The last few months haven’t been easy for anyone.
Whether or not you or a family member was sick, regardless of your degree of concern, whether you had some school/camp, or not, it’s been tough.
Every family has had their own challenges - only little kids at home brings one set of challenges, and a variety of ages has a different set of challenges.
And, while everyone’s story is different, in many ways, everyone’s story is the same, or, at least similar.
And now, as we’ve restarted real life here in Chicago, I feel like I can get more air into my lungs, stand up just a bit taller, and greet my kids with that sparkle in my eyes, again.
I feel like I’m finally reentering “normal” now… and *exhale*. It’s been a long few months, know what I mean?
So the truth is that even before this all started, things were, in a word: hectic.
I had four under four and then, come mid-January, four under 5; I was learning to re-layer the many many layers of my life after Sir S was born, and, on top of that: I was dealing with his tongue tie, revision, CST, re-teaching him to nurse, making sure he was eating and gaining enough, all while waking in the night to feed him. (And I don’t do well without my full night of sleep)
Once he and I were ready for him to sleep through the night, we dove right into that… and then, not long after the dust settled and we were all sleeping through again, we all got the flu.
By the time Purim rolled around, I was finally feeling back to myself when life turned upside down again.
Like many of you, I had lots of big ideas and goals for when the kids would be off “for two weeks” at the start of the pandemic. And they were great.
For two weeks.
But when two weeks turned into four weeks - and then into months - all those Big Ideas and Goals started to fade as “get it done and get through the day” became the mantra. Slowly the weather turned warmer, and we were able to get back outside to play.
Even so, though, it was tough.
I felt like I was doing cleanup or meal prep all day long, and, between me needing time for “regular life” (those things like writing up blog posts, talking to clients, and other work that couldn’t take a months-long hiatus) and my husband needing time for his obligations, it was a frantic race to the finish line every day: trying to somehow fit all the everything that needed to happen in.
Of course, all the everything didn’t actually happen. Grocery shopping was such an upheaval that I didn’t pull it off as often as we really needed it (given the kids-at-home-all-day-but-can’t-come-with-you-the-store phenomenon), laundry got washed and dried and often lived in laundry baskets, the toys barely got to take a breath in the toy boxes before being grabbed out again, and it’s a good thing that we had Shabbos prep so we knew that our house still existed.
It was like a lifeguarding test: treading water without your hands - and potentially with a “body” or brick to hold, too.
And that’s before we even talk about my kids: who were chalishing to play with friends and go back to playgroup, and just go to the kiddush at shul. They were too little to really understand what was going on (though they did ask me “when will coronavirus be over?”), and too big to just be chill with the no-schedule schedule.
Camp started, which meant that my three older ones were out for a good chunk of time.
Sir S was home with me, but, even though he was generally happy to play on his own, the truth was: I knew it was only a short reprieve. August was to be yet another month of madness, especially with a simcha coming up that would entail travel.
My work hours were a mad dash to do everything that hadn’t gotten done the previous months, and wouldn’t be getting done in the upcoming months - in addition to everything that I was actually doing during those short 6 weeks.
Once those 6 weeks of camp were over, though, August was… well, we won’t talk about August, kay? I think you can color in the details, yeh?
Now, it’s well… like a different world. My kids were filled with that regular nervous-excitement that characterizes the first day of school before they left, and yes, Sir G did cry at drop-off, but Sir S and the girls happily started playing.
And they came home so happy. Even Sir G was burbling over with contentedness.
Well, I got my time to work. I talked to three clients, answered some questions on Instagram, answered some emails from mothers like you, and closed my computer when Sir G came home.
And more than that: I was able to really be there, be present. I wasn’t running from one thing to the next, trying to fit housework, food prep, work and mommy-ing into one neverending continuous blob.
I have mornings for my clients and other behind-the-scenes parts of my business, afternoons for some house/meal things and lots of mommying, and then housework in the evening.
I feel like I’m able to be ME again, and like I don’t have to juggle the many hats I wear because they each have a designated time to sit on my head - and to come off of my head.
This is exactly why I do what I do, and why it’s never just about sleep.
Because so many mothers feel the way I felt during the COVID lockdown -- except they feel like that all the time.
When your baby never sleeps well, and you’re struggling with night or naps, everything just coalesces into one huge mess of a juggle - of trying to make it all happen during nonexistent time.
When your baby is kvetchy all day and impossible to get to sleep, those precious nap times are a bewildering choice of get some sleep so you can open your eyes more than halfway, get some much-needed nutrition into your body, or make sure that everyone has clothes to wear tomorrow, or try to carve a path through the floor.
Now that our kids are starting school again (hopefully, be”H, it should continue for the whole year!), now is the time to make sure we are giving our children what they need, and getting what we need so that we can have the space, sleep and sanity to be there for them the way we want to be.
If your baby’s not sleeping well, and you’re ready to make those changes to stop trying to juggle the impossible, sign up to get on the KinderWink Academy VIP Group wait list below!