Tag Archives: pandemic

How’s It Going To Be?

How’s it going to be?

It’s Sunday and the time change has officially happened. I am officially not a fan. I have a third cup of not very warm coffee nearby and Third Eye Blind in my ears.

This week is officially one year. The world shut down. I’m starting to see posts on friends’ social media remembering. For me I quit a job, I honestly was on the verge of losing after fifteen years. I had just started again financially. My daughter was almost a teenager. I was starting to finally let someone in.

Then the world stopped.

Now a year later we are slowly opening back up. I have been back to work since August. So the awkwardness of being social, I got out of the way months ago.But I have worries.

Let’s start with the outlandish ones. It’s perhaps completely silly, but it’s something I’ve thought about a lot. In the last year there are people in my life I have stood by everyday. Called. Texted. Made sure they are loved and supported. Now that they can venture out…will they still need me? I know. I know.

But I mean they’ve been stuck with me for a year. So …

Then there’s the more serious worry. My daughter. Finally going back to school.I know she’s excited to see her friends but will she be safe? She will be a freshman who has never been in that building but then I think umm…that’s all the kids so…ok. Settle down there.

Her relationship with her Dad. He’s always been a bit flighty in seeing her but during this last year he REALLY leaned into that.Are they going to be ok?

I guess that is where I do my thing and support her as I have been.I don’t know how it’s gonna be, but this is what I do know.I continue to be thankful for the littlest of things. I really do have the most amazing kid. Seriously I hate how I got here, but for the most part I appreciate that I got to know people in my life in a different way.

So a year later there’s that and I’ll take it.

Be safe

Much love Mommas

💚Caprise

Almost A Year Later

Almost a year later….

It’s Sunday afternoon I don’t really feel like music right now.A very watered down Diet Pepsi is nearby and I have finished off the last of my Reese’s eggs.

I’m going to keep it real. I’m tapped out. This week was a lot. I don’t want to say it’s because we are rolling up on a year of being in a pandemic.  But I think subconsciously it is. I say this all the time. I am lucky. I am working. Somehow, I got a new job the week this all started and a year later, still here.

My immediate family has stayed healthy but unfortunately that has not been the case for other branches in my family tree and definitely not some of my friends.

As a shy people person I have had to relearn relationships. Some unfortunately have not made it. My old coping strategies I’ve had to give up to keep people safe. To keep myself safe. Like leisurely walking through Target. I realize is small potatoes.

I have read so many books. Especially lately. I am not even a little mad about that.I tried my hand at painting by numbers. The jury is still out. Embroidery… as a not patient human not the best hobby but the end result is great. I’ve discovered new music. 

And I’ve said this before, I’ve changed how I communicate with people I love.I tell them. I call. I text. I send cards. Even if it does flip back my way.

This last year has shown me you just have to. Or at least I do.

I have been downsizing my closets. Leaning into what I’m comfortable in and who I am. Not that I didn’t before, but I always felt a little filtered. I joked with some friends at almost fifty I have realized I am the woman who won’t do her hair but will most definitely wear fake lashes.

I gave up drinking.I’m gonna be real, real, real on this one. This has been a stinger.I live in a state that prides itself on being a drinking state. St. Patrick’s Day is called amateur night here. When COVID hit I decided to go the opposite of what feels like the whole world honestly did  and stopped drinking.

I had already been thinking about it because of a conversation with a college acquaintance who  joked that while in college my drinking habits were problematic. I think he actually said dumpster fire. Now… I’m almost fifty and have not lived that life since my late twenties. However, the potential is there. There have been times I have finished a bottle of wine without realizing it. Not remembered how many drinks I had when out with friends.

I also land back to what if something happened to my daughter and I had a glass or two of wine and couldn’t take her to the ER? I realize all of these examples are a bit dramatic but they are things I think about.

Also, as a person who gets in their head I decided it might be best to not help my negative talk any with the help of a margarita. The other biggie was a week into the pandemic having an uncle who is only five years older than me have a heart attack. He had to have open heart surgery as a result and is on the mend, but if I can lower my risk of that by not having a glass of wine or two… I’m going to.

Will it make a difference? I don’t know but here I am a year later.

Has it been hard?

Depends on the day. To be honest the hardest thing is explaining why I don’t drink.  I have now just started saying because I don’t.

