I’m a stay-at-home mom, I should be better at this. I should be set on cruise control, I should be reading the tweets and looking at the Instagram posts of my non-stay-at-home friends and feeling…I don’t know…wise? Seasoned?
Nope. I don’t feel those, nor do I feel smug, nor “See? SEE?”
Okay. Okay, maybe a tiny bit.
Mainly I feel something akin to “Welcome to the community. It’s going to be alright.”
Okay. No, that’s not true either. What I feel is “My community is bigger now. This is…nice.”
Selfish, maybe. A silver lining to this situation in which we’ve all found ourselves, definitely. So I’ll take it. I’ll take a bigger village, because a bigger village means more helping hands, both physically and emotionally (or I guess only emotionally right now. Six feet, people!). But emotional help is huge.
To everyone who has suddenly become a stay-at-home parent, whether you’re working from home or not:
There is no secret. Maybe this is bad news, maybe not. But the fact is, you just keep going, one step and then another, and sometimes it’s graceful and sometimes not. Gracefulness doesn’t matter.
I repeat: gracefulness does not matter.
Do what you need to do — or not do — to build and maintain a sustainable life for you and your family. Not perfect. Not what it “should” be. Sustainable.
You’re not alone.
And to my fellow stay-at-home parents:
It’s okay if we too find this a challenge. We’ve been cut off from play dates, excursions out of the house — whether they’re to the park or zoo or Target, date nights, and a host of other things that were helping us maintain our sanity. That’s the truth.
We don’t need to be shining examples for our working-parent friends.
We don’t need to be perfect. Perfectionism is just as toxic as it ever was.
We don’t need to suddenly become homeschooling wizards.
We need to let ourselves flail a little.
We need to let ourselves adjust and contract and expand.
We need to let ourselves be.
Sending love to you all. May you bake all you want, wear all the pajamas you want, and stare blankly at your children all you want.
You’re not alone.