Somewhere in all the craziness of the last few months, like many of you, I found my way through the initial disbelief, shock, and hope this would all be short-lived, to the acceptance that it won’t be/shouldn’t be, to the realization of the strain it has taken on my life.
As I continue to find peace with the new “normal,” I also find myself struggling with new battles in my day-to-day. More than anything, I find myself wrestling with isolation in ways I never have before. As a solo dad, my life is a study in extremes. Half of my time is 100% devoted to the kids – and my apartment is filled with noise, laughter, cries, shrieks, and chatter.
Then, suddenly like someone flipping a light switch, my world goes silent. Those times are calming at first. Then, they slowly creep to a much harder place from which to be in the world right now. You quickly realize how few options single parents and people who live alone (especially the elderly) have to address isolation and the mental health concerns it can bring like anxiety, stress, and depression.
Add to that parents struggling to balance work and homeschool, unemployed workers looking for work in an environment devoid of most comparable jobs to what they had before, and the constant worry of bills and obligation – it’s hard on a level I would never have understood previously.
I am thankful for those in my life who have been my support these last weeks – keeping me sane and grounded as I continue to work my way through this. Sadly, I am the exception, not the rule.
So, here is a shout out to all the single parents making it happen. As many married couples know, balancing school plus homeschool is close to impossible; now imagine doing it without your partner.
Here is a shoutout to every person living alone struggling with the isolation this has caused. Who don’t have that “person” or “people” who live with them to connect with daily.
And a shout out to all those who, on top of their own struggles, find the time to connect with those of us on our own – calling, video chatting, emailing, texting to make sure we are ok. It matters; it means a lot.
Keep loving each other, keep showing yourself compassion, and permitting yourself not to be perfect. Keep focusing on your self-care, now more than ever. Keep being compassionate to others, showing them kindness in the face of all of this.