What do you do?
When you show up for everyone but yourself? When it goes beyond the pejorative not putting the mother/self on the to-do list. When it has moved beyond a lack of self-care and bled into the acknowledgement of self? The pandemic has been hard. For everyone. Full stop. Harder for some, easier for others but still hard across the board. It feels almost like a newborn phase again. My world has become increasingly small. It has become the people in this house and their needs first and foremost. I am a teacher, a chef, a playmate, a moderator, a lawyer, a maid, a personal assistant and a majestic wiper of all things. I am many things. Perhaps, even, I am all things to three tiny humans. And what I realized the other day is that I have lost myself. Again.
I need to write and teach and coach for income. But I find I am trying to do those things in fits and spurts between all the kid stuff. To get things done, I sometimes add in more screen time to kids who are already on line learning too much of the day. My jobs are suffering because I can't get a good chunk of time in to be productive. So my self-worth is suffering. Then I feel guilty that my kids aren't getting the best of me. By them being home so much and my ever increasing responsibilities to tend to them means that I am short-tempered and used up. So my self-worth is suffering. I rarely see friends. Something that I miss for my own mental health and that of my friends'. I am a good listener, advice giver and cheerleader. So my self-worth is suffering. I am co-parenting and co-habitating with someone where there is no longer any love or affection. It is hard to heal and move on when the hurt is standing in your kitchen every day. So my self-worth is suffering.
I know I am not the only one. The only one feeling the weight and impact of this time. In talking to a friend yesterday, I told her to give herself grace. It seems like the whole world is only one email away from completely losing their shit. I know that I will claw myself out of this space. It's who I am. It's what I do. In that respect, I have never failed. But that also means I know the hard work ahead. And when I think about that work I think, hot damn, I am so tired already. How am I going to find the energy to claw? I will. I know I will. It's all I know. And that will be the first step to rebuilding myself and my self-worth. Again. It's been nine months since my kids got sent home and we stayed inside for two weeks to save the world. This will be a year of sacrifice and perseverance. I know that to be true. I also know that this will not be the year I allowed myself to get lost. Again. I know that to be true. So, I will start to claw. Not looking ahead or behind. Just at the handhold in front of me and with every successful grip, I will earn a little bit of myself back.
If you are having a rough time. I get it. So many of us are. This is not an easy time. It isn't. It is a clusterfuck of truly epic proportions. But, my, we are a resilient bunch. So hang on and know that I love you more.