Tag Archives: technology

Keep picking yourself up

Yesterday was not so amazing. Actually, it was pretty awful.

I won’t go into details, but lets just say the grey seep of four straight days without sun or the feel of fresh air on skin took over our brains and made the three of us into angry little grumps.

“Little” is the key word in that phrase, because that’s what it felt like. We were all being little, no one was willing to step up and be the bigger person. I know it’s my job to be that person. I’m the mom. I’m the adult. But yesterday I just didn’t feel like adulting for my kids. I wanted to adult with other adults. I wanted to bury myself in my work and have work-related conversations with other work-minded people sharing the same kind of work as me. And I realized this morning as I lay in the dark before my alarm went off: I’m having a hard time adjusting to being the adult alone in the house with two kids all day. And my husband, bless him, is doing his best to understand where I’m coming from each evening when he comes home. But he has his own stresses that aren’t being addressed.

My kids need me to stand up and be a big person. That’s what I think yesterday was about. They were looking for guidance in this strange new world and they weren’t finding any.

They don’t want to be with me all day, but they need me to show them how to get through this. They miss their friends. They miss their freedom. They miss the routine of school even though I’ve set up the same basic routine at home. They are doing it alone, without their friends to crack jokes with or work on projects with or head outside for recess with. I miss all the same things and I’m not doing a good job of finding alternatives to what I’ve lost.

And with the return to school now extended until May, we are facing an even longer time without our own lives. We have to find a way to make it work together.

I’m looking into technology to get ahead of this a bit. It won’t be the same, exactly, but it will be something. At the start of all this, my son had plans with a friend to build some stuff (not sure what) out of cardboard boxes he’d found in our shed. He can still do that, but it will be over video chat with his buddy.

My daughter is still texting and video chatting with her friends, so she needs little encouragement to carry on her social life.

And school and the programs they were in (theatre and soccer) are starting to come online with schooling, fitness and skill training, and script and dance rehearsals.

Though this adds another layer of scheduling and organizing to to my days—managing each kid’s online access and making sure they are logged in to the appropriate platform at the appropriate time—I’m going to do my best to roll with it. Hopefully, in time, my kids will learn to manage those things themselves (the technology and the scheduling).

There will be stumbles, but the important thing is that we pick ourselves up and keep going.

Not so paralyzed after all

It’s probably too early to report any useful data, but the first day of Experiment #2 was successful.

I went for a walk with my kids, grabbed a coffee and some lemon cake from a local espresso bar (shout out to Black Cat Espresso Bar) and walked home in the sunshine.

Feelings before we left the house: worried, panicked, nervous.

Feelings while out walking and while chatting (at a distance) with the barista in the coffee shop: calm, happy, energized.

Feelings once we got home: like I had more energy to concentrate on work; felt more connected to my kids (I think they felt the same for just having shared that special time together); I didn’t feel as guilty when I set them up with their school work and then went back to my own work or when I was explaining how I envisioned the rest of our day (and they weren’t agreeing with my vision).

So Day 1 of that experiment went well.

Days 2 and 3 of Experiment #1: Learn at home were not total losses. Some art was done, a writing assignment was done, some online math and logic games were played. There were lost hours where the kids hunkered down with phones and texted friends or played games purely for entertainment purposes and I’m going to let that go.

I’m newly grateful for my daughter’s very social personality. She has already tired of texting her friends and has started a group call and video call (depending on the group she’s “hanging” with) where they can talk and see each other, and they are playing a game together in this group call. I hear endless laughter emanating from her bedroom and she’s happy to tell me all about their shenanigans when she emerges at dinner time. This talking and laughing with other people is doing good things for her. I’ve made a mental note to relax my screen time rules a bit so that she can keep this connection going.

My son, on the other hand, is not into communication by tech. He’s very social with people in real life, but when I mentioned that another mom is going to get his soccer team together for a video chat, he immediately said it would be boring because none of his friends talk. And I get that. We’re talking about a group of 10-year-old boys. They’re great together on the soccer pitch and they’ll fool around and carry on in person, but over video…not sure how that’ll play out. Anyway, he’s doing that today at some point. He needs social interaction with more than his mom and his sister. He needs other guys. It’s obvious when my husband gets home from work at the end of the day. Our son won’t leave him alone for a minute.

Today, I’m going outside again and the kids are going to start school work in earnest.

Let’s see what that brings, shall we?