As COVID19 quarantine continues, I cannot stop but wonder, will it ever be over? What will life be like after we reemerge from our hideouts? Will we go back to normal, or will the normal be redefined? My guess is we will need to adjust to a new normal—a normal with more constraints, stricter rules, and limited social interaction.
Sudden Life Changes
My children have been out of the daycare for two months now. Even though the daycare is open, we chose to keep our children at home. We are lucky to have such an option, but it is not easy. My husband and I both have full-time jobs, taking zoom calls while supervising and taking care of two toddlers is not easy. Most of my co-workers have virtually met my children by now. They have also heard them screaming and yelling whenever I forget to mute myself. Suffice to say. Working from home with kids is exciting and, at times, challenging. Initially, I thought the COVID19 quarantine would take a few months, and then we would be back to normal. Little did I know. The new reality is that the COVID19 virus is here to stay. Even though the number of infected people in the United States goes down, we need to be ready for another surge. Maybe not during this summer, but we will likely experience an increase in infections during the next fall season.
So as I ponder my new reality, I try to think about what it means for my household long term. My husband used to travel a lot, but that won't be happening again for a while. That, in turn, means he will be home, spending more time with kids and helping with house chores. Good thing. The not-so-good thing is the increased volume of cleaning and cooking. Cooking is a big one in our household. We all love food, and that means a lot of cooking. One of the things that I am implementing to ease this pain is to cook large one-pot dishes and soups that last a few days. And, of course, thank god for food deliveries from local restaurants. Support local businesses in your area. Children will need to be homeschooled, meaning I need to become a teacher. And for this to work, I need to take time out of my workday to facilitate the learning. My working hours will need to adjust or more likely to shift into a late night. Seeing friends and family will be challenging as well, while my family wants to protect our great grandparents, we do not want to isolate them completely. We will need to define boundaries and select activities that are safe without jeopardizing anyone's health but still allowing for some face to face time. Children's activities and clubs will have to transform and will require more parental involvement. We will have to take on a more significant role as a teacher, fun friend, and exciting leader. No pressure.
The New Normal
Here I am, a full-time parent, daughter, employee, wife, teacher, house-cleaner, cook, and caretaker - all in one. Juggling and managing all of my hats will not be easy, but I have no choice. So my goal is to live one day at a time without getting bogged down on imperfections. I hope you are finding your new way of living through this crisis and after. Stay strong, be patient, be ready to pivot, and take care of yourself and others around you. Stay safe.