In Quarantine with a Child

Ya’ll. This shit is bonkers.

How many of us are indefinitely stuck inside with our children? I don’t know what the rules are in different states, but in Oregon, even the playgrounds are closed due to COVID-19. Not that we could go outside if we wanted to, because it’s also pouring down rain.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter, more than anything. But I was not cut out to be a stay at home mom. This is coming from someone WHO USED TO BE A STAY AT HOME MOM. But what do you do with your kids all day when you can’t even go outside? We read books. We played games. We made bracelets. We watched tv. We started a 1000 piece puzzle (well, I did. She did a few of her own, smaller puzzles). Still, boredom. We haven’t started any kind of homeschooling yet, because I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around it.

How do we keep ourselves from wanting to pull our hair out at the end of the day? Because, dear reader, in case you were wondering how well the day ended, my darling 7-year-old daughter said she was done with me, as she stormed into her room to read by herself.

What. The. Fuck.

The (temporarily) unemployed single mom

Well everyone, this last Friday, my boss pulled me into her office, and motioned for me to close the door. My first thought was, what am I in trouble for now? I sat down and waited as she took a deep breath, and said, after the end of the day today, we’re closing our doors until at least May.

Fuck.

I started tearing up, which is definitely not the reaction I thought I’d have, since I don’t particularly like my job. But I’m a single mom. What am I supposed to do for money? How am I supposed to take care of my daughter. I filed for unemployment, but it’s not likely I’ll get very much money- if I even filled out the application right.

I work in childcare, and I babysit for a lot of the families outside of work. I already had a couple tell me that, in the event of a closure, I could still watch their kiddos as a way to make some extra money. However, one of those kids, her parents are both doctors. They said they’d pay me a weekly salary, and my first thought was, great! And then I weighed in the factors. Folks in the medical profession are on the front lines during all of this COVID-19 outbreak. Meaning, they’re at a high risk of exposure. Meaning, if I was consistently in the home of two doctors, I am also at high risk exposure. My daughter would also be at a high risk of exposure. Everyone around us would then be at a high risk of exposure. So that was a no-go. A second family approached me to watch their daughter as well. Both of these parents have been working from home since the beginning of March, and pulled their kid out of childcare a couple of weeks before shit started to really hit the fan. This seemed like much safer of an option. They have limited contact with people, and my daughter and I also have limited contact. It would only be a couple days a week, and every dollar counts at this point.

But then, as of today, March 23, a shelter-in-place order was set in the state of Oregon, where I live. I cannot even take my daughter to the park right now, let alone watch someone else’s kid. So now I have to hope and pray that unemployment will be enough to hold us over in the meantime. I’m very lucky that I rent a basement apartment in my aunt’s house, so my rent is ridiculously cheap. Who knows when I’ll get to see my family and friends again. This is all so, so surreal.

So, if anyone knows of some ways to make money from home, please, let me know!

I Can’t Breathe

There are papers scattered on my coffee table. More on the dining room table. The dishes in the dishwasher need to be put away. The laundry from last week needs to be put away, too. That is, before I start doing this week’s laundry.

I need to clean. I need to do the laundry. I need to put the dishes away. I have homework to do. A project to work on. Groceries to buy.

It’s too much. My chest is tight. My heart is racing. I feel like I can’t breathe.

This hasn’t happened in a while. I don’t mean the mess, but I mean my anxiety. I’ve been feeling so much better lately. I’ve stayed focused on what’s important. I haven’t been letting the little things get to me.

But as I sit on my couch, typing this, I stare at the papers on the table, and I can’t bring myself to get up and move them. It’s as if once I start cleaning, even just a little, I won’t be able to stop. But it’s late. It’s 10:35pm. Too late to start cleaning my whole house. But my other option is to stew. To worry about how much I have to do tomorrow.

Why is this hitting me now? Is it because the holidays are coming up? Because the dosage of my medication got cut in half? I think it’s more the holidays than it is the meds. Or maybe the higher dosage was doing more than I thought it was. I thought I was in control, but maybe I wasn’t.

Confessions of an anxiety-ridden, stressed out single mom

Here’s what’s going on today, my friends.

I met this guy. I’ve gone out with him a few times, and we have a lot of fun together. He makes me laugh in a way that very few people can, he’s attractive, polite, smart, dedicated, and hard working. And then today I found myself incredibly irritated with him. I didn’t want to talk to him like, at all. Why? Who knows. I was grumpy, so I’m not sure if I was irritated because I was grumpy, or because he was being irritating. Maybe I’ll feel better about him tomorrow. I’m sure I will. Or I won’t, because I only like guys who aren’t actually available.

