Making the best of the Corona confinement

Being a mom during COVID-19

Who would have ever imagined that I, along with so many other parents, would be staying at home for an extended length of time?

My life before the mandated quarantine was mentally challenging and quite frankly, I felt like I was on a train that never stopped.

During the day I am a high school art teacher.  My biggest challenge in face to face classrooms was getting students to work.  And, my only break was in the morning. After that, I had no time to catch a breath.

Every day I rushed home to make sure my youngest son made it home ok from the bus stop, walk the dogs, and get dinner going.  In addition, sports started within an hour of being home.  I also volunteered to teach an art/craft class once a week at the community center.

I made a point of trying to carve time for myself, working out at least 5 days a week, whether walking the dogs or hitting the local YMCA. I called this me time – the only time I could focus on my physical and mental well-being.

Yet this past year, I desperately felt as if this time and summer breaks were not enough time to feel “normal.” Often, I would tell my husband I spend more time with my students then I do with our own children. For me, this was a problem.  Family always came first in my life yet, was taking second place to everything else.

When my children were infants, I quit teaching to be a stay at home mom.  I did not have grandparents to help. So, I tried day care, but the cost was half my salary and my children were miserable and often sick. I felt the only option was to stay home. It was a blessing I could do so, giving my children the valuable time that they needed to grow and be kids …for ten years.

Now that we are forced to stay at home, I have reevaluated time spent on work and sports, as I know many other people are doing.

Margaret Myers, guest blogger, artist, and teacher, making breakfast with her youngest son during the stay-at-home order.

The past three months, I have enjoyed being a stay at home mom once again.  I made banana bread and apple pie with my youngest son’s help—I had not baked in years.  I have slept till 9am—again… something I have not done in years.  I also began painting more often.

My life went from chaotic and stressful to quieter and more time to do what I want to do.  Of course, everyday challenges of cleaning, schoolwork, and making sure my children are on task are still present. However, everything is on a slower pace.

Everyone says when we go back to “normal” we will be happy.  In my view, I like my new normal.  Of course, I don’t want to see people getting sick and dying.  However, I think that as a nation, we are overworked (also spending too much time on sports). At least, I am guilty of this.

Margaret Myers’ husband, Dave, with their youngest son playing chess during the pandemic.

As a result, my hope is that my family’s new normal will revolve around talking with one another, relaxing, and bonding—just as we have been the past three months.

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