Permission Granted: Living in Self-Isolation
A few days ago, I posted a list of things to do because I believe there needs to be stuff to do during this time at home as a means of distraction.
I think my list is fabulous, but life is standing still for the first time and we are all re-adjusting. It’s like something died and I don’t know about you, but when I am going through grief, I like to be distracted; which is why I made the list. Then someone joked about how they were not getting anything done on my list at home. Seeing that I am way more emotional than ever, I got very self-conscious about how I might be coming off as a Pinterest mom (btw, nothing wrong with wanting your life to look a certain way). Let me be very clear, what you see in my life is a highlight wheel. I am not a mother and I am certainly not a young Martha Stewart, I put my stretchy pants on the same way as everyone else and I am so aware of my feelings and my mental health.
Making a list of things to do was my way to create distraction in a world that is so sad right now. Were there many household tasks? Yes, but I love cleaning my house and I like being in a clean environment. I am very messy, so it’s important for me to clean. I also put things like getting dressed and going for daily walks. I almost put brush your teeth, but I thought “hopefully people are brushing their teeth”.
Your life is different from my life. Maybe you have kids and you have no idea when the vacuuming will get done. Maybe, your job is really busy right now and you can’t handle anything else. Maybe Trish down the street is homeschooling her kids and you are worried about how your kid will learn to read, but you can’t seem to get there.
In university, I did a presentation on work life balance and how it wasn’t fair for working moms. They have to have it all and be everything to everyone to get a fraction of what non-working/non-parents are getting. It’s completely aggravating to know how amazing moms are and know they aren’t getting what they deserve. The matriarch or the family is often last thought of, it’s expected that they burn out. It’s bonkers that to work, they also have to have everything perfect at home.
It’s not everyone’s reality that daily hikes and baking are happening. Working from home has brought a whole new meaning to finding work-life balance. Parents are still working and that might mean kids have to pick up after their parents, which seems unfair and not something they deserve, but your kids will be so resilient when they are older. Kids have to play, but they also have to learn responsibility and sometimes that’s going to suck for them.
To my working moms reading, you don’t need to be Wonder Woman. Let go of the guilt, you’re already a rockstar.
To my mom’s that stay at home, you are also rockstars, raising children is the hardest job in the world. Let go of the guilt that you should be doing more.
We could all being doing more in life, but that’s not feasible. If you are taking care of yourself and your kids are happy, the world is doing okay.
I almost cried thanking the grocery store workers today. I am trying my very best and I know you all are too. If you don’t care about the floors because watching Netflix is better for your mental health, go for it! If you want to take a bath every day because it makes you happy, do it! If you feel bad your kids are watching TV all day because you need to work, don’t! If you haven’t exercised at all and you have gained weight, that’s okay. It doesn’t matter how you are getting by, as long as you are happy. Or you are working towards being mentally okay.
It's perfectly normal to not achieve anything extra during this work from home period. If you need permission to not care about your dishes, permission granted, but maybe eventually get them done because it can cause bugs and bugs are gross. Your house is now the office, the gym, daycare, and still has to be home.
I leave you with my favourite Brené Brown quote “What we don’t need in the midst of struggle is shame for being human”.
We are trying to get through this. We don’t need to shame ourselves into thinking we need to be doing more. You aren’t a superhero, don’t burn yourself out to be one.
All my love,