There are moments in the day that it seems that we've accepted this new normal. It doesn't feel too bad.
In the mornings, the kids and I are always up early. With our recent time change, they're thankfully coming downstairs at 6am instead of 5am, so I redeemed a little bit of alone time in the morning if I can get myself out of bed these days. I've been so tired.
The kids and I usually go for a walk or run with the stroller or I'll escape for a 30 minute bike ride or run on my own if I can, but I feel a little guilty about that one.
Walter will take the kids to the park or just for a drive around the city to get out of the house for 30 minutes every day while I sit upstairs at my desk creating tutorials or moderating webinars with teachers all over Latin America every morning.
I'll come down around 1pm and Max will look at me "You finished Mommy? You all done with your work?"
And those of us working, we know that we are never done. There is always more to do. But I usually say something like "I'm done for now. I came to play for a little bit with you." And we build Legos, read books or do races with the cars.
At least that's what I want to do with him. But there are days that I've been finding myself washing dishes, or doing a quick load of laundry, or sweeping the floor, or picking up toys. And before I know it, I need to go jump on just one more work call. Or I need to finish one more tutorial because the one I did the day prior wasn't good enough.
So I lock myself in my room for another hour, trying to get work done. But I can hear the kids splashing outside in the pool. Having fun together or fighting, either way they are being active and making lots of noise. Inevitably you can hear them in the background of all of my tutorials.
And it's this ebb and flow of constantly feeling like I can't do it all. I can't be a totally present mom as I desire to be because I'm distracted by simple household chores or the need to keep my job and work. I can't be 100% focused on my job because I need to be a mom to a 2 year old and 5 year old.
But in the midst of all the crazy right now, I'm finding pockets of sunshine. And that's what I have to focus on, my to-do list will never end. But my kids will only be this age once. This may be the only time in our lives that the four of us are "constrained" to our house without anywhere we have to go or any event we have to attend. It's a bizarre experience that we are sharing at a distance with seemingly the entire world right now.
This global crisis is allowing us to have the time that we always ached for in the past, the time to be home, be as present as we can be given the impossible balancing act that many of us are trying to keep up while working from home with everyone home.
In this new "normal" (it's been 29 days at home now), I've found that doing a few simple things helps me stay sane in this new crazy world that we are living.
5 Simple Things I'm doing to have a better day:
1. Moving my body and exercising or getting outside every day is essential to keep my head on straight.
2. Drinking water all day long is a no-brainer, even if sometimes I feel so tired that all I want is coffee to get me through.
3. Getting outside every day, we are lucky that we live in beautiful sunny weather and can even eat dinner outside just to change things up
4. Finding new activities like teaching Max how to play a board game this week was fun for me and him! And it gives us something different to do in the evenings as Netflix is always just so easy to turn on.
5. Making a routine of the household chores, like washing dishes at night to come down to a clean kitchen in the mornings and doing a load of laundry in the mornings before it's too hot in the afternoon.
I know that not everyone is in the same boat as we are, but to some degree, we are all more connected than ever as we are all trying to navigate this new normal in our homes. We are all trying to figure out how to find the sunshine in the midst of uncertain and what could be dark days.
And as with all things, there will be ups and downs. There will be better days than others. And we have to accept that it's ok to feel sad, overwhelmed, disappointed some days. Heck, there are days I feel all the emotions in a single hour as I'm trying to figure this all out.