• I cried today.

    Considering this is day 9 of our self-isolation, I figure that’s doing pretty well. I think I’ve just been carrying all of my emotions so tightly… my stress and anxiety have been at an all-time high. Normally I’m a stress-eater, but I’m actually losing weight, which is strange and unusual for me.

    It’s actually been a really good day. P slept in which left me with a easy, slow morning to shower at my own leisure, clean the bathroom and fold laundry before he rolled out of bed. The kids and I then had a blast painting the rocks we collected yesterday. They got a bit of outside time in before the rain, then we curled up with Mighty Pups for a “picnic lunch”.

    Quiet time was another success today, so I found myself on my computer scrolling Facebook for a few minutes. A colleague from work posted a video of one of my favourite songs, so I turned it on to listen. It was a rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone… and it was beautiful. As I listened to the lyrics they felt so poignant for this strange time we’re living in and it cracked something open in my heart.

    I wept through the entire song.

    I cried because even thought today was a good day, this is scary and everything feels so uncertain… but as my heart opened I also felt an overwhelming sense of peace. The lyrics are so simple, but speak to such a powerful message that I really needed today:

    When you walk through a storm
    Hold your head up high
    And don’t be afraid of the dark.
    At the end of a storm
    There’s a golden sky
    And the sweet silver song of a lark.
    Walk on through the wind,
    Walk on through the rain,
    Though your dreams be tossed and blown…
    Walk on, walk on
    With hope in your heart
    And you’ll never walk alone!

    You’ll never walk alone.

    It’s sunny and beautiful outside, but I also feel like I’m walking through a powerful, unseen storm. It’s overwhelming sometimes. I can’t quite wrap my head around how much life has changed in the last seven days.

    Today I was gently reminded that even though I may be afraid, I’m not alone. This will pass. The storm will end. There is hope.

    And if I just keep walking on in faith, with hope in my heart, I know I won’t be alone.

    It was everything I needed to be reminded of today. Just… listen. <3

  • I Picked a Fight*

    P decided that this would be a really good time to stop napping.

    I knew it was coming, but believe me, I was not consulted on this decision and am not in love with his timing. We are making the best of it, but he’s a bit of a bear by bedtime because he’s just totally exhausted.

    Last night was not my best night.

    All the kids were tired and signs of cabin fever were peeking through their brave facades. They were whiny and bickered non-stop, and basically all I could do to make it stop was put the TV on.

    (So they watched a loooooot of movies yesterday.)

    By bedtime everyone was fried. My fuse was especially short, and when P started melting down at bedtime I was much more “yelly” than I care to be. He decided he wanted to take this box set of early readers to bed with him, but they are already kind of falling apart and he has a bad habit of ripping books, so I put my foot down.

    He lost. his. mind.

    Really, I probably could have just let him take the box to bed and been done with it… but after an entire day of him not listening or questioning every single thing I asked him to do (or not do) I was so done. I decided to take a stand and be firm… but really I just wanted to win. Is that bad? (ha)

    In hindsight, bedtime is not the best time to pick a fight with an already overtired and obstinate kid. But once I said no I knew I couldn’t back down and we went head to head.

    I’ve always categorized kid meltdowns in “stages”, with Stage 5 being the most meltiest of meltdowns. That’s the hitting-kicking-yelling-crying-on-the-floor-I-don’t-care-who-sees-the-world-has-ended tantrum.

    Last night P leveled up. I swear he took us to new heights and hit at least a level 7. He was SO mad that I wouldn’t give in and scream-cried until he had nothing left. I couldn’t just leave him in his room because he shares with H and H was trying to sleep, so I stayed with him and held him. When the screaming dulled to crying, I crawled into bed with him and held him there.

    Believe me, holding my tantruming kid after the world’s longest day was the last place I thought I wanted to be, but I think it was what we both needed. He eventually calmed down and burrowed in as close as he could get (while still saying, “I want the Blaze books, Mommy!” every 60 seconds or so). He wore himself out and passed out a few minutes later.

