Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Weird times

It's been almost a year since I last posted. It's been a busy year, I guess, but frankly, I just haven't made time to blog. I've had ideas, but not inspiration. I've been meaning to write in a journal for the new baby (hi, oh yeah, I'm 36 weeks pregnant), and have completely failed. This pregnancy has been so different from the last one, from physical stuff (more and different aches and pains) to mental (so much more tired, so many feelings about how our lives will change). I haven't been documenting this pregnancy nearly as much or as often as the last one, and I feel like this poor kid is already getting the short end of the stick in terms of attention. And in these weird times, well, there's a new and added complication.

There is so much information flowing around, most of it terrifying, and I have to force myself to close Twitter and stop reading news frequently throughout the day. The uncertainty is what gets me. I do best when I have a plan, and it's impossible to make a plan right now - not a real one, anyway. It's hard for me to live one day at a time, especially when we're physically isolated from our friends, family, and local community. It's weird to imagine this going on for months or years, each of us isolated in our own homes with just our nuclear family units, afraid of and unable to help each other in person. We'll find a new way of living; we are already trying to start. Of course.

Today was our first day at home in this new world. We hightailed it up to a friend's house in Tahoe this weekend - postponing the inevitable, maybe. There was a big snowstorm expected, and we thought it would be good to get out of town for a few days, try out our new Subaru, and just kind of hide from Coronavirus for a little bit. It was beautiful and we are so so lucky to have had that option. But as of last night, we're home and getting ready to adjust to a new normal.

We're tired. Will wasn't feeling well today, and like I said, I'm 36 weeks pregnant, and even though Margie was unbelievably adorable almost every minute of the day, there were still tough tantrum-y moments and missed naps and physical and mental exhaustion...it was a hard day, even though almost all of it was charming and fun and very mellow. I don't know what we would have done if we had to work, or if Margie was school-age and had to keep up with classwork. So many parent-friends are now in the position of having to work from home while also homeschooling their kids, without knowing whether or when things will go back to normal.

I keep hearing of schools announcing that they're closing for the rest of the year. I don't know what that will mean for our preschool and daycare situation, but it's unnerving. Mostly because it seems so...permanent, and so far off, and so hard, even though we are in a pretty ok spot to handle something like that. As it is, I'm off on maternity leave until mid-August. Will's work has been pretty flexible so far (they gave staff 3 weeks paid time off in light of school closures), and likely will continue to be. We have a comfortable home, stable income to support our family, access to food, etc. We will adapt. We will be fine. We are lucky. Extremely lucky.

But this is, as everyone keeps saying, weird times. What if this continues for a year? What if it becomes the new normal? There's so much unknown. And today, despite having two relatively healthy parents home and not working, with one relatively easygoing, cheerful, and easily-entertained kid, I felt so overwhelmed and confused that it felt like the right time to resurrect the old blog. I need a place to write down what we're doing, how we're adapting. To count our blessings and keep track of time.

So, some highlights from today:
- stayed in bed until well after 8am
- baked egg-free banana muffins (including a hunger-induced meltdown when I didn't leave her a big enough scoop of batter to eat because I was using it to fill the muffin liners she told me to fill)
- played wild and crazy puppet show games with Margie's farm animal puppets (often reenacting storylines from Daniel Tiger but with farm animal characters)
- watched videos of penguins wandering around an aquarium
- did not really nap, but did have some lovely snuggles
- unpacked some of our Tahoe bags and a box of diapers and wipes
- made pizza for dinner
- roleplayed/talked through the story of Frozen 2, many, many, many times (for example: "I'm so sad because our mommy and daddy died, yeah, they died, it's so sad. I wish they could be alive again. I gived you some of my magic so we can go on an adventure together to Ahtohallen and learn about my magic. I want to live with you in our castle in Arendelle so we can always be together, because we are sisters.")
- made bread dough to bake tomorrow

There's so much more to do - our house is filled with boxes and bags, and I have lots of ideas for ways we could spend our days at home. But when I write out the highlights and not just the task-based accomplishments, I realize that our day was quite full. There's no rush to do everything in one day, or even one week (though I felt some internalized pressure to be productive on day 1 instead of starting off with a "lost" day or something). The reality is that we'll likely be in this for weeks or even months, and I should take some time to slow down and adjust to the new reality instead of jumping into "fixing" it with productivity.

We have a long list of things to do to get ready for the baby, and we've told Margie that we're on an extra special long spring break to spend time with our families, take care of our bodies and be healthy, and get ready for baby brother's arrival. So far, she's asked if "since everybody is having time with their families and not going to school, can we have a friend over to play or scooter in the neighborhood?" And I told her that everyone's plan right now is to spend special time with their own families, but maybe another time we could see a friend. We're planning on a lot of FaceTime and special projects around the house, and deploying Daniel Tiger, Sesame Street, and of course, Frozen 2 as needed. We'll see. One day at a time. Weird times indeed.

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