I Don’t Know How To Be A Good Mom
Everyone has their doubts, their internal demons and what they secretly tell themselves they are bad at, whether or not the world agrees. It usually takes serious intervention in order to keep these “downer demons” at bay, but when you have nothing to do except think during quarantine– they can definitely rear their ugly heads.
“All over the world, people are being quarantined and are being compelled to practice social distancing. We are trying desperately to remain sane in a world that seems bordering on the insane. So, the time is just right for us to ponder, reflect, meditate, and discover the world within our own minds.”
― Avijeet Das
I have never been what one would call “maternal”. I am not very nurturing or thoughtful and I’m not very appraised on the concerns of a toddler besides the necessities. She is hitting her “milestones” but did I know that was a thing? Who does as a new parent? Even before having a child, the only children I knew I was either related to or they had the misfortune of being one of the 700 kids I taught while on a brief stint in Suzhou, China.
Even as a child, my favorite games were playing by myself, imagining conversations with my dolls and stuffed animals, and reading- all pretty solitary activities. And while I am now a stay-at-home mother I did it begrudgingly. We had just moved to a new country and my husband was still distrustful of others caring for her. Not only was I ill-prepared for the functions of rearing a child, few are, I had always been of the philosophy that children are a part of your life, not the other way around. So, was I resentful that I was the one at home? Of course, hence my postpartum issues.
There are certain things that made me the worst at domesticated activities, ever.
Food has always been fuel, or in my case as an escapist strategy when I felt emotional, bored or even depressed. It was never seen as the great equalizer, bringing people together in times of holiday or happiness although that did happen as a child. Even as an adult I was never great at much beyond the basics, and I was OK with that. Now I seemed to have been expected to be able to whip up grand dinners and snacks with the ability to make well-balanced cry of contentment.
I made the above as attempts at baking and creating treats, I’ve heard that’s rather popular these days. Left is Rice Krispies treats and right is classic corn bread.
Now I am not a gross person, I do have good hygiene and such, especially now (anyone have dry hands?) but I’m a little messy. I don’t know how Maria Kondo does it or any parent without deep pinteresting and IG skills do it. I have cleaned and cleaned during this pandemic and yet, it’s still cluttered! I can’t get rid of it! I organize and set in order, cleaned out half my closet of clothes I no longer needed or wanted, and, cleaned out half my closet of clothes I no longer needed or wanted, and it’s still not enough. I don’t have in order, cleaned out half my closet of clothes I no longer needed or wanted, and, cleaned out half my closet of clothes I no longer needed or wanted, and it’s still not enough! I can no longer go out and buy the organizational stacking tools everyone seems to use and it still feels like clutter central. Help!
I don’t even know where to begin with her corner, throw it all out and start again?
I spent my days prior to Covid-19 taking my daughter to preschool, baby activities, and play groups. These kept our mornings busy then we’d go home and have lunch and take a nap. The classes ranged from gym class to art and even reading books in the library. The first week of March was Spring Break and the second week of March classes in Montreal were canceled and public events followed soon after. We have been at home for over a month now and I am at my wit’s end. I don’t know how home educators, preschool teachers, and others do it. Keeping a 22 month old occupied has been the hardest thing I have ever done.
I have worked in learning and development for years, was a director of training and development for a corporation and I am stumped in a cyclical Pinterest fog. While trying to keep her occupied and not spend too much time on watching tv and still work on the things that make me sane, because again I’m selfish. Reading, writing, and researching L&D themes are just not interesting topics for a toddler. I know that all parents that are really working from home with full-time jobs and small children are in the same boat. We have one of those too, during work calls no one is allowed near his computer i.e. the living room.
So we went from classes lead by professional childhood educators to my versions and since we can’t go out and buy all the materials needed, mostly D-I-Y.
I’m most proud of that top one and thanks to sites like Happy Toddler Play Time, I can attempt to make our activities educational of sorts.
Personally, I don’t think I will ever have the ability or focus of becoming a grade A preschool educator and that’s never been my intent, but I sure do miss being able to take my daughter somewhere to keep her actually learning. So I can once again selfishly keep working on the things that keep me entertained.
To all the parents out there working from home, we hear you!