Single Motherhood and the Apocalypse

My cousin is so patient with me. I agreed to do a fill in post on an amazing blog full of writers but fell short. It’s the reason I have for the most part set aside my keyboard. I still enjoy writing. As a parent, particulary a single parent, life, whether you want it to or not, becomes more tunnel visioned.

And it’s no different in the Apocalypse…I mean COVID-19 epidemic. To be fair, I’m a nurse. Not much on the health front freaks me out. The things the CDC is advising we do are things I’ve been stifling my gag reflex for years over. I used to say I’m a germaphobe but I’m not. I have just become numb after almost twelve years of nursing to the Germapalooza of unwashed hands, face picking, petri dish lifestyles we as humans survive in. How do you think influenza remains such a crisis season after season? People are gross. Sad news is, it doesn’t change in the face of an epidemic. People just become angry because it’s everyone else not them.

Now add to that a rambunctious 4 year old. A pole licking, free hugging, booger picking, fast handwashing 4 year old. She is the straw that broke the camel’s back and why I come across as an uncaring nurse. I have to limit my fear, my anger at idiots as they wear masks and touch their face. Not because she is so gross I give up on hygiene. No, in fact, it’s the opposite. I feel like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs between protecting her from exposure and protecting my patients from her. But she’s four and to her there isn’t a looming monster at her door, breathing down her neck and her mother isn’t the first line of defense against mass hysteria. She’s four and to her this is something fun and new. She deserves for it to stay that way.

All the daycares and schools are closed. My employer has banned kids from our central office, but my assignment doesn’t stop, or slow. Where does that leave the newly transplanted single mother without close family?

I just had a laminectomy two years in the making on Friday. Am I worried they lost my pulse or that I have 7/10 positional pain? No, I was calling my back up babysitter 2 hours post op to make sure she was remaining open. When I should be easing back into driving and stair climbing. I was exploring the nuisances of cart driving at Costco and stocking up for my babysitter unable to go out.

I wish I could tell you this was some superhero level stuff but it’s not. It’s my normal, garden variety week. Even sadder, I know I’m not the most unfortunate soul. Jobs are laying off, reducing hours, etc. With schools closed there are parents and single parents at home with not enough to stock pile goods for the week, much less the insane suggestion of 30 days.

I salute you and will help in whatever ways I can. Of note, Comcast is offering free unlimited data to customers and to connect to learning resources on the world wide web. Many school systems are supplying learning labs online as well. Go to your local websites. The YMCA in the Atlanta Metro is offering meals at 4 locations to kids under 18 and are amping up food supplies at food kitchens around the city. They are also offering childcare to emergency responder and healthcare workers.

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