Like many, many mothers out there, I have spent the last six months with my children. This doesn’t mean that we went fun places, explored nature, or even did any of the normal things my kids look forward to each summer. Instead, like most, we stayed at home. We vegged. We stared at walls. We were bored.
It got to the point when I decided that electronics weren’t necessarily evil and would at least give my children some sort of joy. A stance that a year ago I would have been horrified at. I let them sleep in and go to bed late. I gave them the freedom to be bored. I let them be a 2020 child and I sincerely don’t regret it.
But now I find myself in an interesting quandary. My children’s district decided to let the children go back to school. There was an option for using online learning and of course, the buses can’t be used to transport the kids. But they could go back. And I didn’t truly hesitate in allowing my children to go to school. For my children, their greatest deficit is their social skills. My son has none and my daughter needs them to feed into her joy. While opposites in many ways, the social aspect of school is a vital need for them. I didn’t hesitate because I knew this. I knew they needed school despite the risks.
But the quandary now exists. I sit here day after day, bored. I don’t have someone to talk to, or to annoy. I don’t have anyone to check on or anyone to force me to leave my house and try something safe but interesting. It should be noted that I have plenty of projects, plenty of household chores, plenty of books to keep me occupied but I can’t find the energy or desire to do them.
I didn’t know that I could be dependent on my children’s presence. I didn’t know that my actual happiness and entertainment was so tied to these two beings that are entering their teenage years and don’t really care about me. I didn’t know that I looked forward to their rolling their eyes or asking for ridiculous things that I usually don’t stock in my pantry. I didn’t know that I needed them to be in their rooms, doing whatever it is they do, for me to be happy. I never really depended on my children until this force took away all the distractions and left me with two children that I adore.
Not having my children around me after six months is creating an unusual depression. The depression I have found myself in since my children went back to school isn’t like previous falls. Usually I am quite stoic about my children going to school. I look at it as a normal part of childhood and I tend to find ways to survive for those few hours alone. So why is this different?
My children have to go to school and learn. I certainly don’t want them living here into their fifties because I didn’t give them the tools to succeed. My children have to find normality because that is where they thrive. They have be tested, they have to be challenged, they have to be forced to try a thousand things into order for them to find their own way. This is important.
But what about this depression? It isn’t a seasonal depression. It isn’t a normal dark hole that I sit in, knowing that until my brain is ready to be revived I will be in that dark hole for awhile. It isn’t a depression that makes me sit on a solid surface for as long as needed. It isn’t a depression that makes me stop eating or forces me to change medication. It is a depression that seems to be covered in a thick layer of boredom. A sort of blocked wall without doors. I feel like I am sitting in one spot and am waiting. Waiting for something.
I know part of this is my missing my children; they are pretty great kids. This depression is simply a stuck in the quick sand ordeal that will have to wait until I can come to terms with the truth; my children aren’t here. I don’t particularly like this post because it seems overdramatic, but if I don’t start to do something to come to terms that my kids are gone, I think I might go even more insane than I usually am.
Wow! Reading this I could feel your pain. 2020 has been a year of self adjustment and self discovery. Needing your children and missing their presence is not abnormal. The bond between a mother and her children is strong. But it’s important to find purpose outside of your children as they will be grown and in college before you know it. Do you have any hobbies or life goals? I encourage you to pursue something you always wanted to do but never had the time. It can make all the difference. You can also try volunteering. Working to help others is always a good cure when depressed.