What Happens When This Is All Over?

What Happens When This Is All Over?

Does anyone else feel like they are in this never-ending loop of “This is the song that doesn’t end…?” Or feeling like you are in the movie GroundHog Day? {For those of you young-uns, this was a move in the early 90s that starred Bill Murray and he woke up to the same day every day for a significant amount of time}. The point being, time feels like it is moving slower these days, we have less big events to look forward to and more just the same. One day seems to just blob over into the next; each day feeling very similar to the days before it. 

A Huge, Sudden Change

Prior to this global pandemic, I never had enough time. Not that now I can magically get everything done. Nope. Still struggling. BUT! I never stopped. I am a mom who works also outside of the home and I own my own business that made it through it’s first year right before the pandemic hit. Needless to say my day was jam packed; if I wasn’t working I was momming {that’s a word, right?}. In order to make this all happen, my toddler was enrolled in a Montessori school full-time. So when the quarantine was put in place and my daughter’s school closed, our lives changed significantly. One of my good friends who is a SAHM and also runs her business mostly from home has been juggling this paradigm since her child was born. For me, it was a huge change that happened suddenly, one that shifted our entire family dynamic as well as my career. She even said to me, “Yeah your household has a different usual now.” 

I don’t want to say that I took for granted the time I had to be able to not have something attached to me 24/7. However, this sense of relief of, “okay Monday morning after 9am, I can work on x, y, z.”  The ability to compartmentalize {moreso} work and home. To be able to focus completely on my business for these set hours each day. This was all gone. While people in businesses were scrambling to restructure their business to match the needs of this new normal, I was restructuring both my business and my home. I’ve been grieving this loss of time. 

Positive Changes

This shift, while it has been difficult, has also brought some very positive changes into our family. We have been more active, so much that I think our dogs now resent us being home some days. We have become more organized in several ways, cleaning out things we never had time to do previously. We built a little garden as a family. Our overall amount of time PLUS the quality of our time together has increased and improved significantly. 

This was very apparent recently. I was pushing my daughter in her swing and she looks back at me as she swings near me and says, “This is the BEST day ever!” I looked at her and said, “You’ve been saying that almost every day recently.” Then my husband piped in and said, “Is it because you are with mommy and daddy every day?” She replies, “Yes. I don’t want you to go anywhere.” <insert heartbreak here>

I then began thinking, what happens when this is all over? Where do we go from here? 

Getting Back to Work

While I know life will be a new “normal” when we are not in quarantine anymore, we will hopefully get back to going into work. What do I do with these new experiences I am having with my family? The quality time I am getting with my daughter. What happens when she has to go back to school? How do I explain to her that we can’t spend time with her in this same way as we have been? To go from having time with her for a few hours in the evenings and morning, which let’s be honest are trying to either get ready to leave, or to go to bed, and weekends; to having her 24/7. We don’t have a work or societal culture that prides ourselves in work/life balance and family time. We live to work, we don’t work to live. While owning your own business does give you more flexibility than working for someone else; when you work for yourself you are constantly chained to the business. You could work all day every day and still never be done. You are responsible for your paycheck and how much you can earn. 

I wish I had the answers right now. These are some of the many thoughts that feed into my recent insomnia. For now, it just makes me sad and I am allowing myself to sit with this uncomfortable feeling knowing that there isn’t a “right” answer and there are still so many unknowns with what the world will look like when this is all over. 

So for now, the response I have for my daughter is, “If there ever is a time we are not together, Mommy and Daddy will always come back.” 

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