The pandemic has thrown a major wrench into everything we previously knew as “normal”. Most of us have been scrambling during the last few months to cover the seemingly impossible bases.
We’ve all had to hunker down & adapt to virtual learning, social distancing, mask mandates, & a boatload of cancelled plans, events, & gatherings. There’s been a cataclysmic shift from the bustling lives we knew before.
And yet, the idea of returning to our former highly regimented, hectic lives has some parents equally struggling.
A mom shared her hesitations on Twitter about what she’ll miss when things finally return back to her family’s “normal”, and it really drives home the reality that pandemic or not, moms’ lives are intensely busy.
Emily Ramshaw is the co-founder & CEO of the 19th News, an independent & non-profit newsroom. In addition to her professional responsibilities, she’s also a mom, which as we all know brings a whole host of personal responsibilities as well.
Like may of us, Ranshaw’s life was upturned by the massive changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic that swept the country last March.
Instead of balancing her typical work/home tasks, she -like countless others- attempted to navigate this new, shifting world of “WTF??” reality that we were all suddenly thrown into.
The struggle has been real, to say the least.
Nearly a year later, we’re beginning to see some light at the end of a very long & dreary tunnel. In many parts of the country, stores & schools are re-opening, vaccinations are occurring, & many industries are slowly heading towards what we all desire: NORMALCY.
But as much as we think we crave normal, for some families “normal” comes with a hefty price, too.
Emily Ramshaw shared her thoughts on the idea of returning to life as she knew it prior to corona via this thoughtful tweet:
Suddenly, today, I panicked about life inching back toward “normal.”
I don’t want to travel endlessly for work. I don’t want my weekends to be over-committed with activities. I don’t want to miss bedtime with my kid. I don’t want to wear blazers — or, hell, even shoes.
— Emily Ramshaw (@eramshaw) March 6, 2021
It goes without saying we can’t wait to ditch the masks. We’re sick of sanitizing constantly. Social distancing is for the birds. We’ve all been cooped up a long time -too long- and long to finally be free of Covid-19’s tight grip.
Essential workers have been our unsung heroes, but they’re tired. Everyone’s tired.
We can’t wait to bid Covid adieu- don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out, corona!
But as Emily points out, many of us forget that “normal” meant busy. Really, really BUSY.
Ramshaw shares that as she thinks about what the return to her previous way of life was:
I don’t want to travel endlessly for work.
While you may not travel like Emily for your own job, her next pondering is one that many, many families can relate to:
I don’t want my weekends to be over-committed with activities.
(Been there, girl. While I want my kids to enjoy activities with friends again, I can’t say I miss the frosty early-morning peewee soccer clinics all weekend.)
I don’t want to miss bedtime with my kid.
While adapting to working remotely with kids at home is certainly not for the faint of heart, one of the perks is getting to enjoy those special moments with your kids that you’d otherwise have missed due to a normal work schedule.
And how about clothes?
I don’t want to wear blazers – or hell,even shoes.
Remember when we had to wear things like pants…. every.single.day when out in the world?
While Ramshaw knows how privileged she has been to be home with her daughter (and financially stable), her tweet drives home the point that moms are always SO DAMN BUSY, pandemic or otherwise.
And many, many moms rang in on Twitter to share their own thoughts about life after #pandemiclife.
Agreed. As draining as it has been, there are things I just don’t miss.
We also need to have a serious conversation about how overrated wearing a bra is. Can we cancel bras? ?????
— Ida Skibenes ?? (@ida_skibenes) March 6, 2021
Agreed- both paces of life can be painful in their own way. So can bras.
Many people have become accustomed to working from home, conferencing on Zoom, enjoying family time & more
Most will experience reluctance,dread angst when we return our office,crowded trains, being cooped in an office, so it will be interesting to see how we adapt to new normal
— Bruno Hugo (@BHPIII13) March 6, 2021
Interesting point; what WILL our new normal be like, exactly?
