I am exhausted. And I know I’m not alone in this.
At first I put it down to the fact I’ve been solo parenting since May, three boys fighting and wrestling is enough to zap anyone of energy. But it’s more than that.
For us all.
18 months ago, back when the word coronavirus was whispered in hushed tones, life was going on as normal. I was fighting to change the boys school, we were planning our annual city break (that year to Baku) and had exciting plans for the rest of 2020.
Then the world ground to a halt
March 2020, when the world stopped spinning. When schools shut and the coronacoaster began.
The good days, the bad days, the worse days. The silver linings that made you stop and appreciate your life. When you realised that the little things were the big things.
And I am exhausted by it all
I’m tired of school bubbles that have popped and school closures that have led to homeschool. Which, as an aside, is less homeschool and more home begging and pleading to please please PLEASE just write one word.
I’m exhausted from the constant fighting that seems to be happening with my children, as they fight to settle down and adapt to a new environment.
I’m drained from the uncertainty. The red, amber and green lists, not knowing when my husband would be able to make it into the country, which route he would follow.
I’m consumed with the constant wondering, questioning myself and the decisions we are making and the impact they are having on our children. Parenting is exhausting at the best of times let alone in a pandemic.
And I am exhausted.
I know I’m not alone in this. The conversations at the school gate. The juggle of working and childcare. Social media stories of influencers who are feeling the exact same. My phone pinging with messages from friends also feeling the strain.
The pandemic has taken away so much from all of us.
The chance to celebrate birthdays and occasions with friends and family. Education and learning at school for our children. Expats unable to fly back to see loved ones. In other cases, those unable to get to say goodbye to loved ones, attend funerals or weddings, support partners during birth.
At the height of the pandemic the basic need of human contact was stripped from many of us, being confined to our houses.
It truly has been the case of the same storm but different ships for us all. And yet while Emma (of Wanderlust and Wet Wipes fame) may have had one experience in Singapore, while I was riding out something else in Doha, and friends from home yet another, one common theme is running.
We are exhausted
Our lives have been turned upside down in the last eighteen months.
Yet it’s taken me until now to realise that it is ok to say I am exhausted.
I am tired.
I am drained.
I am spent.
That self care is all well and good but sometimes I don’t even have the energy to take the time to myself.
As with everything in this corona coaster though, I do know that some days are better than others, some days are worse, and that with every day I am just getting through it as best I can.
Trying to shield my children, take care of their mental health, and keep them on steady ground has become what is important to me. Taking each day as it comes.
And yes. I am exhausted.
But now I can say it, now I can acknowledge the elephant in the room, I can work towards allowing myself the self care I need and want to replenish the tank.
After all, I can’t pour from an empty cup.