Socially Distanced Mom Shame
Tales from a Working Professor Mom Also Homeschooling Her Children
Many of my days begin and end with my working parent friends commiserating in group chats about the ways they feel they’ve failed their children that they are also trying to homeschool while working full time. I have beat myself to a bloody pulp emotionally second-guessing the decision to keep my kids at home this trimester. Then I remind myself that, even if I had chosen the “hybrid” option, they still would be attending school at home 2-3 days/week and the situation really wouldn’t be much better. Last night, I watched Rachel Maddow host videos of healthcare workers like my husband Strange that are exhausted from the pandemic. All I could think was, behind all of those pained faces is a spouse who is also a healthcare worker dealing with the fallout, or employed full time dealing with the fallout, or staying at home and dealing with the fallout and they’re all exhausted too.
Everyone is just exhausted
Today, my own exhaustion manifested in my home and, while I am not proud of my own behavior, I feel like it deserves a communal chuckle. And, if my missteps and misfortunes can bring a little joy to the world, I’m glad to share them with you all.
One thing you need to know to understand today’s events: I call the parts of our brains where we store our private, emotional feelings our “boxes.” When you’re not sharing your feelings, you have your boxes closed. Letting the feelings go? You’ve opened your boxes. I am firmly in the Pickle Rick category. I’m kind of a private lady. I don’t like willy-nilly sharing my emotions. I do, however, enjoy spaghetti tacos.
At the very least, I don’t want to dwell on my emotions. I want to recognize something is going on, re-establish my priorities, and move on without harping on the past. I pride myself on that,.and I think it’s part of how I went from being the daughter of a drug addict to a university professor.
Or not. Back to the hilarity of the day.
Life is kind of intense right now with homeschooling and a healthcare husband and a dual career and I’ve been trying very hard to keep it together, but it’s starting to impact me. If it’s not impacting you, you’re not human. I’m tired of Trump and I’m tired of Zoom and I am tired of so many things. This morning, I had a talk with Strange about the things that are impacting me and he suggested to me that I’m keeping some of my emotional boxes closed. To this, I replied
You want to see inside of my box? My box is totally open to you, dude. Go ahead and look deep inside my box.
At the same time, my daughter TD was recording her response to a lesson. So, that went to her teacher.
Anything that you are doing to hold things together right now is a win.
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