Like many of the other millions of people currently under a Stay at Home order or similar, you may be dealing with it just fine. It’s for the greater good and our family is complying even above and beyond the order. Because we have a high-risk child in the home, we try to limit any exposure whatsoever with the outside world. For my own mental health, that is becoming a problem.
I am currently out of work. We told our babysitter that once I’m working again we’ll be able to afford her services but until then we need to limit expenses wherever we can. My wife works at night with the elderly. That’s a double whammy. Izzy or Daya getting sick is too much of a risk for us to take. I have Izzy all day. Normally I just get a few hours with her after work and we had a regiment of bubble bath, playtime and reading. So basically it’s just play, play, play for us. With this new schedule, it’s challenging. Izzy wants to play all day and there were a lot of home projects I planned on doing. Right now we’re dealing with that. If I sound a little bit stressed it’s because I am.
Prior to so many people getting sick, I would take Izzy to the playground in our neighborhood. I did make sure there were no other kids playing but because the coronavirus germs can live so long on plastic I quit taking her there. Then we moved to bike rides in our neighborhood. Daya was quick to tell me not to even take Izzy outside, even on walks in our neighborhood. Now we’re limited to our backyard, which is…not big at all. But, because I want to honor Daya’s requests, that’s what we’re doing for now.
I, on the other hand, am going nuts. From the moment I wake up to the moment I sleep I am attached at the hip with a toddler that just wants to play all day. Don’t get me wrong, there are many incredible memories we are making. She loves helping me make my coffee, help with cooking and will allow me to clean and do laundry with a little bit of coaxing. Where I’m going nuts is I am someone who needs at least one to two hours a day of “me” time. It’s how I charge my mental battery. It’s how I can cope with being around people. If I can just get away for a little bit of time each day, I’m good. Now, however it’s only on the weekends that I can get even just a little bit of time.
My wife probably thinks I’m mad at her all the time but I’m just trying to hold it all together so that she has enough sleep. She has a full plate now and is carrying our family through an uncertain time in our world’s history. I’m actually incredibly grateful for her rising to the call. I’ve needed her help for a long time and now more than ever. She’s doing great. I’m just trying to figure out how to navigate through this “quarantine” without sacrificing my own needs.
I wonder if there are other families going through something similar. Am I all alone in this? Am I selfish for needing “me” time? Last Saturday, as soon as Daya woke up I pretty much gave her Izzy and said, “I gotta go on a drive. I gotta get out of here for a bit.” After an hour drive to Burlington (I really like that town) and back, I felt better. That’s really all I needed. Open road, country music (or whatever I feel like listening to) and I’m good to go. Long drives have always been an effective way for me to cope with stress. Saturday was no different.
I know this is all for the common good. I’m not at all arguing that point. It’s just that now with such huge changes, I haven’t been able to adapt to being confined to my home as well as I’d like. Having to wait for the weekend to relieve some of the pressure is going to take some getting used to if I can’t find a way to find daily time. Like every obstacle that’s been put in front of me, I always find a way. I will get there but I wanted to capture what it looked like before I figured it out. Having Daya as a partner takes a lot of that pressure off of me too once we get a moment to sit down and talk about it. I’m sure that’s coming soon.
I hope everyone else is coping well during this trying time. Each night, before Izzy and I go to bed we say a prayer for the world, especially Italy. Gosh, even prayer time is cute. Izzy shuts her eyes and talks when I talk so it’s like we’re praying together. It’s so beautiful. Take care, world.