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Erin Spatz column: Weird

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Erin Spatz

Well, things are still weird. While I thought things were as weird as they could get, I was wrong. Things have just gotten weirder. Some places have opened back up but is it safe to go? I feel like a squirrel trying to cross the highway. Do I go now? No, wait. Now? No, now I go. Is it safe? Oh wait a semi is coming! When do I cross? Help!

The kids have gotten weird too! Chandler is too tired to join her zoom morning meetings, which don’t happen until nine in the morning. Hours after she would be in actual school. Computers are dropping to their deaths around here like houseflies. And Hank handed me a raw egg that was in his underwear. Don’t worry, that egg went right to the trash. I mean, you’d think after four boys they’d start making sense to me, but not yet.

Now that we are neck deep in quarantine and pandemic life, here is something I’ve noticed. Things can be hard and good. I’ve known for a long time that two feelings can coexist at the same time. It’s not unusual for joy and grief to share space. But I learned that two truths could also coexist. One style of parenting can work for my family but not for yours. They can both be true. They can coexist without conflict.

I love that I am able to be with Eric and the kids more right now. But it’s also harder to carve space out for myself. Both are true. One doesn’t cancel out the other. I can hold genuine space for both. I can be blessed to spend time with them, feel real joy from them. While also feeling like I may go bonkers from all the quality time.

It feels hard to make the right decision right now. How can you be sure it’s the right thing? When everyone is telling you different things are true? Is it safe to go to the store? Should I take my kids or leave them at home? Are play dates and friends over safe?

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First, let’s all agree that Facebook is not a news source, nor is it a medical doctor. I know I was just as shocked as you are to learn this but it will be okay. I promise. There for a while I was certain my head was going to explode from all the information that was being thrown at me. It was too much, all the time. I am a big fan of research and facts. I love to be in the know. To find the obscure details and tuck them away for later, but y’all this Covid-19 information was too much information. I felt like I had to fight my way to the center again. I managed to crawl back to my trusted decision making skills. This can also be applied to parenting decisions. First, I limit my source. I picked two places that I felt confident in and that’s the only place I get my facts from. Second, I pick an actual person who I have seen make reasonable adjustments and choices during this weirdness to run my questions by. Usually I already know what I think but it’s nice to bounce an idea off of someone. Third, I trust my gut. I believe that women have the ability to feel things out and we need to use that gift more. And y’all this doesn’t mean I haven’t made a wrong choice, it just means I did my best to make the right one.

What might be the right choice for me may not be the right choice for you. And that’s okay. There is absolutely no reason to get upset because someone made a different choice than you did. You don’t know all that went into that decision for them. You don’t have to agree with them for it to be the right thing.

Remember that we have two hands and we can hold space for ourselves with one and space for others with the other hand. Both have value.

Erin Spatz lives in Pawleys Island and is the author of the book, “Who Left Me In Charge.”

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