Confessions of a COVID-19 Mom & Wife

Each night I fall asleep from pure exhaustion somewhere around 11 pm. Despite my reasonable bedtime, I’m usually wide awake about 3:30. a.m.. In fact, it’s happened three times this week. It’s like my mind waits until everyone including the dog is fast asleep before I wake. It’s honestly the only time I get to transparently worry. I usually wrap the sleep interruption in tasks to make it more palatable for what I know has underlying issues. I’ll tell myself something like “Make sure you started the dishwasher” or “Did you remember to Lysol the door knobs and faucets?” But the reality is it’s an opportunity for me to sit quiet and process all of this. See I’m fully aware that I control the temperature of my home. If I freak out, my children ages 11 and 8 will freak out. If I freak out, I stress my husband out. If I freak out, the entire house will freak out. So I simply have to hold it together.

My astrological sign is Taurus and Lord knows we need consistency. It really is a need, but this is week four of quarantine as a result of COVID-19. Week four of new routines. Week four of uncertainty. Week four of inconsistencies at work and at home. Week four of not being able to control a doggone thing and it’s wearing on me. So I’ve tried to create consistency in the midst of this chaos.

I wake up, take a 2 mile walk/run by myself. I come home, make breakfast and get the children in place for online classes. I’m not the best at technology, so I can keep the schedule but my husband’s job is all things tech. He handles questions about internet, link issues, assignment submissions etc… I just can’t. Somewhere between there I have individual work tasks, a to-do-list a mile a long and Zooms of my own. Lunch is on you own around here. There’s plenty to eat, but every man or woman for themselves. Then it’s dinner time.

Each of us is dealing with this pandemic in our own way. It’s a collective situation with individualized levels of coping. There really isn’t a rule book for dealing with this. I just know I have to take care of myself and my family. So, for now, I will try to use my sleep interruptions as an opportunity for spiritual growth and productivity. For now, I will lie back down and wait for the sun to rise or for sleep to catch me. For now, I will ignore the building anxiety at the thought of yet another inconsistent day.

Ripple Effect of Kindness

Corrie ten Boom said “Every experience God gives us….is the perfect preparation for the future only He can see.”

I took my babies to Walmart today for a budgeting exercise. In short, they wanted out of the house and to spend money. They have a monthly stipend for such excursions. It’s amazing how selective they are on choosing items, when it’s their money versus ours. When we got to the checkout, there was a Caucasian woman, her mom and two kids in front of us. When it was time for them to pay, it exceeded what was available on her card. She immediately removed a box of pop tarts to deduct from the bill. She then rummaged through her bags trying to figure out what else to put back. Her daughter, who looked the same age as mine looked but didn’t say anything. I tried to think back to what I’d seen on the conveyor belt. It was nothing crazy. I remembered seeing a family pack of hamburger and a loaf of bread.

I then interjected and told her to pay what she could and I would pay the rest. She asked me if I was sure. I re-assured her I was solid in my decision and then asked the cashier to give her babies their pop tarts back. And before someone says, that was a want and not a need. My children like pop tarts and so do a lot of other folks I know. She said “ma’am I only have $100 on my EBT card and the bill is $142.” I replied “that’s fine.” The mom and the grandma cried and hugged me and asked if they could ever repay me. I told them not with money, but I have no doubt her children would one day be in a position to do the same for someone else.

Her son who was slightly older than his sister asked the mom why she was crying. She didn’t respond. The grandma made sure to tell me how God would bless me. Little did she know how very Blessed I am already.

See, I didn’t help her to expedite her transaction. I didn’t help her for blog content. I helped her because I remember being in that very spot as a child and my mom having to make tough choices at the register. I remember being embarrassed and wanting to cry. I remember how hard I know my mom worked at two-part time jobs trying to provide for me and my brother on her own and thinking people would make a snap judgment about her at the register. They’d assume she didn’t work. They’d assume she was lazy. They’d assume a whole lot of stuff that just wasn’t true. So, I helped her because I wanted to grant this woman’s children a little relief. I helped her because it was an opportunity for me to sow a seed in her children.

Little did I know that one act of kindness would have such a ripple effect. See, my children were also watching. When we got to the car Morgan said “mom, you are a really nice person. That was an awesome thing to do.” In that moment I shared with them how I felt as a child in that same predicament and how important it is for us to help others when we can and to not take our Blessings for granted but use them to help uplift people. I gave my children a charge and reminded them that whom much is given, much is also required (Luke 12:48).

I’m mighty grateful for ALL of my experiences, both good and not so good and I’m grateful for moments that remind me of God’s goodness and His perfect timing.

“Every experience God gives us….is the perfect preparation for the future only He can see.”