What is my role in this Covid world? Nov. 30, 2020
Updated: Sep 2, 2021
I am first and foremost a mother. I have three beautiful children: 9, 8 and 6. They basically define me. They are my whole world, and everything I do, I do for them. I am their caretaker, chauffeur, coach, cheerleader, teacher (during remote Covid times,) chef, nurse, and their entertainer. During the last 10 months, they have been with me more than usual, and during these unprecedented times, motherhood has not been easy. Coupled by these facts, Evan has been in the office and not around to help out, like most dads these days who are working from home. It has been an extremely stressful time. By no means, am I making an excuse for my behavior though.
But some days, I feel like I don't offer much or bring much to the table. I especially feel this way when talking to other working moms or dads who have high powered jobs that look at me as a boring housewife, who has nothing to offer this world. I graduated from Colby College in 2004 and I received my master's in elementary education from Manhattanville college in 2007. I felt at one point I did have a lot to be proud of, but lately, I feel ashamed of "my job." I feel worthless.
I am not a front line worker. I am not helping to find a vaccine, nor am I even using my degree to actually help my kids. My kids don't even respect me as a teacher and they despise when I try to help them with their schoolwork. So lately, these past several months, my true friend during quarantine has been my alcohol in the afternoons. No judgement inside that glass, as soon as that warm buzz takes over, every worry seems to melt away. Until, twenty minutes later and the buzz is starting to wear off. So I go back for another. And another. And another. Until suddenly, I am chasing something I can never catch up with, and I am falling down a dark hole and eventually... I black out. Literally.
I have been in a state of drunkeness and pretty much blacked out most nights these past several months. Usually, I wait until I can get the kids to bed before I'm fully blacked out, but not always. Sometimes, things are hazy. I often have to ask my kids about conversations we had at bedtime, and many times they get frustrated because I don't remember. I am functional though. I am always able to get food on the table and get them showered and in bed, Evan usually getting home in the midst of all the chaos, so he doesn't REALLY know my state of intoxication. As soon as he comes through the door, I'll hide my wine glass, or chug it down when I hear the garage. I actually have a "find friends" app on my phone, so I can usually track to see when he will be arriving at home, so I hide the bottles and glass before he gets home.
In recent months, it has become very bad, and it has obviously led me on this path. One of the many examples... When Evan would walk in the house to change his clothes after work and snuggle with the kids in bed, I would run to the kitchen and chug a glass of wine. Or rip a few vodka shots without his knowing. Sometimes when the vodka bottles would get too low, I would have to add water back, just in case he knew. Usually, I would then head to the liquor store when they kids were preoccupied and when he was at work the next day, and buy a new bottle to replace it, shoving the old vodka handle deep down in the trash in the garage. One time, I took down a handle of vodka in three days and had to hide the evidence in the back of my closet.
This has been my recent spiral. I don't want to know what else I am capable of, but I know it could be so much worse. Today is a new day. I keep telling myself this is never going to happen again. I am off the runaway train. I have strength.