I Think I’m Done

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A mom kissing her daughter's head.If you haven’t heard about the event where Boston area moms gathered in a school field to scream, I’m confident you’ve been living under a rock. My local parenting groups filled up with discussions about how much a good scream is needed, especially right now. And while I’d gladly join you all with the level of frustration that I’ve built up, I simply don’t have the energy.

I rarely say, “I’m done.” I’m usually a “live mindfully and gratefully” kind of person, even when living mindfully and gratefully means saying, “this is really crummy, and I’m not happy right now but know this will pass, and for that, I’m grateful.” But I think I might actually be done. 

We’ve left the house a handful of times in the last month. My preschooler has been to school maybe three times. He is hyper-social and hyperactive, so school is a place he thrives. School is a place he desperately depends on. Despite my background in teaching, despite loving developing fun activities to do with him, it isn’t enough.

I’m also well into my 3rd trimester, trying to keep a preschooler occupied inside with limited access to my very small village or our normal outside resources. I’m sure a lot of you can relate to the drudgery. Between colds, classroom closures, and an unfortunate bout of COVID (after avoiding the virus for two years while living with strict precautions…we were fortunate to have mild/asymptomatic cases, but that wasn’t entirely by chance; you can learn more about how to keep your family healthy and safe here) despite not leaving our home for weeks on end, I’m getting tired.

I don’t remember what day it is most of the time. I’ve found myself believing things that happened a week ago occurred three or more back (How many weeks are in January? Or is it April already?). The only way I’m holding things together some days is by distraction, too much TV time, and simply not having the energy to care anymore.

We still have our days where I do fun activities to keep my little one busy and learning from home, but I’ve found them fewer and further between as January has dragged on. I’d say I’m burnt out, but I’m too ambivalent and checked out for that. 

Don’t get me wrong; I’m genuinely happy to stay home to keep others healthy and safe. I’m grateful my family hasn’t gotten seriously ill; that I can be home with my son without having to worry about important issues such as lost paychecks or being able to afford essentials. I’m aware that our challenges are extraordinarily mild compared to the “real” struggles many others manage. And I recognize the last thing that many people need is another privileged mom whining about how hard it is to parent right now.

But it doesn’t change the fact that something needs to give. But instead of feeling hopeful, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop….and after the month we’ve had, I’m not going to be surprised when it does.

If you are dealing with similar circumstances, I have so much empathy. This parenting during a pandemic thing is hard. I hope I’ll soon be able to look back and say, “it was hard, but we survived.” And at least I can say, despite everything else, I have faith we will.

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Erin is the mother of one sweet, rambunctious toddler and wife to a talented chef. Professionally, she is a former special educator and preschool teacher, and is currently a cognitive neuroscience researcher and Ph.D candidate in Cognitive Science in Education with specializations in neuroscience, cognitive development, and neurodiversity/autism. She holds masters degrees in cognitive science, and neuroscience in education, from Teachers College, Columbia University, and undergraduate degrees in special education (with an additional concentration in elementary education and a minor in English) and early childhood education. As the wife of a chef, food is a huge part of her family culture, and she enjoy both cooking and baking. Some of her other hobbies include hiking, traveling, jogging, meditation, animal rescue, playing piano and guitar, crafting, reading, and of course, writing. You can follow her parenting journey and pick up tips on great kids activities here on Westchester Moms Blog, as well as her website (www.themindfullyscientificmama.com), Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts.