April Fool’s Day was the moment our number was called and the plague fell upon our house. I was sure we were toast during the January Omicron wave when half our friends tested positive, but alas, we are late bloomers, dealt a sub-par hand. Earlier this week I spent the night in the ER with one of the twins who had breathing problems and was diagnosed with “COVID Croup.” Being at a busy hospital in the middle of the night, not even during a COVID wave, made me angry at the state of for-profit medicine and what healthcare workers have had to go through every day. (That’s a rant for another time.) Now back at home, I feel returned to a Spring 2020 nauseating deja vu-feeling of sleep deprivation combined with the urgent drumbeat of caregiving responsibilities consuming my waking hours, but this time with actual serious illness thrown in rather than just the specter of it looming. My vaxxed/boosted immune system put up a valiant fight with toddlers coughing in my face, and I was the last domino in the house to fall. I’m sure this is a metaphor for something.
For this week’s newsletter, I’ve been working on a cool two-part series on insights into how to get non-moms to care about care. I’m excited for you to read it. I was planning to send out part one today, but alas, I’m not finished with it and I have learned for the millionth time that pandemic parenthood is where plans go to die.
I could have “gotten away” with not sending out any newsletter today -- I'm only starting to ramp up a regular schedule, but I figured I’d just do radical transparency instead.
On Friday, I was solo parenting the twins all day. We were all healthy and not yet COVID positive and during their nap time I laser-focused and plowed through finishing an op-ed, hitting my deadline just as I started to hear squeaks on the monitor. I felt proud of “getting it all done” and by the time it was bedtime for the tots I was completely spent -- but it was a successful one-day sprint. I then started to think about how so many parents (especially moms) were forced to do this kind of sprint, day after day, month after month, for a year+ with no social support. I feel like the world has already forgotten this, and there is no compensation or reparation for how we’ve kept society going when society doesn’t give a shit about us. I am angry all over again at the government, society, and workplaces who’s message to parents is, “sucks to be you.” I will never, as long as I live, accept that this is OK. Tuning back into this injustice reminds me of why I do what I do.
So as a channel to my rage, I offer you my own take on The Serenity Prayer. Please adjust theistic references as you see fit.
A Prayer for Mothers and Activists (in year three of the pandemic)
God, grant me the serenity to accept my immediate, personal circumstances
that are out of my control
The energy to change systems so others don’t have to live like this in the future
And the community to sustain me along the way.
I'm gonna take a nap now,