I have my days where I want a fish tank sized margarita. Then I get on the scale and celebrate the fact that even though I tend to eat like a teenager cut loose at a convenience store I’ve not gained any weight. I look at my face. My skin is clear. I sleep.

I know people like to toss around the sober is sexy mantra. I wholeheartedly disagree. It is incredibly hard and some days it’s ugly as sin. It is a constant and it probably wouldn’t  be but when you have a whole genre of memes devoted to drinking, a society that celebrates it, friends and family who joke and cheer it on here you are.

I mean. I do think the speeding to the Titanic for really old wine is funny.

BUT

Nothing that is good ever came easy. So they say.

A year later… yup.

Be safe.

Much love Mommas.

<3 Caprise

Parenting Post Divorce During A Pandemic

Parenting post divorce AND during a pandemic sucks…In the immediate aftermath of divorce (which is raw, grueling, and painful enough in its natural state let alone during a worldwide pandemic), your mind and even your heart can play a lot of mean tricks on you. To say that the past month has been an emotional roller coaster would be a vast understatement, as some realities of my new (yet not exactly new) status of being a 99.9 percent of the time, full-time single mother has more often than not been anxiety-ridden and even downright debilitating some days, as this parenting during pandemic stuff is surely meant for people much more patient, resilient, and otherwise stronger than I am or have ever been. Admittedly, I have locked myself in the bathroom and cried more times than I care to acknowledge, I have screamed at my children to the point of being ashamed of said behavior, and I have even gone so far in the darker moments to wish for another life because this is not the one for which I signed up. Yes, I know—good and devoted mothers aren’t supposed to feel or say such things out loud. But if we’re to be honest with ourselves, all of us have been there whether we openly admit that or not. Truly, if turning 40 has taught me nothing else, it’s that living and speaking your truth is soul-cleansing and necessary because if you take a moment and really look at the grand scheme of it all, we don’t have that much time left to make amends to ourselves for the overwhelming silence of the first half of our lives.

Yesterday, I took these three amazing and beautiful children pictured here (though now the significantly more grown-up versions of themselves) to meet their father for the first visitation they’ve had with him in almost four months and the actual first visitation they’ve had with him post-divorce, and my emotions were fairly well all over the place for a multitude of reasons too numerous to mention unless I want to write a script for a Lifetime movie, but I digress. The void in my heart as to all things concerning my former husband and marriage and all that entails is deep, and I now fully understand why all of my friends who had previously gone through a divorce told me that it is far worse than experiencing the death of someone you love BECAUSE IT IS. Yes! It’s a big, gaping, proverbial death of all the aspirations and incantations of love and what that former love created (which so happens to be the three awesome human beings you see here). While they are no doubt the three best things that ever happened to either me or their father, they are also the three things that make this whole divorce phenomenon exponentially harder, especially when you harbor a deep resentment for the person who also took part in their creation, though was not ever and is not now exceptionally present for their becoming (but you’re not ever, ever, no, not ever supposed to let them know that). That, my friends, is a rather large and bitter pill to swallow. Indeed, sometimes it feels like it may poison and subsequently kill me, but I begrudgingly and resentfully do it, all the while smiling through gritted and gnashed teeth. Not for him, but for them, as they, too, will have to surmise their own truths in their own time, and of all the things I don’t concede on where he is concerned, I concede this, as that will never be a burden I want to bear or want them to bear. No, never. Not ever.

In speaking my truth of this deep, emotional void and also of the pain of all things divorce (and how said pain often has nowhere productive to go so it seemingly takes up permanent residence in every synapse and space and memory we possess), the reason I am including this picture in this post is because this wall, until late last night, had been empty for almost a year. Several months back when he moved some things out of our home, he also took these beloved canvasses of our children’s first birthday photos without my knowledge or consent and told me at the time he did it because he knew it would crush me (these being my most cherished photos of my babies ever). Long story short, I didn’t ask for anything else material during our divorce proceedings except for him to return these to me (and to my surprise yesterday, he actually did). So, last night, after returning home to the resounding silence and stillness that is my home without my children’s presence, I had the ceremonial privilege to return them to their proper place, hanging on the dining room wall where they belong and have always belonged. As I stood there marveling at these images of my three precious kids in their most innocent form, I cried tears consisting of at least 1,000 different emotions I have felt over these past two years, otherwise letting go of some of that anguish and bitterness that has consumed me for far too long. I allowed myself to sit in that formerly blank, but now occupied space and let all of that energy—whether good, bad, or indifferent—out. It was cathartic and oh-so desperately needed, and it’s given me the long overdue permission to more genuinely go on about the work of continuing to rebuild both myself and my life and my children’s lives, and not because it’s often glamorous or fun (no, of course, it’s not), but rather BECAUSE I HAVE TO and BECAUSE I WANT TO.

