Mother Didn’t Realize Her 4 Yr Old Daughter Was Taking Pictures Of Her.

Story by Nicole Merritt

My four-year-old snapped this image of me today.

She got a hold of my phone.

Pretty standard.

I got it back, but not for long, I’m sure.

As I type this, I’m sitting on the potty.

Yes, I still call it that.

Was that TMI? Ugh, I’m sorry, but I’m multitasking, so whatevs.

So, I’m scrolling through my phone as I sit here and see that she took these pictures me without me realizing and now I’m sharing them with you, and here’s why:

This is what “crisis schooling” looks like in our house most days.

You’ve got a determined mother, anxiously ensuring her new-to-elementary school, kindergartener stays ‘on task’ and gets his work done; that he’s challenged but is also allowed enough time for learning through play.

There sits across me, my computer — which hasn’t been much mine lately — with an open Shipt order being added to a little at a time as I run out of items or remember things we need from the stores that we haven’t been to in over a month.

Not pictured is my self-motivated, highly-independent, almost nine-year-old who self-directs most of her at-home school day.

Also not pictured is the regular selfie-taking, talkative preschooler who gets full photo credit here.

I’m happy that she captured a moment of corona time that actually has me in it so that one day I can look back and remember what this time has been and felt like.

I’m also glad it was taken so that I can relay this message to you about what quarantine is and isn’t.

It isn’t the same experience for everyone.

It is very real for each and every person.

It isn’t a competition of who can do the most with their excessive time at home.

It is about connecting with our loved ones on a deeper level than we might not have had time for before.

It isn’t about picture-perfect moments.

It is about honest ones.

It isn’t about being the ‘best homeschool mom ever.’

It is about being ‘enough’ just as the mom you already are.

It isn’t about never yelling.

It is about trying to be calmer.

It isn’t about never crying.

It is about allowing yourself and those you love, to feel whatever you need.

It isn’t about solely feeling sorry for ourselves.

It is about feeling sorry for the world collectively.

It isn’t about the lack of help we’re getting as a society.

It is about the help we see, hear, and read about, and the aid we can give, in whatever form, to those in our real or virtual communities.

It isn’t about a perfectly-captured image of me “momming” during a pandemic.

BUT, it is about me momming, not only through this,

but when things go back to semi-normal,

when things are all the way normal,

hopefully never through a pandemic again (but possibly),

and through any and everything that life throws my way.

There’s no ‘right way’ to be these days.

You just be,

you let others be,

you stay kind,

you exercise compassion and empathy,

you pray,

and you get your a** out of bed each day and remind yourself of what is and isn’t important.

Getting everything done on your To-Do list today = not important.

Completing every single time-tasking, energy-depleting, stress-provoking work task = not important.

Prioritizing your and others’ mental and emotional health = very important.

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