On December 31st 2019, my husband and I landed in Montego Bay, Jamaica for a lovely 5-day trip without our son. It was our first trip together without him. I packed loads of itty bitty sexy swimwear and couldn’t wait to lounge by the ocean and pool, only to lose track of my adult beverage consumption while soaking in the sunrays. That night, as my husband and I brought in 2020, we also created a new life.
Fast forward to April 7th 2020. I am 15 weeks pregnant in California away from my husband living back with my parents in Oakland to avoid COVID 19 in NYC while trying to keep up with my endlessly energetic two-year-old son, Samuel. Lemme tell you something, being pregnant with a toddler, AIN’T NO JOKE!
Samuel and I rushed out of NYC as soon as I realized COVID-19 was starting to spread. What I planned as a 2- week trip has now almost been a month. I have immense gratitude for the time I get to spend with my son, my parents, my brother. The fact that we do not have to be quarantined in a NYC apartment is a huge blessing. We have the support of two loving households and he has the freedom to be a 2-year-old.
While I love being with them all, if I’m 100% honest, I find myself daydreaming daily of a vacation ALONE on a beach. I crave my own space, but more importantly me time.
But, this is my life until at least June. I’m trying to set up a plan with my NYC midwives and get my prenatal care set up in The Bay Area.
My parents are amazing, and they are happy to help us. But they didn’t really expect to have their daughter and 2-year old grandchild move in for three months. So I try to split my time between each of their homes.
Luckily, I am still employed. I am an actor, so unemployed there until further notice. However, I am also a fitness trainer at MIRROR. . Our company, like many others, is trying to be creative and keep our business thriving. We want to continue to create fresh content and connect with our students. I have been teaching MIRROR IG LIVE classes every week and to be able to connect to people LIVE and to MOVE really lifts my spirits.
The big question I’m asked is, “How do you work during quarantine with a toddler?” My response is, “fluidly.” Mindset is everything. I do not believe in a to-do list. Rather, I believe in incorporating my son into as much as possible so that I do not get frustrated when he is “in the way.”
Prioritize. Breathe. Walk away when frustrated. Accept that things will not go as planned and remember, everyone is at home. Not everyone has kids, but everyone is quarantined. Everyone has some level of stress, guilt, fear, frustration, anxiety, boredom or worse. Let me be really real, people are dying, so who cares if you kid learned new things today, or has a tripod grip, or got a bath, or got read to, or fell asleep late. Tomorrow will come and you get to start fresh!
My mom is so wonderful she keeps reminding me, and I want to remind you, especially since she is a retired teacher of 36 years and spent 12 years teaching Kindergarten. She says, “ Your son is learning. The most important thing you can do is talk to your child and read to them.” We as parents put a lot of pressure on ourselves to educate our children, but they are sponges and learn in a variety of ways, so please give yourself a break.
Remember to rest. Release expectations. Be Kind to yourself. Control what you can and let the rest go! Try to focus on what you do have. Count your blessings. We won’t get time like this with our family again, so try to enjoy it. And on those hard days remember you are human. I made the choice to show Samuel all of my feelings. Because guess what? I have all the feelings he has. Sometimes mommy is tired, sometimes mommy is frustrated, sometimes mommy is happy, and sometimes mommy is sad. Talk to your kids. Explain your emotions.
Hug them. Laugh. And wash your hands.
This post was originally published at thriveglobal.com.