By sharing this story during what is undoubtedly an uncertain and scary time for many of us even under the best of circumstances, it is my greatest hope that we all remember in the midst of what may very well be some of our darkest and most trying times, that this void—this seemingly endless and vapid space—it won’t last or stay empty forever. Of course, it may hang over us and it may consume and subsist on our energy for a certain period of time, but it will inevitably fill up and runneth over again, so to speak. However, this will only happen when we’re ready, and today, I am ready to begin the often excruciating, yet simultaneously healing work of moving on with my life and continuing to open my heart to both things and people who are actually worthy of my love, my time, and my attention. In this ebb and flow of life and all its contents, it’s no secret that it has taken me an exceptionally long time to arrive at this critical juncture. But here I am, detours and delays and breakdowns and all, finally ready to begin again and it feels amazing and right and real. Of course, I am not so naive as to think there won’t be some setbacks along the way, but I will take them as they come—moment by moment, day by day. Yes, in learning to speak my own truth, I realize that I may not know much if anything else, but I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE.

 

“Here’s to finding the courage to speak your truth, whatever that may be.”

Ashley

New Normal, Ready To Pivot

My new normal and ready to pivot…

It’s Sunday and as I do every Sunday I am listening to music and writing.

This Sunday I have an officemate. He’s eighty pounds and since it’s storming he would really like to be a lap dog.

My guy AKA the majestic goldendoodle I call Doozer.

We are listening to YUNGBLUD Strawberry Lipstick today. The chorus “take it easy on me…”

I feel that in my bones right now. After working from home since the end of March I go back to working in an office in a week, with people. A few things, in all of this I continue to be incredibly grateful to be working. I love what I do. I love who I work for and who I work with.

So this is not that.

There are little things I am worried about.

There are also big things.

I have a routine with my daughter and the guy hanging out with me right now.

I don’t know the last time. I wore shoes.

I haven’t driven much. Pants? What are those?

Up until March for thirteen years I worked a job where I was on call from six AM to six PM. Then a new job and two weeks later COVID.

I was forced to slow down. Rethink everything and I have said this before as horrible as this all is… I gesture broadly. The time with my daughter. Phone conversations with my friends every week. I read books. I stop. I am thankful, I am grateful. I breathe.

As some people close to me say, we’ve had to learn to pivot.

Now it’s five months later and another pivot.

A change to my new normal.

And I’m scared.

Am I still going to do the things I’ve learned?

I keep going in my daughter’s room just because. She’s thirteen and is not amused. I say I am doing this because in a week I can’t anymore.

I wear shorts and t-shirts everyday.

I don’t do my hair.

Makeup… eeee…

Again I am thankful I have friends who have been dealt a much different hand. G’s Dad actually let me know he lost his job.

So I am incredibly aware of how close to the ledge I walk. And how incredibly lucky I am.

But maybe the worry, the fear, the nervousness is good. It means I’m aware of my new normal. I’m aware I am going to have to be ready to pivot.

And honestly at our core isn’t that what we do as Moms?

Pivot.

Be safe

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

Mom Guilt During Covid

Mom guilt during Covid…….I am tired. I can’t kick this feeling that I should be doing more.  I  finally lost it today and hid in the closet and cried.

Anyone else feeling “Mom-Guilt” during Quarantine?  My social media is telling me that I should be playing more games with my kids, going on more walks, cooking healthy meals, and having fantastic bonding moments baking with my kids.  Instead, the kids are tired of my cooking, are bored with walks around the same park, run to their electronics every chance I let them, and we are on our ten-thousandth episode of Naked and Afraid. Also, I am exhausted.   I love my kids and spending time with them, but even “Impactful Parents” need a break. I am not bored.  I am the opposite of bored.  I can’t get enough done during the day.  My to-do list of engaging bonding activities with my kids AND the upkeep on my house AND maintaining the necessities of my children (like school-at-home, 3-meals a day, laundry, and supervision,) AND my work-from-home job, NEVER-SEEM-TO-END.  I fall asleep each night with a feeling of, “Damn, I never got _____ done.”

