A few years ago, when we first had children, my husband talked to his workplace about parental leave. He knew that while he’d like to be home during the first few weeks during and after the birth, he was also interested in being able to be around with his kids while they grew up. So, the summer after our first kid was born, he shifted his schedule to work from 8am to 4pm. From there, he advocated for taking a four-week leave every summer to spend time with his kids. We’re not taking a full sabbatical this year because of the pandemic, but we will still push pause on a few things where we can.
When coronavirus first happened, many of us were adjusting to figuring out the shut down. How long would it last? Would this just be a week or two? What were the next steps? For many of you reading this blog and listening to the podcast, you have also been trying to figure out your birth plans. How do you give birth in a pandemic? What do you plan for, when everything keeps changing? Here’s what Megan Hale did when she found out her husband and mother both tested positive for the flu the week before she was due to give birth.
I’ve given my three year old my laptop to reply to your incoming emails right now. My one-year old might also be chiming in. I’m having a hard time keeping them away from the keyboard. Don’t worry, I’ve invented a magical device that can also translate their thoughts and actions into words. As of Sunday, they are now responsible for my inbox. You can consider them my new personal assistant.
How do you push the reset button—that ability to feel like you’ve had a fresh cup of coffee, a good night of sleep, and you’re ready to go at work? While we’re all clawing at sanity and sobbing quietly into our fourteenth cup of coffee, it’s really hard to find the capacity to work and keep your head above water right now. Today’s episode is for anyone trying to find a semblance of sanity amidst all of this. If you’re stuck, feeling overwhelmed, feeling like you’re in a rut—here are a few things that are working for me.
I’m Really Sorry I Keep Texting You To Check And See If My Advice Was Useful—I Have No Ability To Self Regulate Because We’re In The Middle Of A Pandemic
I have 83 unread messages on my phone, and my family keeps checking in. I want to write back, but my toddler is mashing cheerios in the couch, and the last time I went pee, he took the gel crayons and drew all over the new carpets. I put stain remover on them and texted my husband, “I shouted them!” The message was not clear. “Who did you shout at?” he replied. The pandemic is not going well.
My first child was born on Mothers’ Day, 2016, the day before our anniversary. It blew me open, ripped my birth canal vagina more than I would have liked, and turned so much of my life upside down. So many of you are about to become mothers for the first, second, third time. You’re doing it in the middle of a pandemic, in the midst of changing rules and ideas, amidst a sea of changing information. Motherhood, in many ways, feels like a pandemic. The strange thing about the last four months is this eerie sense I have that this already feels familiar. I’ve been here before. We’ve been here before.