I love salsa verde. It might be one of my favourite things in the world and there’s a solid chance I would commit a crime to get some if there were ever a worldwide shortage. It’s just that delicious… and hey, it’s even green so I count it towards my veggie intake. I bought some today and I was looking forward to digging into it on my only day off this week, when all of a sudden it happened…. That glorious container of green delight came toppling out of the fridge and splattered all over the kitchen floor. The 5-second rule did not apply in this situation, as I have a million children and a very old dog who both like to lick the floor and it’s simply just gross as who knows what is actually imbedded into the floor. I think I sat there for a minute, just staring at the splattered green tomatillos and tasty jalapenos, until I began to bawl.
The tears were so real.
OVER SPILLED SALSA. NOT GUAC. SALSA. #wtf
It’s easily replaceable and I can always go get more but it comes with so much more mental stress than a grocery store trip should. You need to make sure you have all your personal protective pieces of equipment ready to go and use and avoid any human you come into contact with like they have the plague. Literally. If you make eye contact? Oh boy. The best thing to do is say something super awkward and live for the dodgy eye movements. I still forget my mask half the time and have learned to shove a spare one into random hiding spots for this exact reason. And then I forget where these hidden spots are, have this strange and bizarre mini panic attack, complete with flapping arms… only to get home and realize that my mask is ALREADY ON MY FACE. #2021problems
So, I’m tired. It’s been a long year and we’re in another lockdown/state of emergency, AND virtual learning has just been extended. We are living a life in which we never expected.
I miss my friends.
I miss my social activities.
I miss my family.
I miss normalcy.
And I know you can relate.
What now? The adrenaline is starting to wear off as we adjust to the newness of our current circumstances and the behaviours from both kids and adults are changing. I’ll be honest, we are starting to sleep in until 8:45am (school starts promptly at 9) but I’m tired. They’re tired. We’re all tired. I don’t sleep at night.
You know what the answer is to tiredness? Sleep. And my bed is 10 times more comfortable in the morning than it is at night. Straight facts.
3 coffees minimum is the new daily standard and feeling overwhelmed is the new norm. However, it’s all good because it’s TEMPORARY. Everything is temporary and I know I have days coming where I’ll be riding the ‘mama high’ and making them well-balanced, nutritious meals while simultaneously having a clean house. Until then? I’ll continue to throw (and I literally mean throw) PB&J at them and settle for a handful of crackers as an acceptable dinner. This is me surrendering to our current climate and letting go of the pressure to have it all together. My kid who is obsessed with tattooing his body? Awesome, buddy, even though it’s PERMANENT AND DOESN’T COME OFF, I won’t stress it. And the fights between the kids because they’re getting tired of each other yet again? All good. It’s like the reality version of The Hunger Games and I have a free subscription to it.
I’m currently on coffee 3, please don’t judge me as my karma will come later, in the form of a panic attack from all the caffeine. I’ve made my decision and I will deal with the consequences, as this steaming hot cup of perfection was indeed, so very essential. It turns out, these kids of mine have discovered the ‘text box’ in their virtual classroom and all I can hear are frustrated teachers as they’re being swarmed with emojis. The parent in me knows I should be getting up and telling my kids to knock it off, but I also know that they’ll listen to their teachers before me. So, I’m sitting here contemplating on how to answer a question I continually am asked.
Q: How do you do it with 5?
I do not know.
What I DO know is that I count my blessings more often than not. I know I’ve been through something harder than this, believe it or not, and I am so grateful that my divorce came a few years before that to truly teach me that some of my major building blocks are strength and resilience.
I was on my own as a single mom when the twins were born and I was attempting to navigate a kindergarten aged child, two toddlers and two newborns. It was a struggle to get up in time to get my eldest to school, navigate the boys who were 2 and 3 and breastfeed twins, all while living in fear from my now ex-husband. I did this for a year before realizing it was time to move back in with my parents for support. That right there is the definition of hard but also with a side of badass. So, this pandemic? It’s really not that ‘hard’ for me. Sure, we’re all home and in up each other’s personal space 24/7 and I want to scream more often than not…. But I wouldn’t change it in a heartbeat to go back to 2016. I feel like I have the right tools in my belt and even though it’s hard to figure out which one is suited best for the particular job (and sometimes I don’t even use a tool and just let it all crash down) I think I’ve put the work into myself to get me here and able to push through.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally having a day today. I really didn’t want to get up to log in and the boys were fully annoying me with their late-night banter, as they don’t take me seriously when Medusa takes over my body to remind them it’s time to sleep. I don’t want to go into work at night after implementing the online learning all day, but I’m fortunate to have my jobs during the pandemic. And yes, I said jobs.
Between my jobs, I don’t get a day off during the week and it can be exhausting. I can’t call in their dad to take over for a day of virtual learning for me to catch up on a writing deadline or study for my realtors exams (which I’ve had to put on back burner, for the record) or even take a much-needed nap. Our day consists of waking up- usually 15 minutes before they need to login– and pushing through for the day. I’m the official snack slave and sweep the floor more often than not due to 5 savage kids and 1 nineteen-year-old dog who has lost his vision. Imagine the mess, and now multiply that mess by 10 and that’s what I stare at on the daily. The day ends around 3:30 and our next mission is to transform our basement into an open space for 3 of the kids to login to their online dance training for 4pm. I then boot it to one of my jobs for 5pm to either teach an evening of online dance classes or to manage the takeout and delivery for the restaurant I work at (usually wrap it up by midnight.) And then we repeat the next day, etc. And honestly, I LOVE my jobs- especially teaching- I leave my classes with a full battery from my students and so grateful for the creative outlet it gives me. I’m also planning for a book release in March and finishing up a co-authoring project this month. I figure I’ll dive back into my real estate courses once I finish my section for the next book. *cue deep breath*
My plate is full.
This is my reality and I’m not Superwoman. This is hard, but I’ve been through harder. I take comfort in knowing that I’m not alone and even though I’m showing up every day and chipping away every day at being better than yesterday, there are moments when I can’t get my butt off the chair and stare at a wall for a ridiculous amount of time. I will tell you one thing though- I’m tired of being expected to power through everything. I’m giving myself full permission to have tougher days and allowing myself to cry if I need to. It’s a normal reaction and if you don’t cry during a hard time? You might be a psychopath. Where’s your empathy, bro? Jokes. But sort of not.
I’m not looking for sympathy from anyone, nor am I preaching onto anyone that “if I can do it, anyone can” because that is absolute BS. I’m right there with you all.. the unknowns make me queasy and I’m not sleeping through the night. I question if I’m showing up enough for the kids while they tackle this virtual learning like ROCKSTARS (as I just caught one playing Roblox instead of learning, OYE) and truly handling this better than most adults. I don’t know if I’m possibly working too much or taking on too much, but I have plans that are bigger than my worries. I learned a long time ago that I can’t control the unknowns and only recently discovered how to actually practice the art of letting go. My inner peace is a non-negotiable and I achieve that through body movement, proper meal planning and prioritizing.
I don’t know if the internet will go out during the day and I don’t know what kid I’ll have to help at what time, but I can’t sit here and worry about it. I’m adjusting and figuring out the times when the kids seem the most attentive and need the least amount of attention and use that as my time period to get my non-negotiables complete. Everything else is just bonus time and I can do things like write for this blog of mine, read a book or clean up. So, even though I’m doing my best to push through this pandemic with humour and honesty, I do struggle. My mind races and I question everything all the time, but I’ve been through a harder time. I’m learning from a lot of friends through what they’re choosing to share on social media and I hope I can offer some insight and inspiration to you as well. But until next time, buckle up and drink your water… we got this 😉