Oh my God! Is anyone else suffering from temporary bipolar disorder right now? Am I the only one? I have had a lot of experience with bipolar patients in the last 20+ years and I feel like this must be what it is like. The shelter in place quarantine got me “buggin.”….and I am not actually in it all the time! I am still going to work every day! Believe it or not, as an obgyn, pelvic exams and c sections do not translate well to telehealth….unless you wanna get busted for porn…lol Seriously, that was just a joke. Anyway, moving on. Let me preface what I am about to say by first clarifying that I am GRATEFUL for my health, my family, my life situation and everything that I have. Ok, having gotten that out of the way, I feel the need to state that some days I am about to go crazy! My moods are all over the place. I expect some of this with menopause and all, but I am really overachieving here at the moment.
The days that I get to go to work, I am totally grateful to be able to go to work and help patients. It is a real bummer that I cannot practice any aesthetics right now since it is not considered essential. That stuff was really helping to keep the lights on….and it is fun and the patients are healthy and happy to be there. Oh well. We will still be ready to serve when quarantine is over. It is not a part of the key big picture right now. I get that. It is still really hard to see my women who were relying on us for hair removal go right back to feeling self conscious in public, but there is nothing I can do about it right now. So, having the option to work is good. I am glad to still be able to help people. It is hard on the staff because they are having to take turns leaving the office early, but I am at least able to offer them unemployment for reduced hours. I still have our bonus systems in place and they still can get a percentage of that, even though the opportunities are less right now. It’s the best I can do at the moment. Even though work is overall good right now, everybody’s emotions are still wacked out. We snap at each other over little things without meaning to. Little things become big things. Add to that recipe the fact that we have an office full of women and presto! It’s potentially like adding gasoline to a fire. It’s just human nature. We misdirect our stress and project it onto whatever is in front of us, even when we don’t mean to.
So, I hang in there all day at work and try to keep everything on an even keel. I have taken on the emotional correction of the world at large like some kind of sacred mission with positive posts, encouragement, extra compliments and disseminating accurate information. It is exhausting but so worth it. Somebody has to do it.
But then, it is time to go home. I get super excited to go home, anxious to see my kids and my pets. I get in the car and I am all pumped up to go home, strip down, wash my clothes immediately, streak past my kids as they scream ewww to get to my room to change.
Then, something happens to me. I am still in the car and I get the overwhelming urge to call my kids and ” ask” them about their day. They either don’t answer or when they do answer, they do not provide the answers to my satisfaction and suddenly, the innocent phone call I had planned morphs into something entirely different. I come storming into the house and immediately begin screaming their names to get their attention, all the while looking all around the house for any evidence of what they didn’t accomplish. Was their room clean? Did they do their laundry? Did they finish their homeschool tasks for the day? Did they attend the 20 million free online classes that are available right now…all in one day? NO! WHAAAAAT?! Now I am really pissed! All my nervous energy that has built up during the day of the things that I would like to be finishing releases and the kids are my first target. Whoa! Then I find myself reminding myself that I need to slow down. What the hell just happened? The kids are not the enemy…..are they? I try to then back up and be really sweet and ask them what they would like for dinner and what fun at home activity would they like to do. Usually by this point, they have already put up the carefully crafted tune out mom wall ( since this scenario probably repeats on a daily occurrence) and can’t even register that the nice version of me has come out. I find myself trying to coax them out of their rooms so that we can spend some time together and they are surprisingly passive aggressive and unwilling. I mean c’mon. Who doesn’t immediately want to come downstairs and throw their arms around my version of Mommy Dearest? Yeah I get it. No one. OMG why does this happen? Why can’t I stop it?
I truly am enjoying the extra hunker down time. I promise that I am. I am just having a hard time not projecting my own need to still accomplish projects without driving(lol) onto my kids. I think there are still reasonable expectations to be had. I mean let’s face it. They have an unprecedented amount of free time to fit in a lot of stuff. That is just fact. I should be able to expect them to do their school work, do some basic stuff around the house, and at least try to keep themselves mentally and physically healthy with my help. I would still be pissed if they didn’t unload the dishwasher or were living like pigs even if we weren’t on quarantine. Just sayin. Some things haven’t changed. And if I am being honest, I am not the only one suffering from a temporary mood disorder. They are all volleying back and forth from bickering and yelling to hanging out like besties on any given day. It is getting harder to keep track one minute to the next who is fighting and who is friendly. So, I am not alone here. I just need to find a way to keep reminding myself that quarantine did not magically transform my kids into the best self-starters on the planet and that our motivation levels were not equal even before everything went a bit nutty. The struggle for balance is real! Lately I have taken to giving myself a small time out in the car before I even go into the house. Sometimes this helps. Sometimes this doesn’t. But, at least I am trying. Hang in there people! Remember, this is only temporary.