“Dear Kids: I’m Adapting to Your Circus. Please Return the Favor.”
“I may not be the ‘Perfect Mom’ but I’m the only one you’ve got. Just as I’m getting used to living with your circus, it would really help if you got used to mine. I’ll accommodate the over-abundance of screen time you need to learn these days, if you accept that my ways can be a tad chaotic.”
My house feels like a racetrack – or a circus, depending on the day – with two kids, two cats, and a dog literally and figuratively running circles around me day and night. Meanwhile, my inbox is overflowing with mail from teachers and Facebook invites from people I don’t even know – and I’m overwhelmed.
Between virtual schooling, tele-meetings, and online events, I am beginning to think I live inside my computer. Before the pandemic, I foolishly thought I had trained my screen-loving kids to remain active and away-from-the-screen. It is now clear that our collection of laptops, desktops, tablets, and phones are essential tools for all of us.
However, kids, as I’m trying to get used to your screen-heavy, online life now, I think it’s only fair that you get used to mine.
Occasionally, you may see me vacuuming the table in an effort to clean your mess. I haven’t gone insane; I’m just utilizing all available tools to help me get the job done quicker.
In the morning when you wake up, I may not be here. I have gone for a run but I’ll be home shortly. I have locked the house, but either left the keys in the front door or the mailbox, as I don’t want to carry them. In the meantime, you can turn on the TV, which may be confusing with all those remotes (probably nothing you can’t figure out). Instead, you may want to resort to Olivia’s Chromebook, Savannah’s tablet in my nightstand (because she stepped on it), my laptop in the kitchen, or, if all else fails, a desktop computer downstairs. Now that I think of it, just play with your dolls, or wake up Dad.
When I return from my run, I am taking first dibs on the shower. Afterward, don’t be alarmed to see me blow-drying my underwear while they are around my waist. I’m just feeling lazy and would rather not turn the dryer on for this single item.
We’re going on a picnic today; pack whatever you want. If you want ice cream afterward, make sure I have my wallet. Don’t let me put my wallet in the empty lunch bag, then put the lunch bag in the garbage. Trust me, this can happen.
We’re having meatloaf tonight and, surprise, I am cooking. I will be using the electric beaters to avoid dirtying my hands, so please step back this time, keep your hands out of the bowl – Vanna, don’t plug it in until I tell you to (unless you want a recap of what happened last time).
Candy for dessert! I got your favorites and kept it a secret. But not like that time last Easter, when I hid the candy in the washing machine so you wouldn’t find it, but forgot and did a load of wash. The next morning, well, there was lots of chocolate… and a cell phone (which survived, miraculously) in the ruins.
I may not be the “Perfect Mom” but I’m the only one you’ve got. Just as I’m getting used to living with your circus, it would really help if you got used to my circus. As impossible as this may sound, I still love every moment and day with you. I’ll accommodate the over-abundance of screen time you need to learn these days, if you accept the fact that my ways can be a tad chaotic.
I’m living with a head injury and a disability in this circus, but I’m making life work. This life is for you, little ones. Don’t let anything stand in your way.
Pandemic Parenting: Next Steps
- Read: The Most Obvious Pandemic Parenting Advice You May Not Be Following
- Blog: “I Am No Longer the Person Everyone Expects Me to Be.”
- Download: Distance Learning Strategies for Children with ADHD
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