Wow. How does one even start something like this? For the last (almost) year we have been moming through a pandemic. Did you ever see something like this coming? Were you prepared for it? I wasn’t.
I remember when it first started in our town and the absolute fear that went through my mind. I learned to tame that fear a bit as the months went on, but it’s still there. Not being able to see friends or family or go out and about like we used to do is hard. It’s hard for everyone, but we do what we need to do to stay healthy and get back to normal (whatever that might be).
We wanted to hear from all the moms out there. How are you? What are you feeling? I know I am completely overwhelmed. In the next couple of weeks we are going to do a spin on our Mom of Fame. We are going to be asking you how it’s been Moming through the Pandemic.
Tell us about yourself and your family.
Most of you already know that I am one part of the Momfaming duo. I have a five year old son and an almost two year old girl. I am a full-time working mom and the last year has been nothing short of challenging.
My kids are in daycare so that my husband and I can both work. Sometime in March the daycare closed down and didn’t reopen until July. Both of our works had us working from home (and we both still do). We managed to get work done and still keep our kids busy by the skin of our teeth. Want to know if you are a patient mom? Get thrown into a pandemic when you can’t leave your house. It tested the best of us.
How has life changed for you since quarantine began?
My priorities have changed 100%. My kids have, and always will, remain the top priority. My husband and work were, of course, up there too. The biggest thing that changed was how I viewed the space I was living in. I never cared so much about those sort of things prior. Our house was always cluttered and messy and it didn’t bother me (until I had people coming over).
Now that I work, live and spend almost 100% of my time in my house I care. I care SO much. Dishes can’t be left for the next day, vacuuming has to be done daily, clutter is getting thrown out or donated. I had to have a nice, clean, light workspace.
My house became my sanctuary and it needed to show itself as such.
What is something positive that has come out of having to quarantine?
Watching my youngest turn from a baby to a toddler. Since Adam and I work full-time we miss a lot of moments in development. This is the hardest part of being a working mom. Going into an office and knowing that you are missing these precious fleeting moments with your kids.
The gap of time where we had the kids home with us Cece learned to say words, walk and came into her own little personality. It was a perfect time to, literally, watch her grow.
What is the hardest part about it?
I have to narrow this down to three things. I think we can all, obviously, state that the hardest thing about this pandemic is seeing how many people are losing their loved ones without being by their side. I cannot even imagine this scenario (even though we have had people very close to us get it – one is still recovering after months).
- Not seeing family or friends. Right from the start Adam and I knew that we would be sticking to the rules and keeping our bubble incredibly small. At first it was no one. In the summer we would see a few family and friends outside. In the fall/winter we just saw grandparents.
- Watching my son notice how different the world is. Ben and I had a standing date every single weekend. Whether it was going to a movie, out to lunch, a trip to the mall or a playdate with a friend. Him and I always have our own special time out of the house with each other. His favorite thing was to go to restaurants. He loved the whole act of it. Picking where to go, where we would be sitting, what he would get to drink/eat and watching people (and playing Pokémon Go).
- Being the best mom and employee at the same time. For four months we were juggling working full-time while also being a full-time mom. Luckily, Adam and I were both at home and shared the responsibility. You had to move from one thing to another seamlessly and it was ROUGH. The kids needed attention, but so did work. It took some time, but Adam and I figured it out and tried to rock it out.
What have you learned about yourself during this time?
Beside having a lot more patience then I thought I had?!
I learned self-confidence. I am not sure why it took a pandemic to make me see it, but I found out that I am a really good mom. There are still days that I don’t feel that way, but looking at the last year I know that I kicked ass and that I make it all work.
My kids got a lot of screen time, but they also got SO much more love, attention and play-time than they ever thought possible.
What surprised you the most about your child(ren) during this time?
How adaptive they can be. Things changed and things changed almost overnight. They went from seeing friends and family every single weekend to just mom and dad. They went from going to daycare and being occupied all day to independently playing.
Every time something changed they rolled with it. They didn’t freak out, they didn’t cry (maybe I did a little) and they didn’t complain.
What are you most looking forward to doing once life gets back to ‘normal’?
Oh, man. I miss SO much. I am so looking forward to planning a big ten year trip with Adam. I am looking forward to spending more time with my nieces (and nephew – when he can come from Cali!). I am SO looking forward to going out and grabbing a drink with my friends.
They say you don’t miss it until it’s gone and boy are they right. These minor things in life that you use to take for granted have a whole new meaning now. I guess that’s something I’ve learned as well. To live a simpler life and to be forever grateful for what we have.
What is something you began doing during quarantine that you will continue to do (or hope to) once it’s over? Why?
I have really enjoyed working from home. I didn’t think I would at the start, but now I really think I flourish in my work space. I got myself a desk and a beautiful set-up. I am able to work longer hours without sacrificing my family. It’s really a great work/home/family balance and I hope that I can continue doing so.
Anything else you want to add?
I feel like quarantine with your kids and spouse could really go one of two ways and that there would be no in-between. We had the best days, we had good days, we had bad days and we had the worst days. It was really one of those in-between scenarios.
The BEST days outweighed the worst days by far. We became an incredibly close family that started understanding each other so much more. Day in and day out with the same people will do that. You know when to back off and when to lean in.
It’s been a very crazy last year, but I am forever grateful for the ones I am quarantining with.