Like many of us, I’ve been struggling with anxiety this week. Our lives are full of uncertainty, and everyone is trying to figure out how to live, work, parent, and school while stuck at home. Since we already homeschool, our day to day lives are pretty much the same, although I’m a little concerned about the dwindling t.p. supply.
So I was a little surprised by how anxious and emotional I was feeling towards the end of the week. And then it dawned on me, the social distancing and isolation is bringing back really unpleasant memories of my pregnancy with my youngest.
I was extremely sick with my last pregnancy. I had hyperemesis gravidarum which basically means I couldn’t stop throwing up, and I lost a lot of weight. I couldn’t even keep water down. From week 7 to week 24, I rarely left the house.
I missed family gatherings, birthdays, Easter, and week after week of church. It was awful, and the worst part (besides the relentless nausea) was not knowing when I’d feel better. The strain was as much emotional as it was physical.
I realized at some point that what I was going through was a marathon and not a sprint. It didn’t help to push myself or get mad when I couldn’t do everything I was used to doing. I needed to be patient, rest, and learn to live with my limitations. I also had to lower my expectations and adjust my priorities.
So here’s my encouragement for everyone stuck at home trying to balance work and life and parenting and school. First thing, go easy on yourself and your family. Everyone is stressed. No one is coping as well as we’d like to be.
Next, be realistic with your expectations. At the end of each day, if everyone is fed, clothed, relatively clean, and the house is still standing, you’ve done what you needed to today. That’s priority one.
You don’t need to live up to anyone else’s standards. It’s ok if you can’t do everything. Your kids will be ok even if they don’t learn anything while they’re home. We’re in survival mode. It won’t last forever. As hard as it seems right now, things will go back to normal eventually. So hug your family, get some rest, trust in the Lord, do what you can, and try not to worry about what you can’t.
P.S. if you’re feeling especially stressed, I strongly recommend limiting your time on social media and watching/reading the news. Get outside if you can and do something active. Coleen and I talked with Ashley Glassick in recent episode on Anxiety, Depression, and Self Care. I hope our discussion encourages you.