Secondly, my daughter went into full meltdown mode as soon as we got home tonight. We had gone to my brother’s house for dinner, and as soon as we walked through our front door, she as demanding snack. Stomping her foot, raising her voice, throwing herself on her bed because I was NOT about to give in. So what did I do? Tell her she couldn’t go to gymnastics on Tuesday, which got me the reaction I wanted from her, which was to be overly apologetic. Was this the right way to handle the situation? I have absolutely no idea. I pay for her to go to gymnastics. Should I be able to not allow her to go? I mean, I’m technically able. But is that the move I should make. I’m still sitting on it. But right now, she at least thinks that she’s not going to gymnastics, so I’ll call it a win.

Secondly, my daughter has only lost one tooth, but has a second tooth that is very, very loose. However, her second permanent tooth is already growing in behind the very loose tooth. Which I’m told (not by a dentist or anything, mind you), means that she will, one day, have to get braces. Have I consulted a professional about this? No. Am I going to stress out about it anyway? Duh. Braces are expensive. I’m worrying about spending money on something in the far out future. I’m worried about spending money on something that I don’t even know for sure I’ll have to spend money on. I’m worried about my 6 year old daughter having to get braces in, what? 5 years?

I’m pretty sure I forgot to take my anxiety meds today.

Social Media, Dating, and Anxiety

Okay, so I know I’ve talked about the struggle with dating, and the struggles I have with my anxiety. But let me just tell you about dating in the era of social media.

It. Is. The. Worst.

Dating is rough enough as it is. I sometimes feel like I literally have no time for it. But when I find someone I actually do like talking to, someone that I will make time for, it’s great.

Until the freaking internet gets involved.

You haven’t heard from the person. You figure they’re busy, working or running errands. So you start browsing Facebook, only to see that they’re online.

Cue the questions, the scenarios, the negative thoughts that the anxiety is rushing to your brain.

Are they ignoring you? Did you say something wrong? Were you too forward? Did they just decide they didn’t want to talk to you anymore? They read your message, why didn’t they respond??

It’s even worse if you happened to meet that person on a dating website, and you can see that, while they’re still not texting back, they’re online. Chatting up other girls. Finding people who are far more interesting to talk to than you are.

I’m not saying anybody is doing anything wrong in this situation. That’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re dating, right? Talk to and go out with a few different people in hopes of finding the right one? If I’m being completely honest, I do the exact same thing. I’ll start talking to one guy, then I might start a conversation with another. Eventually, I find myself talking to one more than the other, and then the conversation with the guy I’m talking to less eventually fades out. Granted, most of them are guys I never get the chance to actually meet. As a single mom, the majority of guys I go out with are guys that I met online. But the online aspect is what keeps me from holding myself accountable. Since I’ve never met them in person, I feel like I don’t owe them any type of explanation when I decide not to text them back. I tell myself, it wasn’t going to go anywhere or amount to anything anyway, so what’s the point?

I’m not a bad person. But it’s not fair to use the internet as an excuse to not be honest with people. Blowing somebody off is easier than rejecting them, but it’s such a shitty thing to do to someone. Nobody deserves to have to question themselves, and ask why they’re not good enough for another person.

I really believe that my generation is one of the most accepting, caring, and loving generations in history. We’re all about kindness, self-love, self-care, consent. For the most part, we think before we speak. We choose our actions wisely. We want to save the planet, and the sea turtles. We listen to people’s stories, and we believe them, and encourage them. We tell people how brave they are for speaking out about past traumatic events.

But, we’re also the generation that invented ghosting. With things like Tinder, we turned dating into the most superficial thing imaginable. We hardly even give people a chance anymore, if they don’t meet our physical expectations. We’re constantly competing for other peoples’ attention, yet love the feeling of other people competing for ours.

So how great are we, really??

🤷🏻‍♀️

You guys. I leaned how to change a tire today. Which may not sound like a huge deal, but it is to me. Every time I learn how to do something like that on my own, I get super proud of myself. The more I know how to do, the less I have to call on other people for help.

I mean. I have a lot of people to call, who will help me out no matter what. Maybe it’s because I’m single, or maybe it’s because I’m stubborn, but I hate asking. Not because I’m too proud, but because I feel bad. I feel like I’m inconveniencing the other person, because they had to take the time to come help me. And I’m well aware of how busy everybody is.

I’m more than happy to go out of my way when somebody needs me, but I have it in my head that everyone else gets annoyed with me.

Is this true? That the people that care about me get annoyed when I need help with something? Absolutely not. But that’s anxiety for you. Always telling you the worst is true.

So yes. I can now add changing a tire to the list of things I can do on my own, along with unclogging a toilet and putting ikea furniture together- even though I don’t know quite how to hang things yet. I’ll get there though.