What does parenting during a pandemic look like? To be honest it’s different for every single parent. Some have found their strides and are managing it quite well. For the rest of us that is not the case. I speak from a personal point of view, so it’s assume that I don’t speak for the majority of moms.
This time last year, I was on maternity leave for my second born. So my paycheck was guaranteed for the next few months. Mind you it wasn’t much but it gave me enough time to build my social media brand and to really come to terms with what I wanted to do. Did I want to be a full time stay at home mom? Did I really want to be a social media content creator? Could I thrive at both? But most importantly would I be good at it?
My husband I knew that if we both worked full time, the money we made would go towards everything except the life we wanted for our family, so staying home wasn’t that much of an issue. What worried me was whether or not I’d become a burden to my husband. Most mothers give up their careers to care for their children, not because we’re not independent, intelligent individuals but ultimately because it’s what’s best for our families. I knew that if we could do this together our family would thrive but most importantly our children would have the advantage of having one of us available without either of us worrying about out babies.
My husband was able to retain his job during the pandemic and all the uncertainties it brought with it. He worked and I stayed home. At first it wasn’t so bad. I had a schedule for me and the girls. Of course I was exhausted. All the places that we’d normally bring our girls to exert their energies were closed except for the park. So we got creative. We go on car rides and do car activities. My husband is very good at finding outdoor activities, like going to the zoo, outdoor picnics and going to the beach all while maintaining a safe distance.
Home life wasn’t so bad at first either. I started teaching my three year old to read and write as a way to prepare us for a possible homeschool life. We started baking banana bread like every family. We made a digital tv cooking show and even shot a Wal-Mart commercial. Things were going to be ok, after this wasn’t going to last long and soon life would be back to normal. Or so I thought…
It seems like month after month, the news got grimmer and grimmer. More and more my social media feed was filled with conspiracy theories, hate crimes and just another death inspired by racism. I was triggered by how normal it became to see another name becoming a hashtag. Trauma became part of the new normal and I hated it. I had seen enough trauma growing up and I don’t know why it seemed to be a continuous sight for me to see. But worse, is now I’m a mother and how am I supposed to raise well adjust Black girls in a world that is constantly telling they are not for us and our well-being?
A year later, I’m at home writing this post. I am four pregnant. I hate the cold so naturally I hibernate within my house like I do every winter. I still am teaching my girl to read, write and do arithmetic. She continues to impress me. I wish I could take them to an indoor trampoline park so my second born to jump around with her sister. I wish we could go to the McDonald’s Playplace where my girls would make a temporary friend while my husband and I would enjoy our cheap dates but alas now our time together looks different.
It usually takes place after the babies have gone to bed. We order something off of UberEats and catch up on the adult television shows on Netflix. During the day, I try to keep the schedule the same, keeping in mind that I need to schedule some time for myself, which I’ve been neglecting more and more lately. Some days I get my list done and I feel confident, other days I just want to crawl in bed and be taken cared of.
It’s not always pretty but we’re getting by one day at a time. Hanging on to the knowledge that this too shall pass.