It is okay to be struggling emotionally in quarantine
Things are hard, and many of us are now faced with being a stay at home mom when we had no intention of being one. It is okay to struggling emotionally in quarantine and as a stay at home parent.
As we continue life throughout this quarantine we are faced with uncharted territory. For many, this way of life is not what they ever envisioned. If you’re a mom who knew she was going to be the working mom, or if you’re an extrovert mom who takes her kids on outings every day, being home with your kids and nowhere to go is completely foreign to you. Even as as stay at home mom who didn’t take many outings, this in uncharted territory.
Go ahead and feel those feelings
As moms, some of the worst things we can do is just suck in our feelings and pretend like all is well. Sure, we don’t want to scare our kids, but its also incredibly healthy to show our kids that we have feelings about what is going on.
We have had some age appropriate, but in depth conversations with our daughter about what is going on in the world right now. For her, the entire world she knew was taken away just 1 week before the lock down. My husband had taken a new job so we packed up, said goodbye to her friends, teachers & family, and moved into my husband’s parents’ house. Emotions were already running very high in our family.
Throughout the moving process, we showed her our feelings. She and I would have conversations about what we were doing and we would cry together when she was feeling sad. She saw her daddy and I work through our own emotions about moving, which helped her cope with her own feelings. We also discussed the new opportunities we would have once we moved in order to give her things she could look forward to.
Our plan was to go to the library a couple days a week, constantly check out new books. We were going to have school time every day. She would get to visit and play with her cousins on weekends we stayed in town, and go back to where we used to live every other weekend and play with her friends & see family we would miss.
Just 3 days after moving, the library was closed, days later everything went onto full lockdown. Since we live in Michigan and it’s now mid-April 2020, things are extremely tight. The things that we told her we would be doing on a regular basis- the library, the park, visiting cousins, play dates back with her friends- None of them have happened.
Not only are we living with my in-laws, but that also means she doesn’t have many of her toys since we only planned on being here a few weeks. So she is at her grandparents’ house, with 2 small totes of toys, while everything she keeps asking to play with is buried in storage. She can’t go see her friends or other grandparents that she misses so much.
Feeling trapped at home
With our move, I was transitioning back into being a stay at home mom. I had been planning on homeschooling, so having school canceled and her teacher interacting with the class (including my daughter) has been a blessing to me. We have a lot fewer bills at the moment since we aren’t running a household of our own. My husband has been kept on the job, even though many employees have been laid off, his company took notice of his work ethics and are keeping him working even though he had only been there 2 weeks before they were shut down. There are good things to the timing of this, I won’t deny it.
Yet, I can’t get over feeling stuck or trapped at home. Yes, I’m safe. My family is safe. We have a roof over our head and food to eat. There is still the issue of being stuck here day in and day out. Without much of my stuff. The things that I was looking forward to doing most are gone.
You aren’t alone if you’re struggling emotionally
We are all in this together. At this moment in time, we are all dealing with the same types of circumstances, but if you’re in camp ‘I feel trapped’ know that you are not alone. There are other moms out there feeling like they are stuck in their life.
We can all admit that being home with our family isn’t all bad. There are many things to be thankful for, but we all hit that wall where we are just over it. For me, that happened quickly because i’m not in my own space. It has taken a lot of adjustment to find a place where I don’t feel trapped on a daily basis. Now, by the rime we get to Thursday or Friday I’m climbing the walls to get out.
What can I do?
This definitely varies by what you have on hand, what you like to do, and what restrictions are in place around you. The biggest thing is carving out time for yourself. This goes back to finding 5 minutes you can do something for yourself.
Your 5 minutes can be simple, like reading a book or putting in headphones. It could be painting your nails or maybe taking that essential trip to the store by yourself. It could be buying a gift for a friend and having it delivered to them. There are many things that I’m sure you could come up with to do in your mini-breaks. I have written a list of 100 ideas here.
Making time to focus on what it is that you feel yourself needing is one great way you can make it through the stress of lock down.