Lowering the Bar

I’m trying to lower the bar during this Pandemic. I’m trying to lower my expectations for my son, others, but mostly me. It runs counter-intuitive when it comes to myself. Don’t I have to step up my game to help my son and family? Yet, its might the most important lesson to learn.

Even my ten year old seems to grasp that we are in unique times. He feels the anxiety. He already has enough anxiety. The Pandemic worry wakes him up at night. So, his daily schedule reflects his feelings. We have lots of breaks between more challenging items. We go over the schedule at dinner the day before so he knows what to expect from the day. We make changes together if the day just blows up in our face. It has. It will again.

See my kiddo, doesn’t do independence yet. Its an unmet IEP goal. Thus, I’m his friend, mom, teacher, OT, sometimes therapist, and most importantly giver of snacks. So, if my husband is at work, I’m it. I’m on the kiddo clock. It can be exhausting.

This is why I need to lower my bar. I’m tired, and it’s OK to be tired. I don’t have the usual volunteer hours. I don’t have much personal time. I’m not binging television unless you count me watching episodes of Picard while I have free CBS All Access. There are only 10, so it won’t last.

It is hard watching friends on social media enjoy hobbies. Its harder knowing they’re getting naps during the day. I am missing meetings. I’m lowering my bar so I can shepherd my kid through this tough time. I’m lowering the bar so I can be mentally healthy.

If I’m having a tough time, I have to believe others are too. I am giving them the benefit of the doubt right now. I’m not expecting my kid’s teacher to have it all together either. My dining room table looks like home school vomited on it. I’m sure our teachers have it worse. There are those who are struggling with all sorts of virus/shelter at home issues. They need my patience.

I’m still paying attention, just not close attention. I might be a day late or so. I’m not giving up on fighting for our schools or our election, but I’m trying to just do the things that need to be done today. No need to worry about November, when our food bank could use more funds. I’m taking it slower. I’m going to miss online petitions and other advocacy events. I’m not going to try to keep pace with what I was doing before the Pandemic.

There is lots of chatter about distance learning. I’m lowering my expectations. I’m OK with pass/fail. I’m Ok as long as my kid gets some learning in when he is able. I realize he might not be able all the time. I hope to get enough content in his brain that he is ready for 5th grade.

In another lifetime, I was Lisa Simpson insisting, “Grade Me, Grade Me! I’m ever so smart.” Now it seems ridiculous. Letting go of getting As was the hardest life lesson for me to learn, yet I think in the end it made me a healthier person. Compared to getting sick, losing a job, or worse, giving up grades seems like a reasonable sacrifice for the times.

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