"I don't want to miss bedtime with my kid" is something many of us can relate to.
This pandemic has been hard. Impossible at times. It's the only thing we can think of and talk about because it affects every inch of our existence. This is especially true for moms: working moms, working moms with school-aged kids and working moms with no other support—no safety net.
Some of us have had the privilege to continue working from home, cooped up in a bubble away from reality, not wearing office clothes and only sometimes just dressing up from the waist up for Zoom calls. It was hard to do it with kids at home; it still is. But something this pandemic has taught many parents is to slow down and enjoy the fleeting moments.
Emily Ramshaw, CEO of 19thnews, and a mom tweeted about exactly this. Since her tweet has received almost 100,000 likes and has been reshared over 8,000 times. Her tweet read:
"Suddenly, today, I panicked about life inching back toward "normal." I don't want to travel endlessly for work. I don't want my weekends to be over-committed with activities. I don't want to miss bedtime with my kid. I don't want to wear blazers—or, hell, even shoes." Ramshaw followed up with "This year has been heartbreaking, depressing, paralyzing—in almost every way. But some things about it have also been liberating, and I have to figure out how to cling to those things in a vaccinated future—even when others expect me not to."
Suddenly, today, I panicked about life inching back toward “normal.” I don’t want to travel endlessly for work. I… https://t.co/xg1ah9N9JA— Emily Ramshaw (@Emily Ramshaw) 1614998597.0
I'll use myself as an example. Prior to the pandemic, I had events after work hours—sometimes they social events with friends, but many times networking events for work. I missed bedtimes and when I didn't, my husband had to miss bedtime for work. When weekends rolled around we would take our toddler to swim class and out for brunch with friends, maybe have him nap in the stroller while we walked around the park and then have a packed afternoon with playdates and dinner. We would all be exhausted, jumping from one thing to the next.
So, of course, the abrupt stop to what was our normal left us feeling like we weren't doing anything, and at first, it gave us a little anxiety. However, with time, even on days when our kids are really really hard, I started to appreciate being home with them, not missing dinner time and bedtime. Being with my kids 24/7 is exhausting, but in doing so I've learned so much about them, and in turn, so much about myself. I missed my son's first step because they happened while I was traveling for work. This time I'm around to see my twins master every single new skill.
Of course, many pointed out to Ramshaw that not everyone can stay home (like she did and like I did) and not wear shoes. In fact, a lot of working parents were deemed essential and needed to continue their hours with even less support than they had before the pandemic started. The CEO acknowledged her privilege, but still makes a strong point on how this pandemic has put perspective on how we live and work, and honestly, I hope this pushes our society forward instead of back to how life was pre-COVID.
As Liz Tenety, co-founder of Motherly, wrote in an essay, "it's like the pandemic and quarantine gave us permission to go back to a simpler time for families—one where childhood wasn't quite so structured, and the pressures on parents not so great."