Pre-pandemic, I was juggling so much. A job, a child, my friends, my spouse. In between, I still held the role of the detail-chaser—the one responsible for managing the logistics that make it all possible. (Play to your strengths is marriage advice I actually believe in; my husband cooks, I book the doctor’s appointments.)
But the pandemic, rather than freeing me up, only served to make my doer-of-all-tasks role more apparent. My aforementioned obstacles may have disappeared, but they were immediately replaced with new ones.
For instance, my commute evaporated, but so did consistent childcare, and I found myself pushing a 2 year-old on a swing during the hours I’d normally be smushed against fellow passengers on the subway. My ability to wear sweatpants all day was certainly welcome, but in place of my morning dressing and makeup routine, I found myself trading off with my husband for bonus work time. And as for those dates, we made an effort. Twice I think? But in this instance, time wasn’t the issue; it was ever-present exhaustion. It simply felt like too much effort to do anything that wasn’t Ted Lasso, 30 minutes being the maximum length we could sustain before passing out.
Initially, I thought I’d be able to become the multi-tasking mom who popped a lasagna in the oven to be ready come dinner at the same time I was penning a story. Spoiler: I could not, and to this day I continue to microwave my son’s dinners, while feeling guilty about it.