Today marks the 30th day of my journey into writing. I didn’t think I would make it to this day. Writing is hard. Writing about the journey of a working mother homeschooling in the middle of a pandemic is very hard. There were days I didn’t feel like writing but I continued. There were days were the words just kept on coming and I allowed it. There were days full of love for life, days full of reflection on the journey, days inspired by homeschooling, days inspired by work, by my family, especially my children. Writing was hard, but still I write.
I write because we are all living through unprecedented times. Even the word ‘unprecedented’ was an inspiration at times. How many times are we all going to live through a pandemic and actually live through it? How many times are we going to shut down everything, schools, church, wear mask every time we go out, keep our distance, wash our hands all because of a virus? It has never been done in my lifetime before and we are living through it. The first months of the pandemic, the March and April months were a struggle. I was overwhelmed. School was a struggle and demanded a lot from my children. Work was a struggle and demanded my complete attention from students and my ongoing research. I personally struggled as I tried to make sense of it all. But in preparation for the fall, in preparation for another school year with homeschooling, like the journey from a caterpillar to a butterfly, all the struggles along the way had to change.
I write to live out the change, on parenting and academic productivity in the middle of a global pandemic. I am still and will always be a global health researcher passionate about finding innovative solutions to health in low and middle income countries. But I am first a wife to an incredible essential health care worker who works on a daily basis to literally save lives. Like yesterday, when he worked to ensure that a 40year old man with stroke can be healed for his three little children. I stood in awe as he showed a text where his nurse thanked him for what he did, for giving the family their dad. Today he is their hero. He has always been a hero to us. To see him, to watch him do what he loves in the middle of a pandemic has been awe inspiring. March and April was especially difficult for us as everyday we didn’t know whether that would be the day he would expose us to the virus. Still he worked. He is my hero too and a hero every day to our children.
I write for my children. For them, I vowed this school would be different. I focused on why I struggled in the Spring. Homeschooling was new to me. Bringing work literally home was too much. And my children wanted, no demanded that I pay attention to them. So for them I had to change. It meant work had to take a back seat. I prepared myself to not only excel as their mother but also as their teacher, their counselor, anything that would allow them to thrive.
Motherhood to four little children is already hard. The addition of homeschooling makes it even harder. But having the right mindset has made this year different. We still struggle everyday especially with my six year old but his story for another day. We still struggle to balance all the demands of homeschooling and a childhood gone array due to the pandemic. But we float like gravity, we are firmly anchored against everything and much more prepared not to fail. And this time, as I look back on my reflections, on the journey this past 30 days, even the struggle is beautiful. Happy 30day writing anniversary!