All bets are off. There is a global pandemic, and we're all the new kids on the block when it comes to knowing what we're "meant" to be doing at any given moment.
We're learning how to work from home whilst also parenting at the same time. We're learning that it now takes approximately 1-3 hours to do supermarket shopping depending on weather, queues, and how many groceries you buy that you need to wash (if you're doing this).
We're learning that there is no "right way" of really doing anything right now, and that this is just one long "make it work" moment.
I started out feeling a lot of guilt and pressure. I felt like I "should" be doing more fun and interesting activities with my son. All these other amazing mothers out there seemed to have it all going on as far as home science experiments and cardboard creations went, and I was just barely making it through breakfast in one piece!
I felt like I "should" be doing more online work, making resources, marketing my business and somehow generating income now that I cannot physically go into schools to work with people. I felt bombarded by people on LinkedIn, twitter and other platforms who were making themselves available to people for support with a million-and-one "how to work from home" videos, and I was only just managing to shift from pyjamas into day clothes by 11am!
I felt like I "should" be using this time to work more on my poetry, start that novel I've been meaning to write, get back into painting, and practise the piano, like it seems so many other people are managing to do.
But when the initial adrenaline ran out, and I hit a slump in energy, motivation and eating habits, I took stock and decided to be kind. To myself.
Self compassion is not self-indulgence.
I decided if I was going to be any good to anyone else in my house, then I needed to be kind to myself and just let go of all the "shoulds".
Maybe my body was telling me I needed that extra long nap. And one extra hour of tv today was not going to wreck my child for life. I let myself have that biscuit, and have a day off thinking about work. And you know what?
Letting go of all the "shoulds" and just doing what I feel like I could and can today, means I actually felt like writing this post today. The fact I ate that extra biscuit the other day, did not meant that I now have a "pack a day" habit of Oreos.
The sun's out today, and I went for a walk up the hill while my son played in parallel with the neighbour's kid across the fence (each in their own yards but chatting away happily).
Each hour in COVID time feels like a full day BC (before COVID), so I'm just taking each one as they come.