Sometime in late February or early March I remember thinking to myself, and perhaps even saying out loud, “I just need a few hours to myself!” I was feeling overwhelmed by all the bad weather we’d been having, the kids being trapped in the house for days, not sleeping well because they weren’t burning energy during the day, and we were all just going a bit stir crazy. I remember wishing for time alone.
This isn’t what I meant.
See my husband is immunocompromised and needs to stay home with the kids on the one day every other week or every third week that I leave the house to go do all of our errands: grocery shopping, mail pickup at the post office (we have a PO Box), stopping at my mom’s house to drop off whatever food I was able to get that my mom wasn’t able to on her shopping trip, picking up whatever random item we need from the hardware store now that we’re always in the house and using/breaking things constantly.
These errand days used to happen once a week every week. Only I brought the kids with me. These errand days were literally the longest days of my life every week because they took so long to complete and the kids and I were all exhausted by the time we were finally on the road back home.
Now these days happen once every other week or every third week and I’m no longer getting kids in and out of carseats, in and out of shopping carts, cajoling them to please take a deep breath cause we’d be done soon, and even without all that, I’m completely exhausted by the time I’m finally on the road back home.
And the thing is, it is unbelievably easier to do all the errands now. I can literally accomplish the same number of errands or even more and it takes less than half the time. Less.Than.Half. And the entire time I am keenly aware of how much emotional pressure I’m under, how grateful I am that I can leave my kids safely at home, and how terribly much I miss them.
When I finally do arrive home, I bring in all the things and sanitize/put them away, then dump my mask and all my clothes directly into the washing machine, then go scrub myself in a hot shower with soap, then come back out and start the washing machine, before finally picking up the baby that’s been waiting for my boobs to come back.
These days leave me drained.
These days leave me in invisible tears.
This is not what I meant.
I take it back.