These past six months have been more exhausting than any other period of my life. There are times when my alarm goes off and I have little desire to move. I want to lie in bed and wish the world away, but there are four kids who need me. So I smile, open my bedroom door and welcome the chaos. I wonder how often my mother felt the same way. I remember noticing the strain in her laughter when I was a child, and now I understand the source.
Simple activities are logistical nightmares. If child care happens only during your work hours, how do you find space for ordinary errands like buying groceries? You either pay for child care while you do it or you drag four children to the market. I now understand my mother’s extensive instructions before we entered the store not to touch or ask for anything.
I have a network of friends and church members who provide meals and rides to band, baseball and soccer practice. My dean and co-workers have been understanding when I have had to leave a meeting early or not attend at all. Nevertheless, I’ve noticed how lonely solo parenting is. I go to work, come home and care for the kids. My interactions with other adults without children present have become nonexistent.
— Kate Kelly (@katekelly) March 1, 2021