We are living in unprecedented times, and it’s okay to not be okay.
Life is not what we are used to. Schools are closed. Churches are closed. Restaurants and bars are closed or limited to take out operations only. Parks, playgrounds, museums, monuments, amusement parks, beaches, and just about anything and everything else you can think of is shuttered. People are sick, really sick. Kids are home all day and trying to do virtual schooling while adapting to a new life where they can’t see their friends or family. These are strange times.
And you know what? It’s okay to not be okay right now.
It’s okay to talk about how hard it is to manage a work day, cook and clean, set your kids up with school or take care of them, order necessary supplies from the grocery store and pick it up without getting sick… all without childcare. It’s okay to say – “Hey, you know what? This really sucks.” Don’t feel guilty about that. It’s okay to not be okay about that.
It’s okay to grieve the important things that your family is missing out on- graduations, First Communion celebrations, baptisms, birthdays, proms. It’s okay to say – “My senior doesn’t get to walk for his graduation and I’m just shattered about it.” It’s okay to not be okay about that.
It’s okay to be angry about the fact that you are having to bring a child into this world without the support of a doula or your partner or to celebrate without friends and family around. It’s okay to say – “This isn’t fair. I deserve more and so does my baby.” It’s okay to not be okay about that.
It’s okay to think about the vacation to Cancun or the cruise to the Bahamas that you are going to miss while everything is shut down. Vacations are so helpful to mental health when the world doesn’t feel like it’s ending, let alone when it does. It’s okay to say – “I’m really bummed that I don’t get to laze about in Punta Cana; I was looking forward to it.” It’s okay to not be okay about that.
Perspective is everything in surviving every day life. In quarantine life, it’s even more critical, to the extent you have control over it. But it’s also okay to grieve what this time could have or should have been. It doesn’t make you ungrateful. It doesn’t mean that you value a vacation or an experience more than other people’s health. It doesn’t meant that you’re not a good mom because you aren’t loving balancing a full time job with your new roles of being a full time teacher and 24/7 parent. It’s okay to not be okay about that.
Talk about it.
And be all the more grateful when we eventually emerge from this as you go about those things. We’re all going to need perspective.