How two Evolve moms are getting through sheltering-in-place
By Leslie Lew and Audrey Tabuso
Back-to-school season looks a little different this year. Parents have been stretched in new ways by raising kids during quarantine. Two mamas from the Evolve team weigh-in on their experiences and share some tips for how they are getting through.
Read on to hear from Leslie Lew and Audrey Tabuso and then join us for our first Mighty Mama Bear’s Meet-up on September 18th!
The Silver Lining’s Playbook - Narrated by a Haute Mess Mama (aka Leslie Lew)
I want to make one thing clear; I am not an octopus yet the Covid-19 got me here dangling 8 different life roles (mother, wife, housecleaner, working professional, family dog walker,cook, now school teacher to my 2 ½ year old toddler, etc). The extrovert in me wishes I could hug my girlfriends and have Sunday brunch, spend the night out at the Karaoke lounge, take a mom-break to Target then emotionally eat a taco in my car when I am stressed but those days are gone.
I am a haute mess mama and refuse to hold onto mom guilt because I know I can’t do it all. Some days, I let Thomas the Train be my son’s teacher and am okay with that. I have had those moments of imperfection like spilling chips on top of my son’s head because he wants to nap in my arms and I’m starving. After 5 hours of back-to-back zoom calls, wondering what would happen if I peed on myself because I haven’t had a break. I’m paranoid about germs so I do irrational things like fight the urge to wash banana skins. Or I’m so scattered, I think that I’m using a baby wipe to wipe my son’s face turns out…..it’s an alcohol wipe. The hardest part for me being a working mom at home is that I used to end my day at work at 5pm, but now that everyone is home that line gets blurred . I struggle through it all but here are some tangible things that help get me through:
1. Find the silver lining when things get hard
Sheltering in place is a huge emotional rollercoaster (one that I didn’t pay to get on and wish I could hop off of). When I am beat down to a pulp, I look for the silver lining in everything. The silver lining this month has been being grateful for no longer spending 4 hours a day commuting. On top of that, I don’t miss the constant hustle because it means I can have dance parties with my son whenever I want to.
2. Practice Self Care Daily and don’t make it movable
I have traded spa days and mani/pedis for soaking in the tub and training. Even if it’s 15 minutes, don’t compromise your daily self-care routine. Thank goodness Evolve classes are online so I still have an outlet. I committed myself to Coach J’s Kettlebell group and it has been an amazing mental and physical release for me. Everyone in the house knows that’s my hour to myself and I’m so much of a calmer person at the end of it.
3. Ask for help
As mother’s we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get it done. The truth is, we can’t do everything we set out to do because 10 more things always get piled onto that. There is strength in finding ways to say “I don’t have the bandwidth, can you help me with this”.
4. Connect with others that aren’t part of your household
I love my family but there’s beauty in creating space to connect with others. That’s why I am thrilled to partner with Audrey to launch the “Mighty Mama Bears Meet-up” for Evolve moms that starts Friday, September 18 at 5pm. There’s such power in a community that comes together when we are in the trenches, so hearing other mom’s stories will help me know that I am not alone.
Speaking of Audrey, read on to hear how Mama Tabuso is coping with the pandemic…
The Journey of Staying at Home, Working from Home and Distance Learning…
What day is it? What time is it? Do I have a meeting? Does Donovan have school today? Did we eat? Did I workout? The laundry! Meal preps. Cleaning. Toys everywhere! Ahhhhh! Millions of questions enter my mind every day. It is, day number who knows of Quarantine.
I hear stories from friends and family who are going nuts. There is no real escape, there is no break, there is no variety to each day. Work from home, school from home, everything from home…we are so over it. I get it.
Surprisingly, I do not feel cabin fever that often, and I do seek the comfort of being at home. Maybe it is because I am a homebody, an introvert, and find comfort staying in my little bubble. That works for me but I know it doesn’t for many others.
Here are a few tips from the Tabuso household that are helping keep us sane!
Set a schedule
My days are scheduled around Donovan’s school. We try to wake up at the same time each morning. I make his breakfast as he gets ready and dresses up for class. I make him wear his uniform even though it’s not required. I like the idea of him knowing he is getting ready for school. Just like Jiu Jitsu or Muay Thai, you have your uniform on and get in the mindset ready to practice. While he eats, I get a quick workout in for myself. Once he starts school then I have my breakfast. Setting a schedule helps provide a routine for us while at home.
You have to be flexible. Things will not always go as planned and that is okay. I have learned to accept the unexpected.
Donovan just started kindergarten. His teacher said resist the urge to correct and erase their work. I have a tough time with this one. I have to sit back and “let.” It does not have to be perfect, the more I try to “help” the more frustrated he gets so I have to constantly remind myself to “LET”.
The time we get to spend together is so valuable. I think back to when I worked in corporate America and hated working in a cubicle. I wished I could be home to spend time with loved ones. On the flip side, I do have moments where I miss the days of going into an office, hanging out with coworkers, and wondering what I was going to have for lunch that day. The important thing is to be present. Many families are forced to be at home together at this time. Why not take advantage of this time and be present with your family, your kids and/or yourself.
All moms need a moment to themselves. Balancing all the roles we juggle throughout the day and week is tiring and can be overwhelming. Remember you are not alone. We are all in this together. That’s why we have created the Mighty Mama Bears Meet-up to take a break to chat, vent, and share tips on what works for you. Hope to see you on Zoom on Friday, September 18th at 5:00 PM PST. Watch the Evolve newsletter for more information or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in attending!