My statement sounds a little bit like the title of the next Berenstain Bears book. Of course, this pandemic has offered us the opportunity for family dinners and midweek movie nights.
However, we simply weren’t meant to spend this much time with our families.
I knew the quarantine had really taken a toll when I learned that Prince Philip (husband to the Queen of England) turned 99 years old, and my first thought was, “they have been married for TOO LONG!” I love my husband; let me just make that clear from the outset. We have been together since 2001 and married in 2007. I’ve now spent almost half of my life being his partner. He’s smart and funny. We make each other laugh. He’s an incredibly conscientious provider and has a firm grasp of what we need to make our financial future work.
The coronavirus, in its horror, has offered time for all of us to connect with our immediate families and to slow down what is for many of us a nonstop race against time.
Between work, school, therapies, and activities, most of us are constantly in motion. Now that has stopped or greatly slowed. And we are looking at each other’s faces. All. The. Time. Even if those faces are super cute, it’s been a little much.
My husband asked me at the start of the pandemic, why I lock the bathroom door. It seems pretty obvious to me: they will find me wherever I am, and sometimes I just need two minutes of privacy. They don’t tend to burst in on him in the bathroom, asking for goldfish, but they think nothing of doing that to me.
I’m not used to co-parenting with my spouse this much.
Especially under these conditions where we are both working and trying to educate our children. Our parenting styles have been clashing! His approach is very different from mine, and we have argued about how to manage the food, entertainment, and messes. For all these co-parenting years, he had commuted daily and wasn’t home until 8:30 p.m. every night. I mostly managed my work and the house alone all week. Since being together 24/7, he has many opinions, and I’m immediately defensive, assuming that he’s passing judgment on my housekeeping and parenting.
In reality, he’s never been in the thick of the day to day this much before, and it’s a huge adjustment for all of us.
We will all get through this, but it is challenging the strengths of our coping skills and testing the limits of our relationships. Hopefully, we can continue to keep the peace and quell the short tempers until we can return to work and school. Until then, I’m going to try to be a little less rigid and a bit more tolerant. I really will try!