Mom guilt: New to working and teaching at home in a pandemic
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We are their moms, doctors, lawyers, judges, jury, counselors, chefs and last but not least teachers *insert super mom cape and third cup of coffee by 9 a.m.*

This is the go-to phrase to describe our hustle. We have dared anyone to challenge us on this statement until we met our match — it goes by the name of Covid-19, the novel Coronavirus that is the cause of the current ongoing pandemic.

I thought I could handle this. I told myself I got this, that I was made for this. As moms, by nature we put ourselves last, so instantly my mind automatically shifted to understanding and acknowledging the trials and tribulations that my kids would face.

Mommy Earlana Burgess poses with her three children. Photo: Earlana Burgess

I knew we would have to teach them to be patient with patience and focus on focusing. I knew that they may feel overwhelmed with sitting at a computer all day and no real recess.

Not once did I take a moment to consider how I would feel, if I would have the patience, if I would be overwhelmed, if I would be enough for them.

I was not prepared for the mom guilt that would hit me like a ton of bricks.

So lets start at the beginning.

I recently returned to work after being a stay-at-home mom for almost 11 years. And when I say recently, I mean as in a month ago — exactly two weeks before the start of virtual schooling for us here in South Carolina.

The twins hard at work in virtual learning. Photo: Earlana Burgess

I have three beautiful, smart children: a set of amazingly smart 10-year-old twins and a precious 6-year-old. My husband works outside the home and is as big of a help as he could be, but imagine going from giving my all to them 24/7 to working full time from home and having to pencil them in between my work hours.

My mom guilt has been heavy these last two weeks. Working full time from home, running from room to room on breaks and every chance I get to put a client on hold, checking in, answering questions, explaining assignments, troubleshooting laptops, giving motivation and snacks can get overwhelming at times.

Watching my daughter’s little fingers slide me notes under the door asking me questions so she doesn’t interrupt my calls makes me feel guilty, too.

Burgess’ youngest slips her a note under the door during a work call. Photo: Earlana Burgess

At times, it is tiring and frustrating. I experience feelings of inadequacy. When I am feeling overwhelmed, I make sure to take some minutes to myself and just breathe. I take that time to pour positive words and thoughts into myself. I remind myself that as long as I am giving them my all and remaining patient with them, then I am doing a great job. 

Thankfully, my 5th-grade twins are knocking it out the park together. Baby girl is in the first grade and is doing so good, but I feel bad that I can’t be in there with her as much as I should be and as much as she needs me.

Even though my days off of work (Thursdays and Fridays) are my days on as assistant teacher, I am so thankful that I get to be there like they need me to be.

Plus, it is the cutest thing seeing my youngest be so independent and seeing her little cute spelling and questions!

I choose to see the glass half full. It might shake me but it won’t break me. It won’t break us. 

We are conquerors, we are super moms, we got this and, most importantly, we are enough.