Am I Failing at Pandemic Living?

Am I failing at pandemic living?

Am I failing at pandemic living? Am I even really failing or am I just not willing to “keep up with the Joneses” when it comes to pandemic living?

Our life has not really changed much from before March 13, 2020, when we were asked to stay home. As a work-from-home-mom with social anxiety, I thrived being at home.

I had stayed on top of the news cycle from the moment the outbreak was first addressed and started filling our pantry, freezer and yes toilet paper stash up in early February. By the time we were told not to go out, I was prepped to stay enclosed in my Toronto semi-detached house safe and sound for months.

You know what happened?

We started sleeping in and staying up late. We organized junk drawers and long-forgotten storage bins. We threw out so many things that we thought were worth saving but were just trash. We painted the walls. Power-washed everything we could find. Finally, put a bedroom door on our room since we had absolutely ZERO flipping privacy all of a sudden. We never made any charts with our daily school schedules on them like everyone else was but we managed to mostly stay up to date with schooling for the older kids. The younger kids are doing a modified schedule of work when we feel like it and we for sure are not adding anything extra. There are way too many video games and with our crappy weather, not enough outdoor time.

There has been absolutely zero baking happening over here.

We have bread, a whole freezer full, and no matter how many times my sister offers to dry her starter and mail it from Alberta, I will continue to say no vehemently.

That is not my coping.

In what feels like forever I have still not managed to find a way to feel “great” or even “normal”. I find myself sneaking away from my family to have little moments of peace and alone time. Things that would normally bring me joy or at least a release of stress like reading and listening to music have failed me.

Or maybe I am failing me.

My expectations are probably failing me.

I know that things will never be the same. I am strictly on team “lock shit up” until we eradicate this virus even as that same belief is suffocating me.

Every single outing we now take is a lesson in preparedness and organization. Masks, goggles, gloves, sanitizer, and a new hyper-vigilant attitude go with us everywhere. My usual willy-nilly attitude has taken a back burner to the need to keep us safe.

And the kids, fuck the kids are doing amazing compared to how much they have lost (and will continue to lose) in these times. School, friends, activities, camps, and FREEDOM were gone in the blink of an eye.

My own kids have had to grow up and really be independent during these times. Whether it means staying on top of their school work, making their own snacks, or watching their younger siblings, everyone has stepped up.

But are we going to come out of this unscathed?

How will our day-to-day change?

Will their be lasting effects that we will take with us far into the future?

Will we be OK?

I am not sure what the answers to these questions are. I am so grateful that we are healthy when so many people are not. I am grateful that we have the space to live comfortably when so many are not safe. I am forever grateful for everyone who continues to work and put themselves at risk so our society can keep on moving.

But will they be OK?

Am I failing at pandemic living?

Aneta Alaei
Aneta Alaei

Aneta is a Toronto-based mom of four that loves a good meal, great company, and learning something new. In her free time, you can find her trying to keep yet another plant alive.

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