I guess you could tell from the title that this isn’t going to be one of those uplifting, things-I’ve-learned-from-slowing-down-and-living-simply kind of posts. I really just want to rant for a bit and have people tell me I’m not alone. I want to know that others can *hopefully* relate to the things that are about to drive me absolutely out of my mind in these strange times we are living in.
Without further ado, here are 10 things I hate about the quarantine days:
- Grocery shopping: I am the weirdo who normally actually likes to grocery shop. I love to cook and grocery stores seem like places of exciting possibility to me. I even used to wake up early as a teen during the summers to go grocery shopping with my mom just because I wanted to. But now grocery shopping makes me feel all kinds of anxiety. I spend the whole time trying to remember not to touch my face and feeling like I’m suffocating under my mask. And then there’s the uncertainty once I return home of how thoroughly I should wipe down my groceries and the feeling that I’m ushering in rare exotic germs from the outside world to infect my loved ones. It’s so cringey.
- The constant and inescapable slovenliness of my home: Having little kids means our homes are hardly ever clean even in the best of times. But having everyone home, all. day. long. and getting out every toy they’ve ever owned to carpet the house with takes it to a whole other level. Don’t even get me started on the amount of “art” projects that are piling up on every surface but which I am forbidden from disposing of. And I can never escape it, even for a few hours, for brighter, cleaner spaces like Target. I just have to sit amongst the debris, day in and day out, questioning my life choices.
- Mouth noises my family makes when they’re eating: To be fair, this is already one of my biggest pet peeves. But everyone being home, together, for every meal, just exponentially increases the minutes I must sit and wonder what sort of crazy tongue contortions my husband and kids must be doing inside their mouths to be making the types of offensive sounds emanating from their direction.
- Children who have no physical space boundaries: Is anyone else finding that their kids seem more clingy from all of this increased time together? Yes, yes, I know they are anxious too and I promise I’m doing my very best to be understanding and empathetic 99 percent of my day. But between you and me? I’m pretty much over sitting down on the couch and having three little bodies pressed so close around and on top of me that I wonder if they are literally trying to climb into my skin and wear me like a mommy coat.
- Ignorance and the viral spreading of it: I’m not trying to stir up a mess of trouble here, but when did trusting the people who have years and years of education and experience in a subject above others who simply have access to the internet fall out of fashion? Facts are indisputable and verifiable and not a matter of perspective. That’s all I have to say about that.
- How virtually attached to everyone I am now expected to be: I am an introvert who loves to be around close friends but needs time alone to recharge my batteries. Suddenly, every extrovert I’ve ever known is texting, FaceTiming and Marco Polo-ing me because they are going nuts from lack of social interaction. I try to set boundaries about when I check and respond to all the various platforms, but I still seem to be more distracted and interrupted by my phone than ever before.
- Incessant talking: speaking of needing alone time, does anyone else live with a small child who never quits talking? I saw a meme about how having a child like this is like having an insane parrot permanently attached to your shoulder. So many words, all requiring appropriate “mhmms” and “oh wows” from me.
- Insomnia: several moms I know have asked if they are the only ones staying up way too late every night and regretting it the entire next day. I can definitely relate. I am all out of sorts, consuming too much social media and too many snacks, and not heading to bed until the wee hours, only to lie there in a swirl of anxious thoughts. My daughter is having trouble falling asleep at night and even my husband, who we joke typically sleeps as though he is drugged, has had a few wakeful nights. There is just so much uncertainty these days.
- Quarantine brain: possibly related to the lack of sleep, I have also developed what another mom friend called “quarantine brain.” My ability to multi-task is slipping and I’m forgetting simple details I used to have committed to memory. There’s just only so much space up there for all the things and all the jobs.
- Lack of control: and finally, I am a control freak of the highest order. I schedule my days to the minute and am comforted by knowing what comes next. But the next six months are stretching out like an endless abyss, devoid of any plans or certainties. No one knows exactly how this will play out or when we will return to normal or what that looks like and I HATE THAT.