My Ugly Truth

My Ugly Truth

March 12, 2020

This marks the last day I showed face at my office. I’ve been teleworking for the last 2 months and what an experience that has been. I used to think I wanted to telework every day. That was before COVID-19 hit the U.S., forcing all of us to make some serious and uncomfortable changes to our daily routines. 

I was fine at first. The first few weeks weren’t that bad. In fact, I welcomed the change of scenery and was happy to not have to make that hellish commute from Maryland to DC every day. 💆🏽‍♀️ I was happy to be away from the drama that comes with office life. I was happy to not have to wake up super early to get myself and the kids ready for school, daycare, and work. 

Keyword: was

Now, a couple of months into quarantine, I can admit that I’m not so happy. I’m sure some of you can relate. Some of you can’t. Either way, this is my ugly truth.

Telework life

  • Work from home, they say. It’ll be fun, they say. Bullshit
  • I work WAYYYY more than I did when I was going to the office. 8-9 hours a day straight. To think, I was working a lot before. This is the worst time to be working in Finance and Facilities. FML 🤦🏽‍♀️
  • Sometimes, when I’m feeling frisky late at night, I like to climb into bed and pull up work emails on my phone and respond to them because clearly, I have separation anxiety 
  • I’m tired of starting out the majority of my emails with “I hope this email finds you safe & healthy” 
  • So f*ucking over video meetings. I’m tired of having to figure out a way to not look crazy when I’m talking to my colleagues. Tired of having to remember I have yet another meeting
  • At any point on a call with me, you can hear my kids bickering in the background and me yelling at them to “just STOP”. Never mind the fact that I choose not to mute my mic while disciplining them 🤷🏽‍♀️
  • I actually miss the commute from work to home. Now that I’m teleworking, it’s harder for me to separate work life from home life

E-Learning/daycare life

  • The county in which my oldest attends daycare extended the school year to June 18th. What the actual f*ck? So we have another MONTH of this shit?! 😰
  • I’m struggling to keep my oldest busy with what little work they give him now. Why are only 1 of 2 assignments graded? If you’re going to half-ass the remainder of the year, can we call it quits now? 
  • Running mommy daycare is not for the faint of heart. Why does my youngest have SO much energy? Where the hell does he even find this energy? Why can’t I have that type of energy? 
  • I’m tired of my kids being bottomless pits. If they ask me for one more damn snack!
  • No, Jayden, you cannot get on your iPad and spend the entire day playing Roblox and watching YouTube videos of other people playing Roblox while your mom slaves away all day for her employer
  • Jaxson returns to daycare starting June 1st. Two words: THANK GOD 🙌🏽

Social life

  • That’s right – it doesn’t exist
  • The longer we are in quarantine, the more anti-social I’m becoming. 😔 Maybe it’s because I’m overworked. By the time the night rolls around, I don’t want to talk to anybody. I don’t want to do anything except play Animal Crossing New Horizons and catch up on my shows that I’ll end up having to rewind multiple times because my kids won’t shut the f*ck up
  • Tired of virtual happy hours. I want the real thing
  • Tired of having to be invited to virtual happy hours. Again, I want to see my friends IN PERSON. But don’t stop inviting me ladies; I still want the option to decline! 😜  

Parenting life

  • I usually remember to remind my kids to brush their teeth and shower. There might be a day or two where the days become one and I forget 🙈
  • Not often, but sometimes, my youngest doesn’t take his daily nap. There are a few days where it’s hard to find a break in my workday to lay him down. He isn’t very cooperative when it’s nap time so it usually involves some compromise
  • On those days that he doesn’t nap, my mom guilt sets in. Am I messing with his development in some way? I’m only punishing myself when he doesn’t nap because he turns into the crankiest and meanest child I’ve ever met 👿
  • Our schedules are all over the place compared to before. It’s mostly consistent, but still not consistent. *insert more mom guilt*
  • So tired of breaking up fights and yelling at the kids to leave each other alone. I’m pretty certain my neighbors hate us. Don’t worry, I hate this new version of us too. 

Personal life

  • I’m losing weight and I’m not sure if it’s a good thing yet
  • So tired of hearing about coronavirus. Is terrorism still a thing? What’s happening with the presidential election? How’s Tiger King and Carole Baskins? 
  • I’m definitely not drinking enough water 🚰
  • Finding myself so deep into the work zone, I often neglect to eat lunch (and sometimes breakfast). I unintentionally save my appetite for dinner and snacks 
  • I ALWAYS have my daily cup of coffee though ☕
  • Usually, I remember to brush my own teeth and shower. Again, there might be a day or two where the days become one and I forget. Judge me if you want 👩🏽‍⚖️
  • There are days when I don’t feel like cooking dinner so I opt for whatever entails the least amount of prep work (or order delivery)

Mental Health Awareness Month 

Did you know that May is mental health awareness month? Well, it is and I can imagine that many people who suffer from any sort of mental illness are REALLY feeling the effects of being in quarantine. Hang in there, y’all. 

I saw a quote on Instagram recently that resonated so incredibly deeply with me. The words capture what it’s like to be overwhelmed, anxious, and uncertain about the moments we’re experiencing.

“I’m not okay today. Today is not a good day for me. And that’s okay. It’s a rough one. Mentally. It’s okay to say that out loud. It doesn’t make me any less grateful. I am blessed. I am stressed. The two can coexist. I’m breathing. I’m nourishing myself. I am taking care of myself. And I’m not okay. I will be. Not when anyone thinks I should. When I am” – Kendrick Sampson

Counting my blessings

“I am blessed. I am stressed. The two can coexist” – say that one more time for the people in the back! 📢

I’m blessed to

  • have a job that still pays its employees
  • have good health
  • be able to afford the basic necessities for me and my family
  • have friends and family who love and support me
  • be able to wake up to a new day

Most importantly for my sanity: I’m blessed to get a break from the kids every other week! In the moments they are driving me crazy, I shamefully think to myself “OMG, I can’t wait until they go with their dads.” Then, of course, a few days after they’ve left, I’m telling myself how I miss them and can’t wait to see them 😂 

In a stressful time like this, there’s a benefit to not being in a relationship with either of their dads 🤭 I can only imagine the madness those parents who are under one roof are dealing with on an everyday basis with no break from their new routine. God bless y’all!  

Feel the feels

So take everything I’m feeling as listed above and imagine the toll of quarantine on my mental and emotional wellbeing. I don’t feel like myself and I’m sure that whatever my normal self used to be will look a little different after all of this 🧐 It isn’t easy and it isn’t all that fun.

I have an uncanny way of making it seem like I am better than I might actually be feeling. At the end of the day, I have to be strong for the sake of my kids, even if it means faking it. I don’t want what I’m feeling to affect their mental and emotional state. So while I may yell at them, to them – that’s just me disciplining them per the usual. They don’t know that the frustration is coming from a much deeper place. 

That said, I have enough self-awareness to know that all of the negative I’m feeling is temporary. As with other moments of defeat, this too shall pass 🙏🏽 Fortunately, I’m not so buried in this that I can’t get out. This is just my current reality. 

So in the meantime, I’m going to sit in whatever this is and let it ride out until it dies out. I’m not going to force myself to “get better” just because people may expect or want me to be my normal self. There’s nothing normal about this time we are living in.

So the best way I can take care of me is allowing myself to FEEL ❤️ I’m not okay and I’m okay with admitting that. If you’re going through something similar, I hope that you find the courage to admit this to yourself and others as well. Then we can all work together to get through this because we ARE in this together 🤗