I never thought a global pandemic would be the vehicle that would bolster my confidence as a mom, but here we are. We are living in a world of bring your own Lysol and engineer your own face masks out of rubber bands and scrap fabric for your next grocery store run. Like everyone else, the life of our family changed dramatically when the Coronavirus pandemic caused us to social distance and quarantine in our homes.
As the emails poured in announcing that all our activities for the spring were canceled, I wasn’t sure how we were going to manage. Not only were the formal events canceled, like our soccer season and preschool program, but all our potential playdates, and those trips to Target to just “get out of the house” vanished as well. Pre-pandemic, I prefer to be on the go. I am a list maker, task completer, Paper Planner Queen. I’m an extrovert who is largely filled up by conversations with others, even if the conversation is broken up for mitigating disputes and disciplining children while at the park with another mom. The life I knew as a Stay at Home Mom was gone, at least for a little while. And I panicked. How were we going to do this?
How Was I to Do This?
The answer to my question of how we were going to get through this wasn’t answered right away, but overtime, book by book, walk after walk, puzzle after puzzle, the days were not only passing, but the days were full. At night, I began to put more thought into the day that lay ahead. This was something that I always wanted to do, but could get away with not doing because of the busyness of our schedule.
It turns out, when you are carting your children around from place to place, there isn’t a lot of time to interject an intentional activity. Don’t get me wrong, I missed many of the things that once took up space on our calendar, but the Coronavirus pandemic quickly taught me that I didn’t need them. That if push came to shove and I was forced to stay in my home with just my children, and my now work-from-home husband, I could do it. I began to dig deeper for things to do with my children, and not in a “let me be your cruise director” type of way, although there were times I have felt that way.
I felt a rising sense of ingenuity as I came up with a new way for us to engage our Legos, or simply deciding to lay a blanket on the ground and making our reading of books a little more formal by labeling it “story time”. This creativity was brought to life because I couldn’t just pile everyone into the car and head to Target if there was a lull in our afternoon. I feel less handicapped to outings and activities to fill our days, and more confident in our ability to fill them ourselves. Through that, my confidence as the mom chosen to parent my children is growing.
I am a Capable Stay at Home Mom
Are there meltdowns? Of course. Do I feel claustrophobic? At times. Am I curious as to what items are on the shelves in the Target Dollar Spot? You bet. But I am learning that days at home with my children aren’t something I should fear. They were birthing in me more intentionality, more slowness, more creativity, all things that I know will stay with me long after this quarantine is lifted. I am currently sending my daughter out the door for a few minutes each afternoon for “outside time”, something I had never done because I thought she “couldn’t do it”, but after a few days of struggling with me on it, she now happily goes. Most recently she was trimming our shrubs with her play scissors and I loved seeing her imagination at work, and I found myself thankful, because this scene, and many others, found within my home these days would be missed if we weren’t forced to stay put.
I can’t wait for the Coronavirus pandemic to end. I long for a day where I can hug a friend without fear, and such steep job loss and sickness isn’t suffocating our country. But for me, I know that normal life is a thing of the past. I will probably always wash my hands more often and think twice before offering a handshake. I also will be slower to fill our schedule. I won’t fear “staying home all day” like I used to. I will walk in more confidence as mom, knowing that the staying home part of my job title is something I am capable of.
So tell me, how are you filling your days at home?
About Bridget A.
Bridget is a Houston native, and former educator turned Stay at Home Mom. Married to her college sweetheart, she and her husband count it a privilege to raise the two children entrusted to them. Bridget is a lover of all things home decor, reading, and exercising. Her family is actively involved her their church and are passionate about their faith. As an Enneagram 4, Bridget is a lover of deep conversations, particularly over chips and salsa.