I often find myself thinking…
What Would Jess Sr do?
I would very much like to know what you would think of all this madness. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I’m sure you would still be working because you’d work at a restaurant. As a manager, maybe you’d even be working more. I think you would have worked it out so you somehow ended up with extra time with the kids. You would work crazy long shifts on the days you worked to get an extra day off with them or something.
You and I were always so incredibly different. I am positive we would have 2 vastly differing perspectives on all this.
I have been struggling with how to make my work-from-home-while-kids-are-home work. I have made a daily schedule portioning off their whole day into time increments trying to equally give them academic and play/free time. They have, of course, been bargaining and begging for more video game and YouTube time. Sometimes I give in. Ok, some entire Days I give in. It’s still a work in progress.
I need to have structure to get through these days. To get work done and for us all not to fight all the time and kill each other. Still, we are fighting all the time. Jack said that “everyone is always mad all the time” here. I don’t want their memories of this time to be awful, but I don’t know what else to do. Just like everything else these days, there is a lot of pressure on parents right now to “do this right” even though literally no one has ever had to do this and we are all in the same boat. Like somehow this whole CoronaVirus thing won’t already screw our kids up enough and we can make or break it for them.
“Make sure they are learning”
“You don’t have to make sure they are doing educational things”
“Make sure they are having fun”
“Make sure they remember this fondly with warm fuzzies”
“Don’t screw this up because then your kid will be the weird one who had a boring time off during this super anxiety-producing, scary, never before happened pandemic we are all adjusting to”
All I keep thinking is you would be LoViNg the extra time with them. You wouldn’t have to work from home, so all your time here would be with them. You wouldn’t be focused on keeping the house super clean and tidy (you never did). You always made me sit down and chill or do whatever with the kids when I was up cleaning and you were there. I’m not sure if it was to enjoy the time together or because you didn’t want to feel bad for not cleaning too, but I imagine you see your time as well spent.
Today, as I was thinking of ways not to be a psycho mom, I again thought of what you would be doing with the boys. You would be cuddling and watching movies. That was everyone’s favorite thing to do and to this day the kids all say you were the “Best Cuddler Ever” (with me being a close, but definite second). I decided when I got off work we would try the Dad method.
When I logged off work, I gathered the boys up and told them to head upstairs to my bedroom. They were confused and I confidently announced, “We are going to go upstairs, watch a Disney movie that I pick, and be a happy family.” I got a little push back, so I jokingly yelled through gritted teeth, “COME UPSTAIRS AND BE A HAPPY DISNEY FAMILY WITH ME!” They all listened.
We went upstairs and watched Big Hero 6. I forgot that Charlie was too young to remember this movie and they all enjoyed it. I fell asleep (also something you did often during movies). When I woke up, the boys were downstairs and had started another movie. I cuddled and joined in the movie watching.
We are now on movie #3. Just me and the littles who both just fell asleep actually. It’s Walle, another movie that neither Charlie or Jess jr remember a lot of. An “end of times” story that I thought would be fitting for the current world situation.
Maybe everyone is right. Structure is great and I will still make them read, but I think there is a lot more movie watching in our near future. And cuddling. I’m pretty sure that’s the best part 😊
Thank you, Jess. Thanks for being you and for reminding me of what is really important and needed right now. And thank you for persisting I figure out what you would be doing right about now. For pushing me to figure it out.
I’m still not sure what you would think, but I don’t need to know.
I know what I need to know and what I need to do thanks to you.
MAKE GOOD CHOICES.
~Love & Light, Sarah