both gloriously accomplished and completely demoralized when my head hits the pillow at night.
I want to be the mom with time to spare, now, more than ever.
I want to date my husband, binge the shows, make the pastry.
But I also want to accept that, in this moment, that’s just not my reality.
I’m doing what I can, when I can — and probably sacrificing a little too much of myself in the process. And while I want to say “but that’s parenting, right?” — well, I’m not 100% convinced that’s the correct response, either. Whatever we’re doing, however we’re doing it, it’s not going to result in an afternoon spent perfecting croissants or finally graduating to sourdough. But, as the progressive parenting articles would say — it’s enough, guys.
It’s got to be.
Hang in there, mamas.
Guys! Follow me on Instagram for more peeks into our life on the Northern California coast. And if you feel so inclined, pop over to my personal food + lifestyle blog, The Pig & Quill, where I share salty scribblings from my kitchen and home life. Byeeeeee!