    It was… a lot. But I’m glad we ended in a hug instead of at war where we started. I got some much needed quiet time last night, and felt much better this morning.

    We haven’t been on any type of “schedule” yet as I know the kids’ whole world has been turned upside down… and it IS still March Break. So, we are “March Break-ing”. Taking it easy, watching movies, playing outside and doing crafts.

    That being said, I decided to try something for our collective sanity today. Just after lunch, we went into “quiet time” mode. I seriously separated everyone. M is working at his desk, H is down playing Lego, S is in her room playing toys, P is in his room playing with his Star Wars toys and I am secluded in my kitchen. I don’t know how long this will last, but it is GLORIOUS. I told them all we’d be on our own for an hour, then come back and play together. It’s been 25 minutes and it seems to be working.

    This might be the single greatest accomplishment of my life.

    (I’m also totally eating a secret microwave s’more to celebrate.)

    I think it’s important to carve out a bit of time each day to be alone while we’re in this strange period of self-isolation. Part of me felt mean for enforcing it, but I really do think it will be good for everyone to just have a minute to breathe. We have lots of together time… so this is okay too.

    After all, a recharged mom is a much less yelly mom. <3

  • Self-Isolation: Day 7

    So, I haven’t written in a while.

    At first it was feeling a little weighed down as I approach the one-year mark from my miscarriage, then, you know, this whole corona virus thing felt like it came out of nowhere and exploded. Seriously–think back to a week ago. What were you doing?

    Last Wednesday I was enjoying an amazing day off work sans kids. I cleaned my house, went thrifting, got some groceries and relaxed. That feels like a LIFETIME ago.

    I feel like I have just been a giant ball of stress since last Wednesday night. After my lovely alone day, I went to bed feeling tired but fine. We put the kids to bed, watched some TV then crawled into bed a little after 10pm. I woke up at midnight and knew something was off. My stomach wasn’t right and I could feel a fever starting.

    So, naturally, I panicked.

    I felt unwell and stressed and threw up, then spent hours googling Coronavirus symptoms. I immediately left the bed to be away from M, and was awake for most of the night.

    It was the whitest of white nights.

    As a precaution, I kept all the kids home from school the next day and M worked from home. I felt a little better in the morning, but the low fever persisted and I still didn’t feel right.

    As all the major announcements began rolling out Thursday and I sat at home with my fever, my anxiety was SO high. As a supply teacher, I had worked in multiple different schools in the previous 7 days. My kids had been at school around tons of other kids. I had been out at other schools.

    Did I have it?

    So, there was that, then my parents and three of my siblings were on a trip to Florida. As things felt like they were unraveling here and talk of closing the border increased my stress felt palpable.

    It’s official: I am a worrier. Like, I could gold medal in it. I have skills.

    Then, on Thursday afternoon, I had a prearranged phone meeting with S’s teacher. We talked about why I’d kept the kids home, and she told me she had been sick with something three days earlier and noticed it seemed to be running through the class. Her symptoms were IDENTICAL to what I was experiencing and I immediately felt so. much. better. She told me that she felt almost normal after 48 hours, and I’m happy to say my bout of whatever that was followed the same course.

    I’ve been fever free for 4 days now with no other symptoms, and my family is all back in Canada now so I feel much better. Last night I actually slept through the night for the first time in days. I’ve still been staying up way too late and the news still freaks me right now, but I feel like I’m settling into our new “normal”.

    And I know I need to start writing again to process everything. So, here I am.

    I want to try and write something everyday. This is going to be something we will read about in history books someday, and we are currently living in it. I want to record what it’s like being home in self-isolation with the kids. How I’m staying connected with friends and family. What TV shows I’m watching to stay sane. All the good things. You know.

    I hope you’re doing okay wherever you are. <3

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