“I’m glad that I didn’t have to help you learn virtually,” my mom has told me numerous times.

“Oh, it isn’t so bad,” I have said. Overall, my kids are doing pretty well.

In truth, yes, they are doing okay on their virtual learning days, but still I am frustrated and annoyed on said days. One child completes work quickly and stays on top of the correct tune-in times for watching live video. However, there are long breaks in the day, so YouTube and ABCya game sites occupy the time. Throughout the day, we try to get outside, have lunch, and snacks too.

The other child is also distracted by YouTube and ABCya, and that takes up work time, so much so that this kiddo is spending a lot of time outside of school hours working on assignments. I caught my child doing homework at 9:00 p.m. on a Friday night. Granted, this is my night owl kid, but everyone deserves some downtime.

Time management, personal responsibility, the ability to advocate for yourself (ask questions to get help) are difficult skills to learn, especially for elementary kids, especially in this virtual learning world.

As a mom, I’m trying to balance supporting my kids without micro-managing them. I want to give them space to make mistakes and learn from them, but it pains me to see tears rolling down their cheeks in the glow of the Chromebook’s screen. (Admittedly, only one kid has cried – so far. I am grateful for that.) I’m encouraging them to work hard and apply themselves even when they are at home.

I highly doubt that I am seeing their best work or best selves. I have to admit that I don’t feel like I’m being my best self either. I feel like I’m failing at being a “learning coach.” I hope their in-person school days provide better learning. I’m in touch with their amazing teachers for help.

This is hard. COVID-19 is tough on moms.

I feel overworked, underappreciated, and fatigued with COVID-19, as I’m sure many others do too. I’ve reduced my work hours significantly, so I can focus more on my kids on their days at home. And yet, I need to manage these days better, check-in more, keep them on task.

I know I can cut some slack, lower my expectations, and just get through the year. I hope that will be enough.

I’m trying to “reclaim me,” to carve out time each day for something that I want to do: read a book, write a few lines in a gratitude journal, exercise, watch a tv show, get in touch with a friend or family member, etc. I know I have to take care of myself in order to be able to take care of my family.

During this craziness, I need so give myself, my kids, husband, and everyone I encounter some grace.

Just breathe.

Take it one day at a time.

One foot in front of the other.

COVID-19 is tough on moms, but moms are tough too.

Hang in there, moms! I’m sending some extra strength, love, and prayers to you all!