Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet COVID Lies

Welp, now it’s obvious. I’ve been spinning a web of lies for years.

You know, like how I told myself that our laundry would all be folded and put away if I “just had a day or two to get ahead of it.” Or how I defended the random disorder in my house – like the fact that disposable rain ponchos are stored in a kitchen drawer – with a promise to get more organized if time would just slow down.Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet COVID Lies

“Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies,” crooned Fleetwood Mac. It’s like my personal COVID-19 anthem as I take a closer look at what I thought this social distancing and protective isolation time might look like compared to my reality.

COVID Lie #1- I can do all the things while still keeping our kids’ learning on track each day.

I jumped into our safe-at-home sequestering with a color-coded choice board so my kids could pick from math, reading, chores, and a challenge. I proudly populated it with research-based ideas and district-provided learning activities, then patted myself on my back that first week as my kids happily hopped off devices and dug into a variety of learning opportunities. 

But now? We’re tired, folks.

That color-coded choice board hangs sideways in our dining room. I’ve long since lost the login for the free trial of ABC Mouse and other online resources. God bless the packets of materials from school that are emailed to us each week because teachers have a lot more street cred than I do when it comes to enticing my kids into learning activities. 

COVID Lie #2 – I’d totally workout more if my schedule wasn’t so busy.

Our calendars were quickly cleared of things like baseball practice and religious education, so you’d think we’d be buff and lean by this point. 

But then, in an attempt at self-preservation, we classified ‘making brownies’ as a math/ home economics class. (Because… well, see Lie #1.)

Nothing eats away at your motivation to exercise like baking, friends…and then hanging around those baked goods all day, every day.

COVID Lie #3 – We’ll use this time to explore new interests together!

We’ve had a great time learning guitar (that lasted three nights), exploring the area parks (There are no bathrooms! What do you mean you have to poop?), and let’s do science experiments (but I have a work call in 20 minutes and am out of cornstarch, sooo….) 

Let’s be honest.

Today we celebrate things the kids can do independently since their parents are tied up on Zoom conference calls all day.

COVID Lie #4 – We’ll support local businesses!

This is one area where we’ve excelled… to a fault. Our goal was to support local restaurants twice a week. Let’s just say we’re exceeding our goal. Now I’m shopping online for jeans with a little more stretch in them, and hoping baggy shirts are fashionable when it comes time to hide the 19 pounds of weight gained while sheltering myself and my family from COVID. 

COVID Lie #5 – Gosh, I think we might actually save money during this time. 

Again, see Lie #4. We aren’t putting gas in the car, but we’re feeding four people four meals a day, and eating way more snacks than should be allowed by law. We’re buying home decor from Wayfair (well, I am, anyway), we’ve bought another device to support our non-stop Zoom needs, and we’ve done a little home improvement project here and there. We’re lucky to be avoiding the financial crush experienced by so many, but we’re certainly not banking cash during this time.

Fleetwood Mac says, “Oh, no, no you can’t disguise…” all these lies. But it’s the honest truth that we’re getting by the best that we can.

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Renee Nelson
Renee holds three titles that are of utmost importance to her: mom to Cale and Ian; wife to Andy; and Communications Director for Grant Wood Area Education Agency. Although she has a Master’s degree from the University of Iowa, her heart still shines cardinal and gold for Iowa State University where she received her undergraduate degree. Renee’s a foodie who loves cooking, travel, her friends, her family, the Oxford comma, and happy hour. Cheers!

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