“When I am on my walk, I think of the ridiculous yet hysterical dances my husband does, how my 6-year-old tells me I am his favorite person in the world, and how my 9-year-old still likes to cuddle with his mom, and I realize that everything is going to be okay.”
– Marissa Weiss
As we continue to delve deeper into distance learning and the stay-at-home mandate, you may find that your emotions are running high. You may notice yourself being more critical, frustrated, annoyed, angry, and anxious to yourself and those around you. Just know, you’re not alone. At this time, many parents are asking themselves the same question, “How can I make sure my child is learning, work my full-time job, and run a house?”
There are going to be many ups and downs and things will change day to day and, let’s be honest, minute to minute. As Marc Bracket would say, “You will experience a roller coaster of emotions throughout one day.” This is true for any day but even more so during this ongoing pandemic.
What is important is that we remember that we are human and that it’s okay not to be perfect. Please refer to our past blog A Special Message To Our Parents.
Below, we find out what it’s like to be teacher, wife, and mother of two, Marissa Weiss. Follow her as she copes to make it one day at a time.
After the first day of distance learning, I thought, “There is no way I can sustain this. At least it will only be for a couple of weeks.” Well, 5 weeks later, here we are, and I am constantly trying to find balance to sustain this new way of life. After having serious health problems four years ago, I can easily come by the perspective that this is all okay. I am one of the lucky ones right now. People are sick and dying. If my family and I are healthy, that’s all I need. But I am also human, and I have moments of feeling very overwhelmed and stressed. I’m sure many working and non-working parents feel the same way. I feel like I am being pulled in 1,000 directions every minute of the day. Sometimes, I wonder, “How in the world can I balance all of this?”
After the first few days, I got more into a rhythm. A typical day for me starts at 6:30am. I make sure my kids have everything they need for the day. They are in kindergarten and fourth grade. Although, I’ll be checking in with them, I can’t sit there and help them for a significant amount of time since I am teaching my fifth-grade class for most of the day. I feel a constant pull on my heart strings. I really want to make sure I’m there for my students and their families because I know how hard it is right now, and I want to be that light and support for them, while I simultaneously am trying to be supportive to my children. More than anything, children need emotional support and connection right now, and I will admit that I am hard on myself if I was not there for my kids during the day when I was there for my class instead. And being there for my class also means the world to me. I have a close relationship with my students, and not only do I want to support them, but I want the joy that seeing their smiling faces brings me. Then, there are my dance students. It breaks my heart that my 8th grade dancers are not able to perform all of their hard work and demonstrate their incredible talents, especially in their last year at The Willows. Dance is an outlet for so many of the kids, and in many ways most important in their lives right now.
So, the question is each day: how do I adequately support my own 2 kids, my husband, 24 fifth graders, and 100 dancers? I do the best I can each day, and I think as parents that is what we can do right now. As a teacher, I ensure that the connection between my students and me is still there and that they know I am here for them anytime.
Then, I have to make time for my myself. I am a better mother, wife, and teacher, when I go out for a walk or run after the school day. I also try not to sweat the small things. So what if my 6-year-old ate 3 bags of Pirates Booty and 3 yogurts during his Zoom session, while I was also on with my students! It’s important to come up for air and remember what’s important. More than anything, I have such enormous gratitude for all that I have- my husband, my kids, my family, my friends, and this incredible Willows community. I have been telling my students that when they have an anxious thought, acknowledge it and try to reframe it. It’s okay to admit that this is hard, abnormal, sad, and frustrating. Acknowledging these feelings helps and then telling myself that I am safe, healthy, and full of gratitude for all that I have shifts my anxiety and worry to a more peaceful place. When I am on my walk, I think of the ridiculous yet hysterical dances my husband does, how my 6-year-old tells me I am his favorite person in the world, and how my 9-year-old still likes to cuddle with his mom, and I realize that everything is going to be okay.
We realize how challenging these times can be during this unprecedented time. Just know, you’re not in it alone. We are always here to support you and your family.
For more resources and information, please go to https://www.thewillows.org/about-us/coronavirus-covid-19-update