No, I’m Not Being Productive While I’m Stuck at Home


I’m sick of people posting on social media about how we should all be productive and get so much stuff done while we’re all stuck at home due to coronavirus.

I just can’t be productive right now. It’s too much to ask. I’m already stressed about whether I can find any toilet paper this week, so I don’t have the mental capacity to focus on learning a new instrument. I don’t have the concentration necessary to plan a DIY home remodel when I’m worried about the health of my nonagenarian grandmother who lives in a nursing home. My biggest goal at the moment is to not break down in tears in front of my two children. 

It’s impossible to be productive when time at home is not the same thing as free time.

I spend a lot of my time helping my children with their remote learning schoolwork. One child broke down over comparing fractions and the other erupted into tears trying to tell time on analog clocks. I spend the time helping my children through these hurdles, so no, I don’t have time to clean out my entire closet right now. Also, the usual housework does not just disappear. Someone still has to walk the dog, do all the laundry, shop for groceries, and cook all the meals. My husband is an essential worker, so guess who performs all these tasks? That’s why I don’t have time to take on multiple projects.

I’m choosing to focus on the mental health of my family right now.

My daughter is devastated that she can’t see any of her friends. My equally extroverted son is also missing social interaction. I finally signed my children up for Messenger Kids so they can at least video chat with some of their friends and family members. Also, we take lots of breaks when we get overwhelmed. I have been putting together lots of jigsaw puzzles because they offer me a chance to relax and not have to think for a while. Our dog has walked all over our town at this point. Thank heavens for the warmer spring weather. That will make it easier for everyone to get outside every day.

I can only manage to work on projects in small spurts.

I did manage to finally sew the leg back on a damaged stuffed animal, but that only took ten minutes. I can handle that kind of project when I can’t even wrap my head around a more complicated, time-consuming task, such as sewing an entire quilt. I have pulled a few items out of my closet to donate, but I just don’t have enough concentration right now to sort through the entire thing. My family did start the Venture Vermont Outdoor Challenge, but we only try to complete a couple of activities per week. I don’t want to push myself or my family too hard and have someone completely shut down.

paint brushes demonstrating how to be productive

If being productive is the way you deal with stress, then go for it!

I’m actually rather jealous. That is probably a much healthier way to deal with stress than my methods of reading lots of books and baking lots of goodies. I have managed to work out every day that I’ve been stuck at home, so I’m hoping that will offset all the baking. I just want people to stop judging each other. It’s okay if you haven’t showered in days as long as you are taking care of your mental health. It’s also okay to renovate your entire house as long as you don’t disparage people who can’t manage that same level of productivity. Please just do whatever you deem best for you and your family.

Staying at home during the coronavirus outbreak is really hard! Support your friends, families, and neighbors and we can all get through this together. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone once we have made it through this trial!

No, I'm Not Being Productive While I'm Stuck at Home


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