The kids are back in school! Thank goodness! I was nervous about the idea of sending my son back to in-person instruction, but so far all has been good. He seems to be happy, he’s making friends again, the teachers are kind and the school is one of the best in the city.
For almost two years I was a stay at home mom and not by choice—forced to attend to my son 24/7. Yes, I’m his mom and caring for him is my job, but never did I expect to become his teacher as well. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed all the extra time I was able to spend with him and the rest I was getting. I no longer had to wake up at 6 in the morning to get my son to morning care before 7:00am and then rushing back from work to make sure he was picked up by 6:00pm, was the break I needed. Before the pandemic I was stuck in a routine that barely allowed me to spend time with my child except on the weekends. I got to truly enjoy being a mom once COVID-19 hit.
Great things don’t last for too long though. Within a year of being in a pandemic the fun faded and the stress began to kick in. I found myself on the verge of a breakdown almost daily. I was tired of being mom, teacher and employee. The people I worked with were annoying me, my child was no longer listening to me and on top of that I was doing all I could to make sure my son kept up his studies. I honestly felt like I was beginning to drown in stress and loneliness. I never considered myself one to get depressed, but everything I was feeling only lead me to that conclusion. The only time I got a moment of peace was when my son was away, which was barely.
To some it may sound cruel or that I’m being ungrateful—not everyone gets blessed with a child and I was. I’m here to say I’m not ungrateful at all and I love everything about being a mom, but that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to have a break every now & then. All parents do, especially those of us that do all the heavy lifting.
Anyways, after sending my son to spend some time with his dad after finding myself on the verge of losing it I knew what needed to be done; it was time for me to send my son with his dad every other weekend. The thought used to scare me, but I had to get those thoughts out of my head, after all I knew his dad wouldn’t do anything to put him in harms way. To gain back some sanity and provide my son with more structure I needed him to be with his dad as much as possible. I used to think we’d end up being those parents in the court fighting over how much time each of us gets with our own kid, but with age and the everyday obstacles of being a parent I realized it could be so much easier. All I had to do was get out of my head and speak to him about how I was feeling.
I’ve always put on this strong front; pretending I don’t need anyone’s help, but the stress of the pandemic almost broke me and a broken woman is no good to anyone, especially her children.
So yeah, that’s how the pandemic forced to me to co-parent and I’m glad it did.