This entire experience of staying home and balancing work and family has been so hard, with many days feeling impossible. It’s been an emotional roller coaster where I go from feeling mad and frustrated, to thankful and happy, to guilty and failing. My husband and I are both juggling non-stop calls, trying to get work done, and caring for our two boys, a 2 ½-year-old and a 1-year-old. It seems like the moment I get on a conference call is always the perfect time for my children to have temper tantrums or get in a fight. But despite the challenges, and moments of frustration, I can’t help but think how lucky we actually are.
This situation is scary and challenging, but at the end of the day, we are all safe and home together making memories that will last forever. Being a working mom, I’m usually not around much during the week – we aren’t able to sit down and eat dinner as a family, and there isn’t always time for play and cuddles before bed. I’ve missed many milestones. In fact, on my very first day back at work after I had my first son, he decided to roll over for the first time. At the end of the day, it wasn’t a big deal – my family got it on video, so I was able to watch it. But I still cried because I wasn’t there. These past couple of weeks have given me that opportunity to witness milestones firsthand, and the extra time to bond with my family.
I’ve watched my newly turned 1-year-old go from taking his first steps to running around and chasing his big brother. In just the past few weeks, he’s learned to sign for more and milk, nod his head “yes” when you ask if he wants something, and has added “mama” to his vocabulary. My 2 ½-year-old has a speech delay, and while we’ve had to put formal speech therapy on hold due to COVID-19, my husband and I have been here to work with him. I’ve watched him attempt new words and even some sentences. Just last week, he walked into the kitchen while I was making breakfast and asked, “What you cooking, mommy?” Six months ago, he couldn’t even say a word yet, and now I’m home to hear him ask me a question. And for that, I’m incredibly thankful.
So, for now, as much as we can, we’re taking the time to hold the baby while he naps, we’re spending extra playtime outside, and I’ve even agreed to some sleepovers with my 2-year-old. We’re trying to take the time to slow down and take it all in, despite how hard it is, because we know our kids won’t be little forever!