3 Alternatives When “I Can’t Even” Isn’t an Option


There’s no sugarcoating the current state of the world, social distancing, distance learning, etc. There’s no way to sugarcoat a pandemic. The struggles are real and different and scary, and the reactions are on a slide rule that can go from calm to crazed depending on the day or the hour or the minute.

There’s no background experience that prepared us for life during a pandemic. There’s no cookie-cutter solution or reaction that will make this all seem normal.

There’s also no option to say, “I can’t even,” and shut out the hard realities that are impacting us all each day.

I can't even

Mamas are warriors on random Tuesdays when pandemics aren’t in place, and mamas will continue to be warriors on Tuesdays and all the days in between those Tuesdays as we continue to practice social distancing to keep our families and others healthy.

We reach breaking points, but we keep moving forward because that’s what warriors do. The frontlines look different for all of us, but there are still ways to shout out “I can!” even when “I can’t even” feels like the only utterance your lips can form.

Whether you’re working from home now, always worked from home, or were already staying at home, it’s not easy. For all of us, this is hard and messy (oh, so messy) and scary and lonely and rewarding and heartbreaking and so much more.

For those days, hours, and minutes when the breaking point(s) beckon, here are 3 ways to help “I can!” be your mantra.

  1. I can add a soundtrack. Music truly can soothe the soul. Now more than ever, it’s something that can be cathartic and help lessen the ins and outs of the rough patches. It could be a playlist, an album, a Facebook concert, a random ask to Google/Alexa, or a personal jam session. Sometimes it may be needed to drown out the background noise of kid TV, and other times it may be part of a family activity. The soundtrack chosen can change with the mood or the moment, but it can do wonders for raising or maintaining a positive outlook.
  2. I can add a timer. It’s hard to take a break and have a moment in close quarters, but it’s also doable. Setting a timer to give everyone some quiet time or space gives us all a chance to breathe and recharge. The timer may be enlisted for quiet activity time, taking turns if siblings are having a rough time sharing or choosing what to do, or smart speakers can be used to help reinforce limits and transitions. Using a timer to help maintain a schedule can be a great way to help maintain sanity and keep ourselves going.
  3. I can connect with others. Social distancing can certainly feel isolating. Isolating ourselves physically when possible doesn’t mean we have to lose connections though. There are lots of apps and platforms that allow us to spend time with others. Whether it’s a Zoom PTO or church meeting, Facetime group chat, Houseparty time with friends, or just a good, old fashioned phone call, it’s a bit of that human interaction we crave. Some of that adult connection that is missing when we’re donning all the hats under one roof every day can be captured, and it should be planned and intentional.

We are going to come out of this as changed warrior mamas with an appreciation for the new tools and armor we’ve adopted to stay strong. Even when life isn’t centered around a pandemic, there will be hard days. Finding ways to say, “I can!” will make it easier to navigate all our days.

Stay healthy, stay strong, and know that you can do this, Warrior Mamas!


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