Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels.com

You remember how things just kind of snowballed from there, right? The world shut down. Toilet paper disappeared. You were told to stay home except to exercise or to go shopping for supplies (like that non-existent toilet paper).

Suddenly, all the parents had to worry about working from home (except essential workers) while their kids were home too. Essential workers included people who work in grocery stores and convenience stores for the first time in the history of the world. Emergency and essential workers had to scramble for childcare because schools and daycares shut down. And for the rest of us, our kids were suddenly there all. The. Time.

I love my kids. They are well behaved (at least in public). They are caring. They are compassionate. And they understand that life happens and sometimes circumstances are out of our control. C and I have been disappointing our kids (unintentionally) for years. They get it. But they’re still kids…well, sort of.

All of a sudden kids stopped seeing their friends on a daily basis. All of a sudden school was over. All of a sudden sleepovers and birthday parties and swimming and any kind of in-person socializing became impossible and unacceptable. And that’s just for normal families. We were (and still are?) considered a high-risk household. Seeing your extended family when you’re used to seeing them at least monthly? Not gonna happen! It’s too dangerous – for them AND for us.

I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned this, but I am an introvert. I need time to myself to recharge and be able to function. But all of a sudden M and Z were home all the time without a bedtime. I kissed my alone time goodbye. But I still smoked during the beginning of the pandemic, so I was still getting little breaks here and there. Things weren’t desperate yet. I just started smoking more to get more frequent breaks. Healthy, right? buzzer sounds

Then our state got rid of the mandatory stay at home crap. I resumed our household’s monthly shopping. Before the pandemic, I didn’t mind if a kid or C came with me to do the shopping. It’s nothing special, just getting the health and beauty and cleaning products that our household needs for the month…an animal food too. Now? Now this is my time to myself! I refuse to take anyone with me. I refuse to rush through it. I even take extra time to look around at fun stuff like electronics and clothes.

Now that I vape instead of smoking, I get some alone time biweekly while I go to get my juice. It’s not a lot, just enough to keep me going for a couple of days. And now that school is back in session, I get some alone time each night before bed. Yes, my 17 year old has a bedtime…and the 14 year old…it works for us and it’s only on school nights.

It is important to take time for yourself even if you’re an extrovert. It doesn’t have to be a lot. My trips to get juice are about 30 minutes round trip. Shopping on a good month takes me about an hour before I start looking at the fun stuff. I get about an hour of alone time between M going to bed and my bedtime. If you feel like you don’t have time, MAKE TIME! Read a book, watch TV, take a bath, listen to music, write a blog post…what ever you decide to do to get alone time, just make sure you’re alone. I count the monthly shopping as alone time because I go by myself and don’t have any demands from my family or friends weighing me down.

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