We have been very quiet over here, for many reasons. We are watching the news unfold, watching communities around the country, the globe, unite against racism. We want to speak, scream, rage with you about the injustice, the hatred. How not okay this all is and has been. How the whole system is wrong. We want to discuss steps we can take to make things better and how we help get justice, if justice can be achieved.
We want to give you stories from black voices about black trauma and what it means to be black. But we don’t have any. Not one. And that is both okay and not. It is okay because no one owes us their story, no one owes us their pain.
It’s not okay because while we accept everyone and welcome everyone, the vast majority of people that interact with our site are not of color, at least that we know of (because we don’t ask, should we? <- actual question). Or they don’t come here for intersectionality* of mental health, physical health, and how that interacts with race (or gender). The reality is that we talk a lot about depression but we don’t talk about being depressed and black. We talk about domestic violence but don’t address racial aspects. There is so much to learn in regard to trauma, intersectionality, and mental health. So, we will continue to sit back and learn more. We have so so much to learn. If you are reading this, and you have a story to tell, we would love to hear it. We would love to share it. But mostly, we would love to support you and give another platform to your voice. There are so many good things already posted to the internet, we won’t link them. There are lists of media to be consumed, things white people can do to help, places to donate to various funds to help causes close to this. You don’t need our help finding them. <3
We see you. We hear you. We stand with you. #blacklivesmatter #sayhisname #sayhername
*intersectionality: the overlap of identities and how they work together to shape our life and world view. Example: a black transgendered woman.
Technically, we all are here, but that’s not the point. You are here, you are on the struggle bus, you are in good company. Today’s post is literally just links to a bunch of our glorious resource pages. Feel free, encouraged even, to share this post far and wide. We’ll start with mental health:
We love you. We are here for you. If what you need isn’t listed above, please let me know at email@example.com and I will do my level best to fix it! Stay safe, wash your hands, stop licking hand rails.
Please share this around – we are none of us alone; we are all connected. You never know who’s lives you’ll change with your words.
I’m stressed. There is a lot going on out there, it feels like the information changes every day. My kids are home all day, every day. They don’t get to run around with their friends, even if we do see them while we are out for a walk. The news coming out of Italy gets more bleak by the minute, and I wonder if we are doing enough to stop this before it hits us like a runaway truck.
I worry about being able to feed my family long term, assuming this continues, which doesn’t feel like a stretch. I worry about my family, all of whom live at least 175 miles away. I worry the grocery stores will have to close because all their employees get sick. I worry that all medical personnel are burning themselves out and will suffer tremendously for it. I worry about the scientists working day and night to give us concrete answers.
This novel coronavirus has kicked my anxiety into full gear. I spend my days and nights imagining all the worst case scenarios. Sleep is not relief from this. The tension in my shoulders, jaw, whole body never releases. Taking a complete, deep breath seems impossible. My brain is a squirrel on meth stuck on a hamster wheel.
I talk to others online about their concerns, and I find all of them relatable. Maybe not in a specific detail kind of way, but in a general kind of way. I’m not a single mom struggling to care for her special needs child with no extra cash to even start to stock up on basics I may need. I’m not a new mom feeling isolated after building my routine around meeting up with friendly faces three times a week. I’m not the mom of a medically fragile child, panicked because people just can’t take this seriously.
I’m not these specific people. But I understand their struggles. Yesterday, I wrote a little post full of sass about how to survive. The sass hid the truth. This is not normal. It is not sustainable for our mental health. I need my friends and support system as much as anyone. And I need to support people just as much.
If you read this far, thank you. If you find that you just need to vent your fears, write them out here. You can post it anonymously, even we won’t be able to identify you. If you have some kind of resource I can link to that would help some of the people I listed above, shout them out. We will link anything that will help.
We are in uncharted (for our times) territory. Never have we been asked to isolate like this. This means that there are a LOT of parents at home, all the time, with their children. It’s something they’ve likely never experienced. If you have never had the pleasure (sarcasm) of not being able to take a break from your children because there is nowhere to take them because nothing is open, you are very likely feeling the stress. And it is very, very likely you are scrambling for creative ways to get a damn break! So, I compiled a small list of things you can do. A bit of background on me, I have three kids, ages 14, 9, and 8. They’re pretty fun to be stuck with now. Now. But I experienced this whole isolation thing a bit when they were tiny toddlers and a second grader when a tropical storm rolled through and flooded everything. Nothing was open, there were no parks that were safe to go to, it sucked the life from my soul. As a result, I had to get creative. (Note, this is not the time to be super duper concerned about every second of their day. It’s just not.)
Put your headphones on and blast some music. They’re short, they’ll be okay for like 15 minutes.
Lay on the floor and let them race cars on your back. Are you away from them, no. Are you engaged with them, also no. Bonus: put out a bowl of goldfish and take a 15 minute nap. But not if your child is tiny.
Nap when they nap. Naps are the tits.
Read. Sit down with your book and when one of them tries to talk to you, tell them that you are having quiet reading time. Invite them to grab a book and do the same. No time like the present to start teaching boundaries. Parenting does not mean being at their beck and call.
Make a pillow fort. One for you. Not for them. Put a sign up. Bring your you snacks. Growl at anyone that tries to come in.
Join our group on Facebook or hit up the forums on here. We will listen, commiserate, and most importantly, not judge you for saying your toddler is a jackass. Because it’s true.
Take a long shower. Or bath. Whichever, but lock the door. Booze is optional.
Exercise. Find a fun new video on Youtube. Dance along with a music video. Move your booty.
Give up your rigid schedule, if that’s stressing you out. This is not the time for schedules, we are all just trying to survive.
Paint something, make something out of salt dough, be creative.
Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and write. Put pen to paper and write a page about things that are weighing on you. Write about how this has impacted your life. Write about how it has shifted your priorities. Or how it hasn’t. When you’re done, put it on the internet or don’t, but save it. Someday, you will look back and this will be a glimpse of history.
Use your kids like dolls. Dress them up, put them in scenes, take their pictures. (And then share them :))
Swear around the kids. Loudly. No one cares. Just don’t swear at them.
Get silly. Get sad. Get stressed. Get crabby. These are all normal reactions to what’s going on. Whatever you are feeling, feel it.
Self-care for parents of littles right now, we see you, we know it’s not easy, and your ‘me-time’ isn’t going to look the same for a while. Grab it where you can and lean on who you can while staying healthy. We love you.
It’s Monday, and for most of us that means going to work for the first time in 2 days. Ugh, right? I feel like that’s a fairly accurate statement.
Which leads to the awkward part for me; I legitimately enjoy Mondays. I like going to work. Again, not some freakish unicorn, I’ve worked hard to create a life that I don’t constantly want to escape.
I used to dread Monday like a bill collector, a root canal, or something else not fun. Now, I get to go to work and know that I’m helping. Now, I get to go to work but I leave it there, I don’t bring it home with me. Now, I am respecting my own boundaries so that I don’t burn out.
Plus, it’s like 50 degrees and sunny outside and that reminds me that brighter days are coming. They are. And I look forward to work.