(Honest disclaimer: I started writing this blog post in January 2020, which is ironic given some of the information as we have now been in quarantine for 22 days)
Good news: Zoe is now potty trained.
Bad news: The day after we started training her, all the moms decided to send the kids to school in princess costumes.
Worse news: I totally forgot.
Even worse news: for the group photo she was in the extra set of clothes they have on stock if someone pees their pants. LOL, the photo is priceless.
Good news: She was still smiling. (or trying to)
Anybody else constantly trying to keep it all together? Trying to remember all the details that are shared in the group chat? Feeling good about yourself for remembering to not only pack healthy lunches for your kids, but also remember their water bottle until you realize that because you left 5 minutes late trying to bring the kids to the potty, you are now stuck in an eternal line of traffic because 5 minutes literally marks the difference between spending 15 minutes in the car or 45 minutes on the morning commute.
The irony is that I started this post 3 months ago. We had no idea a few months ago that we'd be quarantined and stuck at home just a few weeks later. Yet, what remains is the fact that I still don't have all my s*** together. I mean, we aren't even required to put Zoe's uniform on these days and try to do her hair, she's pretty much just running wild and has decided that she prefers no pants to pants (or only Elsa dresses) these days. I guess this quarantine is affecting all of us a little differently here. (Don't worry the rest of us are wearing pants).
We no longer are dealing with the daily commute of drop-off and pick-up every day along or the daily prayer of hoping there's a parking spot outside the school as walking two blocks with two toddlers, backpacks and all the other people running late is no fun.
Yet even without the hustle-bustle that so defined our life this year with the kids at two different schools, the traffic that exponentially grows each year here and the fast pace we kept before we were asked to just stay home and stay safe, I still feel behind.
This idea of still showing up to work (I've been working from home for 4 years now) with two coworkers who constantly interrupt me asking for milk, water, snacks, who are knocking on my door or yelling "Mommy!" every single time I'm on a live webinar training teachers around Latin America, who may even poop or pee their pants from time to time if I forget to remind them to run to the bathroom, is quite honestly exhausting.
I can look for the positives in this situation. We are healthy, safe and home. We are showing up every time the teacher hosts a Google Meet or Zoom call. We are reading books, baking cookies and banana bread, making smoothies, folding clothes, sweeping the floor, making play-dough, building Legos, dancing on the patio, and swimming a lot in the new pool we've put outside to help pass the days.
Or I can feel guilty about the fact that every time I log in to Max's Google Classroom, we haven't taken picture evidence of every single homework assignment. He hasn't been writing his numbers or his letters as much as he does at school. I can feel bad about the fact that my kids are watching more Netflix now than ever before.
But feeling guilty isn't going to help me or help my kids. Walter and I are doing the best we can. It reminds me of that week of potty-training. I could have beaten myself up for forgetting Zoe's princess dress that day. Or I could choose to be proud of the fact that she's potty-trained.
Growing up, I remember my mom always saying, "You have to pick your battles in life." I didn't fully understand it at the time, but I get it now. I can choose to be upset about the fact that we seem perpetually behind with virtual learning. Or I can choose to be content about the fact that we have two healthy and happy children who are learning more about life, family and love during this time at home.
I'm grateful that I still have a job and one that's more necessary than ever before in the middle of a worldwide crisis when so many people no longer have a salary to fall back on. I'm grateful that I have a husband, who as opposite as we are, is helping me out with the work schedule and the kids. (Even if the days feel eternally long sometimes - This week's podcast talked about that).
I'm also grateful that the upcoming two weeks will be "Spring Break" for the kids.
Maybe we'll get caught up on all the preschool homework.
Or maybe we'll just keep enjoying Legos, puppet shows and afternoon swims.
Either way, a lot of life is about perspective.
And right now, more than ever, I'm counting my blessings.