Hope is Not Canceled

Everything outside our home has been canceled. Crawfish boils with friends, playdates, fun events we were looking forward to, all canceled or postponed. Stupid virus!

I’ve been struggling with how I felt but I didn’t know If I wanted to write about it. I struggled to find my voice.

Do I want to write about quarantine, social distancing, isolation, and the virus? Or should I keep it light-hearted and tell a funny story?

I have so many posts half-written about vacations, grandparent sleepovers and the story behind my last name. I could have finished those but something was stopping me. It wasn’t until I sat down and blocked out all distractions that I realized I needed to write about our collective situation.

Things I thought about writing:

  • “Post Coronavirus Bucket List” Eating at a restaurant is at the tippy top! I’d prefer one with margaritas and queso but I don’t think I will be that picky.
  • Boredom busters, and how we are keeping busy. Our amazing Mama friends over at New Orleans Mom blog has you covered though. Read them here and here, there are so many good ideas!
  • Crafts we’ve done and the games we’ve played. Yes, we played the game Pandemic. Yes, we saved humanity.

  • I was going to, half embarrassingly, mention the toys my kids are just now opening. They have been sitting there since Christmas!!
  • All of the pantry meals we’ve made in the past… wait how many days? Seriously y’all, what day is it? And the endless dish piles! And someone please tell me why we don’t have a bleeping dishwasher!!

  • I was almost finished writing a post about the different offerings the library had going on. They shut down the drive-thru window and I didn’t feel inspired anymore. Although, there are still amazing authors and librarians who are taking the time to read to our children on Facebook lives!  My favorite has been Alycat!

  • For a moment I felt like explaining how I’m just taking it all day by day. I’m keeping informed but trying to not overwhelm myself with anxiety. My kids know what is happening in the world, to the best they can comprehend, but I’m not letting it consume them. My best piece of advice is to process your anxiety but not in front of them. They will have questions and feelings and do not dismiss them. Talk to your kids in an age appointment manner and always try to remain positive.

I had no idea where I wanted this post to go.

Then a light bulb went off and the word ‘normal’ popped into my head. I’ve always hated the word when it comes to kids, lifestyle, education, momming… the list goes on. What the heck is normal anyway?

I know our situation of self-isolation isn’t ideal and we all feel like a little normalcy is in order (ie: socializing with friends, going shopping) but…

My hope is that what we, as a society, considered “normal” before the quarantine is shattered into a million pieces never to return.

Here are some things I hope for out of the pandemic:

My hope is that we remember how to be content at home with our families. To slow down and play a board game with our kids. To marvel in the beautiful little moments every day. To memorize the way we felt to go for a walk in our neighborhood. I hope to continue to do these things.

My hope is for companies to actually see their employees as a valued team member. To realize that employees, with families especially, need flexibility and will not take no for an answer any longer. Working from home, for most jobs, has come out of necessity, and should continue to be an option in the future! This would put so much less strain on Moms and Dads. I used to have panic attacks and anxiety about daycare calls telling me my child was sick and couldn’t come back for 24 hours.  Imagine, for a sec, how much relief I would have had if I knew I had the option of working from home for a day or two and still being paid!

I also hope that we have a conversation about healthcare or lack thereof. I lived in Canada for 3 years. I have family who still live there. While Canada’s healthcare system isn’t perfect it’s a heck of a lot better than the chaos we have in the US. We need better, period! However, I do love that telemedicine has become so readily available.

And furthermore, we will need to remember the people who are going above and beyond for us. Our healthcare workers, grocery store and food delivery employees, mailmen and women, and all the others who are working tirelessly. Give them all raises, seriously.

I also hope that we remember that we are lucky to live in a country where we have so many luxuries. I wouldn’t have put toilet paper, sanitizing spray, gloves, masks, butter, eggs, or bread in the category of “luxury” before. Now though, I realize some people, even in our country, struggle with these things every single day. My hope is that we do not take our lives for granted any longer.

And finally, I hope we remember to love and respect each other more. To help each other in a time of need even if we have to be creative to do it. During the 2016 flood our neighbor went to the store in his canoe for us. I will never forget that or be able to thank him enough. In the past few weeks. I’ve seen so many creative ways people are reaching out to friends and family in need. I hope to continue this trend.

We are in the thick of it y’all. Our lives have been turned upside down and its okay to be sad and to mourn things that we haven’t been able to do. With everything else that is uncertain my hope is unwavering. I hope yours is too.

Please remember

Marissa has lived in Lafayette since 2014 and quickly fell in love with Louisiana culture, community spirit and the amazing food!! A former teacher, Marissa is now teaching us all about food insecurity and how we can get involved in the fight against hunger. To learn more, or to get help please visit Second Harvest Food Bank’s website at no-hunger.org. Marissa has a 3 year old named Jackson and absolutely loves being his Mama. Follow along with them as they navigate the waters of toddler years, co-parenting, and so much more.