Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to be a mom, a stay-at-home-mom at that. I have dreamed of raising my babies and spending every moment I possibly could with them. Well, 2.5 years ago I was given that opportunity. My husband and I were finally in a place where we felt we could live on one income, and I was able to resign from my job, a job that I loved, as a high school English teacher. We now have three boys: 5, 2.5, and 10 months.
I have the joy of staying home with my boys daily and spending all the time I want with them. Don’t get me wrong, we have our tough days just like any other family out there, but staying home is truly my dream job.
However, the life I’m used to as a stay-at-home-mom has changed drastically over the past 2 months. I am used to having play dates during the week, taking my boys to the library, going to the zoo, the art museum, and playing at Chick-Fil-A. We are used to pre-school drop-off and pick-up, running errands, playing with cousins, and staying busy throughout the week, but now, our regular outings have been turned upside down and put to a complete halt.
All because of the coronavirus.
Since the outbreak, we have basically been secluded at home for two months, like the rest of society. Honestly, the first two weeks were no big deal. I was really excited for my oldest to be home from pre-school and to have some special time with my buddies. My husband was working from home, so it was nice to have another adult to chat with at lunch and to help clean up dirty dishes (and children).
So, weeks one and two, no big deal.
Then the lockdown was extended… Listen, I love to spend time with my kids, but once that third week came, and they SHUT DOWN THE PARKS, I was not prepared for this! I love staying home with my kids, but I am an extrovert. I need human interaction! Even if it’s with total strangers at the grocery store. So once weeks three and four hit, I knew my game-plan of just sitting at home, snuggling, and watching movies, was going to have to change. Movies and snuggles can only entertain a 10-month-old, 2-year-old, and 5-year-old for so long. This is when reality hit that this “new normal” was going to be sticking around longer than expected.
Now I started to wonder how I was going to survive.
We changed our game-plan from “relaxing” and “taking a break” to getting the most out of this time together. Once I got to thinking about it, I realized more than ever that — this was the life I had dreamed of.
Time with my kids.
Since my oldest started pre-school in the fall, and I had a newborn baby at the time, I felt like we were “go go go” all the time and everything was such a whirlwind. We had a schedule that we had to keep to, and we didn’t have all the time that we did in the past. Then all of a sudden, everything stopped because of coronavirus, and I was like…wait a second, this is amazing.
We don’t have anywhere to be, we don’t have to rush from place to place, we can do whatever we want! Sure we can’t have playdates, but I didn’t have to think about pre-school drop off or pick up, getting groceries, or cleaning up breakfast the second we were done with it, because we had nowhere that we had to be.
I felt so free.
From this point forward, I decided I was going to take full advantage of this time. Especially because I knew what was coming in the fall…Kindergarten. So we started doing whatever we wanted.
We take our time getting breakfast. We don’t always clean up our toys right away. We make moon sand. We build tents. We go to the park. We stop just to smell the flowers. We throw every single rock in eyes’-view into the water. We play in the rain. We jump in puddles. We drink more chocolate milk than we’re supposed to. We have more screen-time than what is recommended. We ride bikes. We take baths during the day. We make messes. We play hide and seek. We have dance parties. We FaceTime our friends. We watch movies, and Paw Patrol, and Blaze (so. much. Blaze.). We even dusted the house once, people. We do it all. And we do it with no time-constraint. We can do anything we want to. We have no other obligations.
So take advantage of this time.
Our options are limitless. This is bigger than “once in a lifetime.” When have you ever been given TIME? Take this as an opportunity instead of a punishment. I know a lot of hurt will come in a time like this, and I know it’s not always easy, but let’s take advantage of this time with our kids while we have it. Make the best of the situation you’re in and realize the freedom that we have even when we’re stuck in our homes.
We. Are. Free.
And this, this is the life that I have always dreamed of.