This morning I was watching the news, which I have honestly limited quite a bit while in quarantine. A beautiful woman, around 28, married to a super famous young musician, sitting in her mansion, overlooking her private pool in what appeared to be sunny California, and was talking about what a privilege it is to stay home during this time and how we're all in this together.
Me - silent, dead faced, no make-up, annoyed.
I told Tim, my biggest pet peeve throughout all of this has been the rich and famous telling me how "we will all get through this" and "we are all in this together."
HOLD UP, we are not the same.
There has been a lot of talk about what is essential and what is not essential during this COVID-19 crisis. Some things, some people, are not debatable. Nurses - freaking essential. Dr's - essential, Weather and News people - essential, UPS and FedEx - essential.
What I'm not hearing discussed much is what many people are missing that to them was essential for their own mental health. Having dealt with anxiety most of my life and having a daughter who often battles what I would call hormonal depression (which I do not take lightly), I have a little extra awareness that this situation is having some side-effects that seem to be pushed aside.
All things mental.
What happens when you take a 37 year old woman, away from a business she created by hand - from scratch, and put her at home 24 hours a day, with none of the stupid vain services she is used to?
Stress. That's what happens, stress.
It's easy to blow off things like hair and nails. It's easy to say going to the gym or running into Starbucks every Tuesday is NON-ESSENTIAL and people are dying so prioritize your stuff but what is really happening under the surface?
I think I am known as a person who often says what other people are afraid to say and this is one of those times.
Selfish or not, being stripped down as a human in front of 5 other humans who live in this house is hard. People, I think especially women, around this country are struggling right now. We don't want to seem ungrateful by saying staying at home with our kids all the time is hard. We don't want the stay at home moms to judge us and say "I told you so" because women can be so flipping judgmental, but the truth is no matter what your normal is, having it taken away is HARD.
I believe right now, women all over the country are having anxiety over things like hair appointments, Ulta being closed, and Taco Tuesday night at the local Mexican restaurant being cancelled again. Women don't want to say these things worry them because then they wouldn't appear thankful but I'm here to say out loud that missing your life, your normal is totally ok.
I wanted to write this to acknowledge some of the things that are making me sad, making me nervous, taking "me" away little by little, in hopes that someone out there is dealing with the same thing.
1. I miss my quiet drive after I drop the kids off to Marco my friend Julie.
2. I miss my Friday morning Carmel Macchiato from Starbucks.
3. I miss my lash extensions.
4. I miss(ed) my hair appointment to make me blonde because God made me a brunette.
5. I miss Cole's nap time that gave me two hours of alone time, that is now filled with 4 extra people.
6. I miss the drive home from school pick up; hearing the girls stories about school, even if they were complaining.
7. I miss work. I miss work so much.
8. I miss paychecks. I miss financially contributing.
9. I miss the hope of walking in a store, even if truth be told, I rarely did.
10. I miss the confidence that I had in myself both physically and mentally.
There are certain parts of my life that I never want to return to "BC" (Before COVID).
I do NOT miss driving Emma to dance 5 days a week in a chaotic back and forth.
I do NOT miss Katie stressing Woodrow.
I do NOT miss the rush.
I'm not sure how to balance what I'm learning during this time. How to keep the good of what I'm learning and release the bad.
When we talk about what is essential, I know we have to know it means survival right now but for the future we are going to be dealing with a lot of people who are silently suffering with mental struggles from losing things other people never considered important. Note: I am aware there are mental health professionals that are available and willing to help but I am speaking mostly to the mom who is out there losing herself and trying to prove daily that she's not. I'm talking to the girl who is pretending that everything is fine when truly, the "sad" is overwhelming. I see you; I get it. What you FEEL is important, is important. If you are joking on the outside about getting your nails done but on the inside you're genuinely nervous about missing that routine, I feel for you. Not in a sarcastic way, but in a "You Matter" kind of way.
I pray for our country in all the ways. I hope this rant resonated with someone. I'd love to see your comments on how you are handling this weird stage of our new normal.