I have not spoken to one person who feels this way. I am, however, squarely in your camp. I’m dreading the NJ to NYC commute 10x per week, missing my dogs, my time to work-out, prep my own food, and on. I have serious anxiety about losing all of this.
— Meredeth O (@x_girl) March 6, 2021
We’re used to “doing what we do” in terms of earning our daily bread.
But when a major shift occurs, especially outside of our own power, to change that… it makes us really ponder how we’ve been doing what we do.
I was thinking the same.
I just don’t feel like going any where, any more.
I like the slower pace and easy weekends where we have no plans, except whatever we end up doing. I love spending time w/hubby & dogs; being present in this moment, not worrying about all those to come.
— Michelle Jones (@michellejonesrn) March 6, 2021
Being present in the moment doesn’t come naturally, so for some, this bizarre period of time seeming to stand still has actually allowed that.
It took a pandemic for many of us, especially in the U.S., to realize we’re way overworked and have not valued the most important things in life because of being overworked.
— Travis Vaccinated Prinzi (@travisprinzi) March 6, 2021
Nailed it, Travis! The reality is, whether you were homebound during the pandemic or an essential worker out in the world these past few months, countless Americans are overworked & accustomed to pushing too hard for too long.
Life in the beforetimes was absolutely unsustainable. I will not be doing 70-hour weeks again for love ie money. It’s all exploitation. Family and friends and community and relationships extend life and make it better. Total sea-change in my thinking compared to, say, 2018.
— Heidi N. Moore (@moorehn) March 6, 2021
For some, a life change is in order. And the pandemic has really shed some light on that.
But of course, some of us can’t be tamed at this point…
— WinkProgress.com?? (@WinkProgress) March 6, 2021
(That whole pants-wearing thing.)
One of the most important realities about the pressure that the pandemic put on families is THIS:
Interesting how it’s mostly women who like the new normal and men who liked the way it was before. And women having to juggle too many things who absolutely hate the lockdowns. It wouldn’t take very much for our society to be much more mother-friendly.
— Cynthia Snead (@cybrdragon) March 7, 2021
Many Twitter users understandably took issue with what they felt was Emily Ramshaw’s “privilege” in ruminating about having to wear blazers again… especially those who have reasonably been financially and/or physically devastated by Covid-19’s impact on families.
As a healthcare worker, I long for the pre-pandemic days. I want an entire two days off and I long for not just a weekend without crises days, but for one whole weekend that I can have off. One entire weekend without an issue, one entire weekend where I can actually sleep.
— JoCo, MSW ?????? (@Okie_Resister) March 6, 2021
Sorry, Emily…I’m on the other side of it….non-stop work through Covid. Crazy anti-maskers, toilet paper hording masses, all anxious/angry from covid/politics/fear of everything…all coming through our front doors from opening to closing, everyday.
I’m so ready for “normal”
— ??#Nasty Woman -Choose to fight righteous fights (@WGlass62) March 6, 2021
And others simply had a difference in opinion in actually looking forward to the hustle & bustle of their previously busy lives:
Oh, god, I really miss work travel. This year has had its blessings but we can preserve the good bits.
— David Ridley (@RidleyDM) March 6, 2021
I feel overwhelmed in a different way, tbh. Being at home with kids, working remotely, trying to continue my own education, and struggling to build my own business. The past couple of months have been very hard on me and my kids.
— FangedFury (@FangedFury) March 6, 2021
But while Emily was sharing her own thoughts on the matter, it drove home the point that for everyone, life has morphed into something so different from what we knew…
…and there will be growing pains returning to “normal”- whatever that may be for you & your family.
One thing I think we’ve seen: different people prefer different things.
Some prefer blazers. Some t-shirts.
Some jam-packed schedules. Some, serendipity.
Some hustle. Some leisure.
Some WFH. Some office.
I hope we can honor differences more. Not just the approved templates.
— Jason Pynn (@JasonPynn) March 6, 2021
The bottom line is that mothers have been juggling a tremendous amount of responsibility prior to the pandemic, during the pandemic, and -depending on what normal we return to- AFTER the pandemic.