Stuck in a house together, socially distancing from the world but completely trapped together with your family. Many people have mentioned they are driving each other crazy. It is understandable. Our relationships were not built on this much togetherness. Some people are better tolerated or loved in small doses. However, we have to survive this and find a way to lean on the only people around. We have to stay six feet away from the others.
My husband and I have a pretty good relationship and share a lot of common interests and thoughts. However, even we found ourselves clashing last week. He has a lot of extra job stress going on due to the global pandemic and I have my own stress trying to homeschool, constantly feed hungry teens and monitor our parents. There is a looming sense of dread as well watching the number of infected rise and knowing we both have asthma. It was an odd phenomenon because we kept arguing but then realized we were saying the same exact thing. It was like some sudden communication gap. As if we suddenly spoke different languages. Why didn’t he get what I was saying?! I think we have started to get back to normal but it was a frustrating few days. The kids just looked at us like we were crazy.
And then there are the kids….My teens claim they are not ‘worried’ about the pandemic and claim their stress is less because they are not ‘going to school’. Yet, I know that the novelty of not going to classes is starting to wear off. They do miss their friends and their sports. It is also a little more complicated to do their assignments and coursework in this remote way. This makes them cranky. Oh, and constantly hungry. I am asked at 10:30am- “What is lunch?”. Of course they can’t agree on that either. This is not a cafeteria with multiple choices. They are annoyed by Mom monitoring their work and I’m annoyed by their excessive Minecraft, Netflix, and VR time.
Everyone is out of their element but it is all just an inconvenience and we have to keep that in perspective. We are not at risk of having no food or having our houses bombed. We have supplies and TV and internet. It’s quite a glamorous, comfortable quarantine. We are scared of getting infected but have to think of and appreciate those on the front lines. There are medical workers, repairmen, delivery people, grocery store workers, and others risking themselves each day to make our lives safe and comfortable. We have to keep that all in mind and calm our frustrations. We have to recognize each other’s anxieties and be understanding. In the words of Elsa from Frozen, “Let it go”. Forgive the little things right now.
Stay calm with healthy distractions. I’m glad my kids can go outside or in the basement to play basketball or ping-pong and channel their energy. My husband and I have also started exercising or going for walks to relax our minds and stretch our muscles. I have picked up a book I wanted to read and the kids mentioned playing games. We have also been having video-chats with family and friends because it is nice to see friendly faces and talk. We have to make the best of this all. After all it would be a shame if we survived Corona but killed each other!