Fear is such a strong word and it seems to be taking over our world. We are growing afraid of normal everyday tasks that were once almost thoughtless, like checking the mail or grabbing some milk at the store. Now we keep hand sanitizer and masks close by just in case.
I took my kids to the orthodontist a few days ago with masks on hand (before the mandate) if they felt the need. We sanitized as we walked into the office and stayed away from anyone else. Then my son saw another person walk in wearing a mask and spoke up. “Mom, I want a mask so that I can feel fancy too.”
I realized at that moment that he didn’t see it as something to be afraid of, but more like a new toy; a new novel idea that isn’t stressful.
I do not want my kids to grow up being afraid. We have been fairly conservative with where we go and what we do, and mainly the children have been at home since March 13th. They rarely go inside any type of store or facility, but they have been to the babysitter’s house and to a friend’s a few times.
The balance for me is, how much should they know about coronavirus, and peoples’ reaction to it? How much should they know about all the topsy turvy-ness that is going on in our country and our world? And how scared should they be to finally hug a friend after being apart for months?
No one is talking about how to re-enter society for my eight-year-old son who needs to hug or my twelve-year-old daughter who has preferred to be socially distant since before that was even a term. I feel like my husband and I are traveling this road alone because everyone has an opinion, but the facts seem to be skewed depending on each news article that I read.
We are making decisions that were so small last year but are now huge.
Do we leave the kids at home if we must go somewhere so they won’t be exposed to COVID? Or even worse, the people that stare because we aren’t wearing masks or if we are wearing masks?
Should I rethink my full-time job so that I can stay home because school may be virtual next year?
How many masks do we need? Should it be one per day because you are supposed to wash them after each use, right?
Can we go see our family in Texas without repercussions such as having to quarantine when we get back?
And so many more.
Our days are now revolving around restrictions of where we go, what we do, and how close I can stand to someone. I walked into my office yesterday crying and not really sure why. I just seem to be overwhelmed with all the things and my anxiety level was shooting through the roof. You may be right there with me.
But have courage, momma. Because even though it seems like we are in this alone, literally everyone else is going through the same thing. I would encourage you to take a few steps to help alleviate some undue anxiety.
Steps to alleviate anxiety
- Take a step back from social media. (And yes, I realize that you are probably on it right now).
- Limit your news access daily. I check the news twice a day, at the most, to get as many facts as possible and stay away from getting pulled into all the opinions.
- Limit your COVID checks. Most COVID reporting sites upload information once a day, therefore I try to only log onto them once a day as well.
- Text and Facetime your friends. I am now learning how awesome Facetime is. Being able to see your friend’s faces sans masks is amazing!
- Talk to your family about how you feel. Your family can feel if you are overwhelmed, but by opening up and talking to them, they can help ease your burden. My kids feel important and trusted when I talk to them about my feelings. I try to keep it easy and light because they aren’t therapists, but they do care and are happy to feel like a vital part of the family.
Remember that we will get through this together and we will be tougher for it. Build up your family so that you are a stronger unit when we get out on the other side. You are beautifully and wonderfully made and meant to get through this.