The irony is so thick, it’s laughable if parents weren’t on the verge of crying! When I started out writing this blog, it was going to be ways to find breaks in your day, just for you. It came to my attention that parents were needing breaks when a schedule change for my class threw a mom for a loop! When finally getting to the bottom of the issue, it had everything to do with losing her break. The one period in the morning that was just for her. I still might make a list of ways to create parent breaks, but for this blog, things went in a different direction.
To collate different ideas for parent breaks, I sent out a message to moms with elementary-age kids. I simply asked, “What do you do when you need a break from your kids during this quarantine time. There were expected responses such as exercising, driving, gardening, but I couldn’t believe how many responses included locking themselves in a bedroom, bathroom, or closet. Oh, and almost everyone mentioned beverages.
Not sure exactly why, but these responses made me think of my mom and her hour break from one to two o’clock EVERY Monday through Friday. Yes, our house observed the hourly ritual of “Days of our Lives.” All chaos stopped, the TV was turned on, and EVERYONE, and I mean everyone, kids, pets, neighbors, even our Dad, knew not to bug Mom! She was watching “Days.” Roman and Marlena were trapped on an island controlled by Stefano! Jack is dead, wait, no, he’s alive, no, wait he’s dead…WHAT, JACK IS ALIVE?!
If any of this makes you giggle just a little, you know exactly what I’m talking about. This was her “me time” in a day that was centered around her family. If I needed a band-aid, toilet paper, permission to do or go somewhere, it better happen before one or after two o’clock! No one was allowed to break a limb, tear down the house, or torture a sibling during this hour! No joke!
This time remained sacred even after I got married, moved out of the house, and had a couple of kids. I was fortunate in that my mom watch my two young boys while I worked. Even the boys knew the deal. They could take a nap, play with a quiet toy, or sit on the couch with Grandma and watch “Days.” But, that time was Grandma’s choice time. Choose wisely, or Grandma would choose for you! It’s crazy to get updates on Brady from a three-year-old! I shake my head and giggle, but this woman is 86 years old and to this day we know NOT to call between one and two o’clock, “Days” is on!
This leads me back to our current situation where families are quarantined at home together. Patents are busting their butts to make distance learning work. They didn’t sign up for this, no one did! They are doing their darndest to make the best of it and still ending up in locked bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets. Not to mention the beverages! Parents need to take a page out of Joany’s playbook and find that time in the day and make it sacred! No limbs will be allowed to be broken during this time! The house may not be torn down! Don’t even look at your brother! Supplies, snacks, math problems better be asked before or will need to wait until after Mom’s “break time” is over!
I want to be clear, my mom is the epitome of Mrs. Clause! She was and continues to be a kind, generous, happy, lady that spreads love and joy to others. She gave all off herself to her family, totally devoted. This was the one thing she did for herself, whether for fun or survival. We giggle about it now, but we’ve always respected Mom’s one to two o’clock hour. Our world has turned into an unbelievable soap opera episode with the craziest things occurring! Embrace it before it consumes you. Find time for yourself because these truly are “The Days of our Lives!”