Niagara Falls Leaking Out of My Face

emotion motherhood pandemic pregnancy Sep 07, 2021
kids' list of things to do

You know, overall my people have all been pretty good during the quarantine, pandemic, social-distancing time. Whatever you want to call it. 

We’re safe. We’re healthy. We have food and jobs and toilet paper.

And even with the pregnancy hormones, I really haven’t cried. . . . that much. . . . . not really. . . . 

Except for every time my girl loses something else. Then I cry. Like a lot. Like Niagara Falls starts leaking out of my face.

It happened when we lost church. It happened when we lost dance. It happened when we lost school. It happened again when the studio confirmed that she wouldn’t get a traditional recital.

Every time it has happened it has just felt like one more thing I have to take away from my baby, and it breaks my heart.

But despite their blubbering mess of a mom, my babies have done exceptionally well with all of the restrictions. . . . until the last few weeks.

Because you see, our new itty bitty is coming any time in the next 6 days (yes, I am counting). So we’re quarantining a lot more. We don’t want to get sick before he or she comes, and we especially want to keep our home healthy so he or she doesn’t get sick.

So goodbye daycare. Goodbye friends. Goodbye every last remaining semblance of a social life as we know it.

And NOW the quarantine has hit my girl. . . . hard. Now she gets to experience Niagara Falls all the time. Except for sometimes her Niagara looks more like a temper tantrum, screaming, hitting, throwing, name calling (Apparently, I am so gross), you name it. It’s happening.

And finally on Tuesday, we were both done. Like DONE done.

She understands that we don’t want the virus in our house so the baby doesn’t get sick. But when your 5 year old can articulate that they’re feeling a certain way because they miss their friends, you know it’s bad.  

And my heart broke so hard.

Immediately, I wanted to go to the place of “Why does this have to happen to my girl?” “I just want her to be happy.” “This isn’t fair.” “My little girl will never experience a normal childhood.”

They seem like lovely thoughts. They seem like what a good mother should think about a situation like this. It seems like I would be a bad mother if I didn’t think those things.

But here’s what I realized as my mammoth-sized pregnant body was sitting on the floor squished between two couches talking to my broken-hearted little girl. 

Those “lovely” thoughts were actually the worst possible things I could be thinking. They were not helping me or her one bit. All they wanted to make me do was cry, be a victim, and go on a depressed Netflix binge.

Luckily, I was able to see that IN THE MOMENT! This was a HUGE win for me, because that is not usually what happens. Usually, I accept the Netflix binge and eat cookies.

So we cried together for a few moments. We got out all the ugly tears, and then she and I went on a “How can we make this situation more fun?” streak. 

And instead of tears and depression, we came up with solutions! A growing list of all the fun things we can do right now with just our family.

It’s so interesting how the second we allowed ourselves to start working on the actual problem (aka loneliness) with our own creativity was the second we found solutions. Netflix was never going to get us solutions.

Thoughts like, “I just want my girl to be happy” or “Why does she have to go through this?” did not get us to creativity. They did not get us to our list. 

And now we have the list . . . . a growing list!

We’re only 2 days into the list, and already we’re all feeling a burden lift. We’re looking for more ways to have fun. For more things we can do. We’re using our amazing creative selves to beat the quarantine yuckiness. 

Originally Published 5/14/20

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