Dr. Priscilla, DVM, MPH, Esq.
I wake up, meditate, relax, breathe, thinking today will be the day Priscilla. Today will be the day work gets done, where I feel good at the end of the day about what I’ve accomplished. I am calm. There is a newness to daybreak. I work out, take a shower, get ready to call in to my first meeting. I push the button. JOIN MEETING. But wait. The two-year old is up and calls from her bedroom to be freed. She doesn’t quite know how to turn the doorknob. Not yet. She's ready to roam about the cabin and the husband is still working out. Who is going to help her? She must be cared for. It’s the law and well, we ARE her parents. But for COVID-19, she would have already been at daycare. She beckons to me, calls me out. It MUST be mom she says. My meeting has already started. I say good morning and tell my colleagues I will have to mute out, because I HAVE to be a parent too. People say they understand, but do they, I wonder. The little one smiles. She won, but she had to win. It is what must be done.
Recess has now begun. There are two helmets with scooters careening down the hall and through the house while I take more business calls. My role has expanded to virtual teacher, full-time referee, resident exterminator, daytime chef, librarian, and technology coordinator…in addition to my full-time job. The eight-year-old’s ballet and piano classes, that we have already paid for, now meet by Zoom. The kids need a sense of normalcy, right? But, when do I have time to really concentrate on my work? Oh, that’s right, at night when I am tired from my daytime job of well, parenting. Parents often say at the end of a full day’s work, that they are going home to their second job, to take care of the kids. That was pre-COVID-19. Now, you work several jobs at once and they are all running together. How are other working parents surviving? I check in with some of them. They’re just like me, exhausted.
But the smiles, the growth, the sister-to-sister interactions, the fights, the laughs, the learning, and the unicorn kiddie pools. I would have missed all of this if I were at the office. Some days there is no balance, but is it worth it? Yes, it's worth it. Period. Full stop. But, do I need more breaks? Yes, I do. Period. Full stop. Or, I may go crazy and well, that helps no one. So, I run to the store, in my mask, toward the invisible enemy. I run full steam ahead, just to get away. Isn’t that insane? But I do it for my sanity and take my time, going down each aisle. I pick up their favorite food. I go to the checkout line to meditate. Boy, I am thankful that I have a job, that I can buy food for my kids and that their bellies will be full. Grab your favorite gum Priscilla. I love my babies. “Please don’t smash the bananas” I say to the cashier shielded behind the plexiglass. I am renewed at the checkout line and head to the car, ready to go back into the fray. I get home and get ready for bed, only to do it all over again tomorrow. Parents do what must be done because we have no choice, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
School is out. There are only a few summer camps. Help! 😊