“Sorry, I’m just tapped out.”
I said this to one of my kids’ teachers this morning as she requested a private Zoom with my child and I.
At the same time as this, I had two other kids hopping on their Google meets. I had to pull my oldest from her work to hold the baby, the kids’ dad had a call just starting, and as I struggled with my laptop to even find which godforsaken link I needed to click, I was ready to crumble.
The laptop wouldn’t connect to the internet. The baby was fussing. My oldest was frustrated I had to pull her from what she was in the middle of. I had noise coming from each room with all the kids trying to, you know, “school,” and it took every fiber of my being not to throw the laptop off the table.
I’m one person trying to juggle the schedule for five kids and everyday I fluctuate between moments of having it together and seriously, well ... losing it.
This isn’t normal.
Any of it.
Trying to function in the “unfunctionable.”
As the teacher immediately noticed my temperament and disposition, she was kind and started by sympathizing to all I’m attempting to run here. When she asked about a couple lower scores on my daughter’s reading comprehension quizzes whom, by the way, has had all high marks throughout the score year, I immediately let go.
“This is not an environment conducive for learning. It’s just not. My children have a loving and safe home, but no, it’s not a school. To be honest, most days it’s a s--- show. There isn’t much peace and quiet through the day, and when one is trying to focus on some level of the house or in a certain room, you can hear another Zoom call or herd of cattle coming through in another. So no, she’s not getting to concentrate nor having things able to completely sink in.”
And you know what? It felt so good to say that.
I wanted to scream it. I wanted to cry while sharing that. I wanted to pound my fists on the table after I got it all out.
But I found some last ounce of strength to hold some amount of composure conveying my exhausting frustration.
This all will be over soon. Right?
Or at least I keep telling myself.
This just isn’t normal.
Any of it.
We’re not supposed to be able to turn to our manuals of “living through a global pandemic and total, utter chaos” and just snap our fingers and handle this all with grace.
So for those who are looking for their white flags to raise and shake ferociously high in the air, you’re not alone.
It’s OK to not love this time and feel OK or good about it in every hour of every day.
I can’t think about tomorrow or the next day or how I’m going to get through next week. I’m literally taking it one day at a time and focusing on surviving the next hour.
This is no longer survival of the fittest.
It’s survival of those willing to adapt to the most abnormal time of our lives.
If you’re reading this and asking yourself how you can do it, well ... good news is, you already are.
It may not always be pretty, but you’re doing it.
It’s suffice to say that my little breakdown to one of my kids’ teachers this morning was so well received and so appreciated on her end.
Here’s to getting one more hour in the books, my friends.
There’s crumbs on my counter.
The dishes need done.
The laundry needs switched.
The dog needs to go out.
The baby needs fed.
A kid needs help on their work.
There are massive bags under my eyes as I haven’t slept in 12 years.
I wore this outfit yesterday and to bed and today which is now tomorrow.
Here we go.
We’re rockstars ... every single one of us. Regan Long is the mom of five behind the popular Facebook group The Real Deal of Parenting where her post, printed here with permission, was shared more than 80,000 times. You can also follow her work on her website, ReganLong.com.