There’s no handy tool we can buy to check the things we really need to be checking as we head into winter
This year has presented some very real challenges for people across the board – and parents are no exception
One recent weekend, I admitted I was feeling run down to my husband. His first response was “have you taken your temperature?” I think for many of us, 2020 can best be summed up with our heads turning on a swivel every time we hear one of our kids cough or someone clears their throat.
Our first thought is NOT “oh gosh, allergy season must be ramping up for my husband” or “yep, she must be getting a cold” but COVID-19 “mom antennae” pop up looking for other signs of sickness that may be lurking. Because that’s just where we’re at right now.
So it makes sense when I say something out of the ordinary like being run down, fighting something off or ready for a rare midday nap, that the antenna of the people around me would go off, too. Like my husband and his “have you taken your temperature” question.
Our bodies are dealing with a whole lot right now. Parents are dealing with a dynamic and unique set of circumstances.
What we knew as our “usual rhythm” a week, a month or a year ago is not a guarantee anymore and likely we’ve had to flex a bit on some things (or LOTS of things) to adjust to the climate we’ve been raising our families in for nearly eight months now.
Regardless of where our kids are learning today, at home or at school, regardless of if that was a choice on our part or the only option, literally any day things could shift in such a way that I as Mom now have to adjust my own handling of the very next day yet again.
And again. And again.
There’s no measuring cup to check my patience bucket to find out if it is too low and I need to step away for a moment before tackling elementary common core math again.
No magnifying glass to give me the clues I need that it’s time to eat. Or exercise. Or an alarm ringing a reminder to submit that project for work. (Well sometimes there IS an alarm. I use Alexa for everything I can!)
No obnoxious “fridge door is open” beeping sound that tells me it’s been too long since I sat in silence and that I need to make that a priority.
There’s no digital display on this Instant Pot-style pressure cooker I walk around my home carrying every day that gives me a read out of how much longer, how much more to expect or most importantly, that BURN notice. You can salvage a burn notice on an Instant Pot if you’re paying attention when you see/hear it happening.
If you don’t see it right away, it can wreck your whole dinner.
The thermometer in our medicine cabinet is a valuable tool to check our temperature to see if my kids, my husband or I have spiked a fever.
But there are seriously NO tools we can buy on Amazon that help with the day-to-day check-ins that some of us are checking out on lately.
We have to work that much harder to connect with others (hello, social distancing) to check in with them and in turn, have someone checking in on us.
We have to lean on the people in our lives who DO live under our roof and yes sometimes that’s our kids and yes for many of us moms that feels out of our comfort zone.
But they have to learn to “read” the display on the invisible Instant Pot to walk through this season with us. And we have to talk to them in order to do that.
We have to pick up the phone and call the people we miss so much and care for them from a distance, however we can.
Something other than hopping in the car and showing up with an Olaf-style big, warm hug.
And for many of us, we have to keep on connecting with our therapist not because we’re “even in the middle of a pandemic” but because of the “especially in a pandemic” circumstances. For others of us, we have to pick up the phone and make that appointment for the very first time.
I did take my husband’s suggestion and go check my temperature – 97.6 degrees. Some extra sleep and a quiet cup of coffee before everyone woke up the next day and my body seemed to be much more prepared to tackle a new Monday.
Our year really cannot neatly be summed up with a “if/then” statement. If you’re feeling sick, then go take your temperature.
But there ARE tools and ways we can monitor our temperatures as we continue to move through the days, weeks and months ahead.
Let’s continue to look out for the people around us (whatever “around” looks like for you) and see if anyone needs that reminder this week.