Answer to the above? Of course, we are coping! We must!
But what does this really mean to us?
How Are We Single Moms Coping With COVID19?
Those who are newly divorced single moms and those of us who are not! How is this crisis shaping us as individuals, let alone single mothers who must keep it all calm and keep it all together?
The news on this pandemic is literally changing by the hour. How we start the week on a Monday is very different than how we end the week on a Friday.
My gosh, how we start the day is one story and by 5pm it’s completely altered. And even while the world sleeps or while we are unable to sleep, the 24-hour news cycle is regurgitating the day’s top story over and over with graphics and Breaking News that look like Armageddon!
We consciously and unconsciously absorb all of this and it can be utterly overwhelming. But of course, it is important that we pay attention and heed the warnings.
How do we keep our families calm and keep ourselves glued together, especially if we are the breadwinners of the family?
Schools are closed, mandated work from home orders, shelter in place, layoffs, furloughs and people ripping toilet paper out of each other’s hands and hoarding palettes of water at the grocery stores… we have seen and heard it all. So, let’s get down to it! Let’s cope, shall we!
So, I hear the schools are closed! Umm really? I can hear you all saying to yourselves, “I guess I can be a teacher too?”
Okay, so on this one it may take some memory cells for me to recall this time in my children’s life on a normal day let alone during a pandemic. My kids are in their twenties, so let me reach back to the grade school days that you all may be in now.
I can only imagine how in the world I would cope with orders to stay at home to work remotely and have my kids’ home and out of school at the same time! If you live in Hawaii, no problem. They can play outside in the 80-degree weather. But those who are in places like New York where the temperature is 48 degrees, well they will have a very different experience.
So, I suggest you load up on learning websites, board games, books, arts, and craft projects and all the above that will keep them busy while you try ever so hard to get some work done too. Remember though, you are not in your normal work setting.
Remind those that have mandated this of that fact too. This is one instance that you do not have to feel guilty for caring for your children while appeasing your boss at the same time. Your boss gets it. They must and that’s the end of that story.
You are not a miracle worker…though it feels like it most days.
You are doing the best you can and that is all anyone can ask! How you respond to this will translate over to your children. They are watching you and will learn this skill as it has now become part of their story and life memories. You got this!
So now you find yourself working from home.
Do you get up at the normal time?
Do you even get dressed at all?
Is makeup necessary?
Well, all of that depends on how visible your company asks you to be. I, for example, must be on video calls. Though I don’t need to be in full business attire, I really don’t want my boss and coworkers to see what I look like after I have rolled out of bed and into my home office. Nor do I want to see what they look like.
So yes, as Paul McCartney would say in Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band, drag a comb across your head!
Warning…let your kids know when you are on a call! I have worked in a remote office setting for many years, I remember when my son was 3 years old, he wanted his truck fixed and I was on a call with my boss. He walked in and slammed his dump truck down on my desk and asked me to drop everything and fix his truck. I kept switching the mute button on and off as I tried to care for his urgent truck repair and make sure my boss didn’t know a thing about what I was dealing with presently!
I wasn’t about to give him an opportunity to tell me that I didn’t seem focused on my job. I am happy to tell you that in this time of COVID19 home officing, you do not have to hide a thing. It is what it is.
Lean on your colleagues who perhaps do not have kids at home and ask them to help you with whatever you need. A report or an urgent client response, they are there too and can help. Know that you and your office mates, though no longer physically next to each other can still be emotionally connected. It takes a village for sure and this is one of those times!
I had no idea that a football Helmet was required to go to the grocery store!
But in the time of COVID19, you could use a football linebacker as your ringer to get you through the aisles to the water palettes and toilet paper rolls! I honestly have never seen anything like it before!
But for those of us who have either little ones in the house or even elderly ones to care for it can be a do or die task to get these items. The good thing is that they are now rationing, and hoarders are no longer able to stockpile palettes of water and hand sanitizers in their garages only to still be there in 2030.
Again, it takes a village and the way to really survive this time is through kindness.
Kindness to the store clerks and kindness to the family members who are ever present in your space as you all reside together now 24 hours a day… 7 days a week…30 days a month … 364 days a year……Oh, Dear.
Which of course leads me to the intense cohabitation that we now find ourselves in. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. But I wouldn’t mind a little more social distancing practice inside my little abode.
I have realized just how much I am responsible for. More than I really wanted to know. As I am working away on my computer trying to make the living, we all need, my son… who is looking for a job post-college still, is clanging plates downstairs and making his third meal of the day. It’s only 11am.
My daughter is in the background freaking out about how much she loves her classes and doesn’t want to do them online now, and in between rants reminds me that she needs help buying two books (which are $80) to reference for the online classroom platform.
Oh, and if classes resume, she needs a parking pass. I can then hear her videos playing on her Mac in her room as my son continues to run up and down the stairs, as he finds more sustenance for the personal famine he is experiencing.
I work in the tourism industry. An industry that has been pummeled by the COVID19 outbreak. I am not even certain I will have a job next week. But all the while I sigh as I hear the wheels on the inner workings of my little family keep going.
I guess I should be glad that even though the world is changing by the minute outside my front door, my family is still intact, and we are all healthy. I am still a good single working mom taking care of my people and the ever-present responsibilities that go with it all. We really are amazing women!
Stay well, everyone. We have a job to do.