Happy Sunday. This is the eighth post that I have written in the month of June. In the 10 years that I have been blogging, I don’t think I’ve ever written so few posts in a month. My slowed frequency of posting has been due to several factors all happening simultaneously.
First, there has been the weight of everything happening in our country and around our world. It has been difficult to keep good boundaries with news and social media consumption over the last few months in regards to COVID, and also hard to wrap my head around the virus and how to live with it. I felt that I had gotten to a good place with it. This week we learned that North Carolina would stay in Phase 2 for three more weeks and that gyms and fitness businesses must continue to stay closed. We are also experiencing very high case numbers in our state and now have a mandatory face mask requirement when in public. It’s worrisome and I feel a lot of anxiety about a lot of things.
Second, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the ensuing focus on social justice and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement has been consuming (rightfully so). And then, we had a mass shooting in Charlotte this week at a block party that was a continuation of Juneteenth celebrations. Four people died. I’ve struggled with how to continue posting normally when things are SO not normal on so many levels.
I am honestly appalled by how much time I have spent on social media and reading the news. Not because I don’t want to spend the time reading and learning as much as I can but because it’s not helping me to go down the rabbit hole of social media comment threads and overconsumption of news. I share this because I think that social media and mainstream media has a significant impact on our mental health, and I am committed to discussing physical AND mental health as part of sharing my life online.
I believe there are much more productive and impactful ways that we can contribute to creating change that do not include excessive amounts of time on screens. I just want to post this scaffolded list of anti-racism resources one more time. It’s been very helpful for me. I’ve also been focusing on actionable steps beyond reading and education that I can take to support change. I also must take a moment to express my support towards the LGBTQ community as Pride Month comes to a close.
Third, I am struggling with the balance between motherhood and work. Finn is at an age where if he is awake, it is really difficult for me to do anything requiring a solid chunk of time and focus. And when writing and creating is a huge part of what you do, that is a challenge.
In addition to just needing a lot of supervision because he’s two and exploring his world, he also wants a lot of my undivided attention. Over the last week, Finn has started saying “WAKE UP MOMMY” if I am looking at my phone or otherwise distracted. Let me tell you, that’s a call to wake up for sure!
The thing is, I REALLY want to spend my days playing with Finn and being fully present for whatever he’s doing but the reality is also that I have to spend time working to support my little family. (Why can’t money grow on trees?)
I know that many of you relate to the challenges of schools, preschools and day cares being closed during this global pandemic and I am just here to share that I am struggling with it too. We are anxiously waiting to hear what will happen with Finn’s preschool in the fall and might have to look into a part-time nanny situation if he doesn’t go back to preschool.
This is a really freaking hard decision because now that Finn has been with me and not in school or childcare since March, I am sad to lose the time with him if he goes back to school or is with a sitter but…I have to work.
This is all compounded by shared parenting because Finn is not with me all the time. When he is with me I want to spend as much time with him as I can. I try to cram all of my work into the days that he’s with his dad but that leaves little time for me to connect with friends, spend time doing leisure activities, date, etc.
I share all of this with a heaping dose of gratitude for my work and my beautiful son but always with the intention of helping others feel less alone in what they are feeling and facing. <3
All that being said, I haven’t been in a super great place. Over the last few months I have felt more lonely, down and anxious than I have in a very long time. Two weeks ago I had a reckoning around how far into a hole that I had dug myself. I am introverted and already tend to like being by myself and the COVID quarantine did me no favors. I didn’t realize how much having to leave my house to go teach classes and run errands did for me until I didn’t have to do it anymore.
While I am still very much in the camp of being conservative about my actions out of the house, I have decided that for my mental health it’s time to spread my wings and start making plans to hang out with friends outside, whether that looks like meals or walks.
In closing, thank you for being here for all the parts of life. I am trying my hardest to lean into the current reality of life while also looking forward to feeling inspired and creative again.
How are you?
How are you feeling? How are you dealing?
What is your biggest struggle at the moment?
How have you navigated COVID + childcare and work?