It's been a while since I've written anything. I've just been so caught up with life these last four months, just like I'm sure you all have been as well. I count my blessings every day knowing that in these difficult and uncertain times there are so many people who have no income, no food, no sense of security. I have a home, I have food, I have my family. The mental and emotional toll is most likely all the same across the board.
Being a mother throughout this all has been a challenge all its own. My daughter is four years old and had her first year of school, Pre-K, cut short. I watched her in the first few months of school, grow into a confident and outgoing little girl. She's always been very shy, even with family, but school helped her break out of her shell. She was making friends and connections with other trusted adults. It made me so happy to see. When schools were first closed, I honestly thought it would be a couple of weeks at most. Do some deep cleaning, give everyone space for a bit and then we'd go back to normal. I never imagined that we would still be here four months later.
This is what makes me the most sad. As a parent to a young child, I feel so out of control and I don't like it. She missed her teachers and her friends so much. She did not like the zoom class calls at all, even though we didn't have many. I feel like I don't have any definite answers to give her in regards to school. She is supposed to begin kindergarten in the fall and I know nothing. I don't know if she's going to school or staying home. I don't even know if I want to send her to school in this mess. How can I ask my four year old (almost five) to wear a mask all day? She won't be able to sit with classmates, eat with classmates, play with classmates. No lunch, no gym, no group activities, no sports, no plays, etc. What kind of school experience is that? Will that cause more emotional and mental harm than good? I worry that if I keep her home, can I keep her on track with school work? I'm not a teacher for a reason. It got frustrating at times with the homeschooling because after a while, she lost interest with me (totally understandable). Can I make up for the social interaction she would potentially be missing? Is taking her to play with her cousins now and then enough to make up for the interactions she'll be missing at school? How much will all this affect her socially, emotionally, and mentally? Even taking her to the park is stressful and I feel crazy when I tell her to wear her mask (because here in NYC way too many parents at the park just don't seem to care); I tell her she can play with kids but can't get too close, don't share toys, etc. Where she normally loves going up to kids and making friends, I feel like the last few times, she will just play with me. Maybe she feels like there's no point? I don't know. All I know is it makes me so incredibly sad and helpless as a mother. I feel like I'm doing something wrong even though I'm not. I feel like I suck so hard for bringing a child into this screwed up world.
These are the things that have been whirling in my head and as we get closer to school and closer to the fall, it's whirling around more and more. I know these feelings are normal given our current situation. I know we'll get through it. I hope you all are doing well during this time.