I have been in the darkness this last week. In partial because of my mental illnesses, but I think the quarantined lifestyle has made matters worse.
You would think it would not be that traumatic for a person who has been a stay at home parent for 6 years. Granted, that started with only 1 child. I now have 3 of them. 2 in which are not school aged.
We had our structure. As a person with mental illness, structure helps me thrive.
My son, who is nearing 7 years old, was diagnosed with ADHD; structure helps him thrive.
Add in my now 3 year old sassy pants daughter and my 11.5 month old adventurous little Bug, everything just feels like chaos. We strive on the structure. The structure we have now lost due to this freaking virus!
I am sitting here contemplating my capacity to be a mother. More importantly, a good mother that can help her kids thrive and not live off of 479202 snacks and 10 hours of screen time a day. To live in this world is exhausting sometimes. I have to worry about everything and even the things most people probably aren’t even considering…I WORRY ABOUT.
You would think, “wow your son’s school is not requiring him to do 3 hours of school a day on the computer? You are so lucky!”
When I make it through a day and realize we did absolutely nothing to help prepare him to enter 2nd grade, guilt sets in. Am I a capable mother? I try to set up some sort of home school, but he is quick to snap an attitude and quick to lose focus. Is it me? Am I just not capable?
I worry for the fact that he, according to his state testing, is still a little behind in some areas. How the hell am I suppose to help him be successful since he had to miss half of his 1st grade year and then go into second grade basically blindfolded, without some kind of requirement or structure?
Besides that academic guilt, my anxiety limits things. All the kids want to do is be outside, all day everyday, rain or shine. I am always making them wait until Chris gets home. Why? Well for starters, I have an infant that has to be watched basically every minute so he doesn’t put something in his mouth or injure himself from his adventurous ways. I can’t be in every place at once. And secondly, because it simply isn’t safe. I wish I had $6,000 to pay for a 6 foot privacy fence, but I don’t. We have a chain link, but that wouldn’t stop some lunatic from snatching them if they really wanted to. Paranoid you might say, while yes I do have paranoia issues, just last week the cops shared a picture of a car going around trying to lure kids. They caught him finally, but I am sure he isn’t the last. It just isn’t safe letting them out there all alone.
I try to plan fun things to do with the kids. I try to teach them new things and keep them from murdering each other. But sometimes, I just can’t take it. Am I just that incapable? Why does the struggle have to be so intense?
Tonight I was telling my husband I feel like I am cursed. How is it that I can have the things I always dreamed of and feel insane for having them. Or feeling like they are the ones making me feel insane. Does that make me an incapable mother?
I thought this quarantined life would be easy for me. After all, I did have isolation practice last year while I was in the hospital for a month. However, that was different because it was just me. I wasn’t parenting during that time because I couldn’t. Now, it is JUST me. There are no breaks or date nights without the kids because hello, everyone is at home [where they should be]. And, the kids always find me, even if I try to hide.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and would do anything for them. But this has me questioning my ability as a mother. It has me questioning my capabilities as a person. I am too much for myself sometimes. How can I escape myself? Doctor Strange needs to come teach me how to remove my soul from my body for a minute or something.
I need to make a better plan. I need to find something we can stick to. There just has to be balance somehow. There just has to. I’m going to find it.