Yes, the quarantine is wearing on me.  It is time to refocus and give myself grace.   If you’re reading this and you feel like I do, I want you to know that you’re not alone.  The good news, there are two things you can do to help.

1. Prioritize yourself.   This is sooooo difficult but so necessary! To be a better parent, you have to prioritize your well-being; otherwise, you will get grumpier, more tired,and you’re best “mommy-skills” will begin to diminish.  In short, you will burn out, and you’re kids need you.  Prioritize self-care, like exercise, alone time, and mental breaks.
2. Redefine your priorities.  I have been wondering, “Am I failing my children?”  When they look back on this time, what will they remember? In most cases, children don’tremember WHAT you said nor WHAT you did, but instead,they remember HOW you made them feel.  I hope my kidsremember all the love and security.   That is my main goal as a parent during this quarantine- make my kids feel loved and secure. My goal each day is not too be the best homeschool teacher.  It is not to stop my kids from eating ice cream.  It is not to prevent them from playing Minecraft.  My goal is to make sure that my kids know I love them and that they are protected during this uncertain time. When this is all over, I want my kids to have the confidence they need to go back to their routine and the mental resiliency to get through this epidemic without going crazy.  Those qualities are founded on love and security.

What are your goals for today?

Don’t compare yourself to the Jones’ next door or to Karen’s photos on Instagram.   Be the best YOU.  Be the best parent for your children (what-ever that looks like in YOUR house.)

-The Impactful Parent

@theimpactfulparent on social media

Life Before Quarantine

What life was like before??  It’s funny… but at times it’s hard to remember that it has only been a little over a month since our quarantine began.  It almost feels as if the last month has turned into the norm.  I wonder if I’ll be able to go back m to my “old” life.. 

There have been some hard days in the last month,  when I have felt very defeated and did not accomplish what I needed..  But when I look back to my life two months ago, I wonder how I did it all.

I was getting up every morning by 5 working out at a gym, getting the kids to school, going to my job, then after work I would pick up kids from school, run to activities for hours, and then get home after 8pm… and If I did not have my kids, I would work my second job.  There was no down time. Our schedule was packed every day. And I didn’t mind it.  It was just how life was…we were like a lot of families.  

And now I get up around 7, I go to the kitchen to start my workday, then I get the kids set on doing their schoolwork.  I teeter back and forth all day with working and helping the kids with what they need. My evenings are filled with walks or just hanging out with the kids.  And a lot of nights, I’m laying in bed by 8 pm, watching tv or reading. 

There are no kid activities or running from place to place at night.  My life has a completely different feel.  We are learning to move at a different pace. And I must admit I’m starting to really enjoy it. 

This was one of the first Easter Sunday’s that my kids and I did not rush to church to then drive an hour to my family’s house each way.  As much as I missed seeing my family. I was very content and happy being at home. We wore our pajamas and sweatpants… The kids and I made dinner, had an Easter egg hunt, watched movies, and just hung out.  It was really true contentment.

At times,  I think maybe this was a sign that my life was too busy and I needed a change.  I hated feeling so rushed trying to get from work to school pick up to sports.  We tried not to live like that, but at times the constant rushing took over.    I don’t miss every minute of my day being planned out… and I’m a planner by habit.

So it’s hard for me to realize I’m ok with this… I have always planned everything out day by day and week by week.  And now we plan very little. The first couple weeks were hard for me.  I did not know how to handle not having any real commitments.  It would make me anxious thinking that we had nothing planned. I wondered what I would do without anything to do.  

What would I do with all this time???  

And then it all started to fall into place.. We don’t live minute by minute on a strict schedule anymore.  I guess I really enjoy just having the flexibility of our life.. 

We can sleep in 5 minutes longer on some days,  we can decide to eat dinner at any time, or we can go for an extra mile on our walk.  

Summer will be here soon and as much as I miss the sports and activities, part of me is really looking forward to a slower summer.  A summer of enjoying our time at home.  We can sit outside late at night and have bonfires, we will not be at the soccer field until 9pm and eating dinner in the car. 

I have an extra minute now for all of those questions my kids are constantly asking me.  I think myself and my kids have all learned to just take extra time for ourselves.  We move at a slower pace and we take more time for each other.  Enjoy it!! 

-snarky 

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/blog

I Feel Stuck

For the first time since all of this went. I feel stuck. I have been pretty good about getting up and having a bit of a routine. I am lucky in that I’m working, so I have to, to some extent.

But the last few days are the first in a long while, where I have no motivation. None. Even getting up and out of bed was hard. I have some rituals that I have held onto. Like doing my makeup in the morning. I know it seems silly. I am facing people I barely know in a ZOOM meeting. When I  shared that with one of my friends, she said maybe that’s my form of mediation.

I think so, I put in my AirPods, listen to music, do my makeup, and clear my head. After, I feel a bit ready for whatever the world is dishing out that particular day.

But I still am lacking in motivation. Except for cleaning and organizing. That has almost become obsessive lately. I have quickly ticked off my list most of the big projects that were going to eat up some time.

I usually like to read and have some craft projects I like to do. None of it is appealing. Even some of my favorite shows aren’t causing me to change anything.

The two things that seem to be able to unstick me are my daughter and don’t laugh- my dog. 

I have spent more time in the morning and evening flopped on my daughter’s bed talking with our big teddy bear of a dog at our feet than I ever did before.

The other day I looked at her and said aren’t you supposed to be in school? (She’s doing distance learning). She laughed, jumped up and said “oh yeah!”

My dog has become my new office mate. He happily interrupts meetings and naps at my feet. 

I talk to him when I can’t figure something out. When I’m stuck.

Like everyone I’m trying to figure this out.

Like everyone I wish I wasn’t.

I continue to be thankful for what I do have in the midst of what I don’t. My hope is with warmer weather and sunshine a few more cuddles with my big old dog and deep talks with my favorite twelve year old… it won’t feel like stuck. It will feel ok and ok has potential to be good, even great.

I hope you are safe. 

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

Lean In

Lean in…when that catchphrase first came out I’m pretty sure it was meant to be used for powerful situations.

Not trying to maneuver your new normal during a world that everyday feels more surreal.

I have officially been home now for a month. My state has extended its Stay at Home order until May 26th. When I heard the news I was in the middle of my new normal work day. I took my glasses off. Took my headphones off and silently yelled into my hands.

I am what you would call a high risk person. Two heart surgeries I had forty years ago means I can’t leave my house. The fear is if I get this my stitched up heart won’t know what to do.

I am luckier than a lot of people. I have a job. Which I got offered ironically a week before everything went. That’s my term… went.

The last time I saw everyone in person was my job interview. A month ago. Some of them I only know thanks to ZOOM.

And thank goodness for this job, because my previous job would have laid me off. They did. Three days before I officially started my new job I got a lengthy email telling me as much.

My daughter’s school like a lot of yours is now closed for the rest of the year. Thankfully they have really done a lot to support everyone one with distance learning. But she’s in 7th grade. She abruptly had to empty her locker and pivot.

I was a Preschool Director before I got my new job. I didn’t get to say goodbye to my families, my kids…

But I’m leaning in.

I get up. I get ready for work. I try to focus. But I have my moments. Where I have to run to the bathroom and sit on the toilet seat and cry.

I lean in to being afraid of all the unknowns.

I lean in to being late for a meeting because I got distracted by the news.

I lean into cats and dogs and kids interrupting meetings.

And we all smile.

I lean into not really ever wanting to wear shoes again. Leggings are better than jeans.

I lean into Friday nights might be Tuesday nights.

I lean into worrying about my Grandfather who is states away. I lean into reading horoscopes with my best friend.

I lean into hugging my daughter so much. I lean into telling people I can’t wait to squish their faces.

I lean into missing certain people. Which makes me ugly cry.

I lean into waterproof mascara.

I lean into not cutting my own hair. No comment on coloring it. LOL…

I lean into recording my radio show again for the first time in a month and crying because it’s the first time in a long time I have felt normal. Because something that is such a huge part of me is back.

I have no magic words. No sage advice. I am just rinse, lather, repeat, lean.

I am sending you love and hoping you are safe Mommas.

<3 Caprise