• Laura

The Monday Calls

When we suddenly and unexpectedly found ourselves under stay at home orders, with school cancelled, and an uncertain world outside our front doors, Monday nights became my favorite night of the week. As we transitioned into life at home, one of my new responsibilities became managing our virtual meeting calendar. This calendar is mostly filled with school meetings for my children, but every week I look forward to Monday night. It’s my favorite virtual meeting of the week: one with the women from my church small group.

On Monday nights, I remind my three and six year old that mommy has HER phone call tonight, so once I have tucked them in, there is no wandering out of their room for extra snuggles or more water or any of the many other reasons that they suddenly and desperately need me the minute I walk out of their room (this reminder is only occasionally effective). I blow them one more kiss, pour myself a glass of wine, and settle myself in on the couch.

I hit the video button on my iPad, and as I wait for the screen to start lighting up with faces, I think back to "before".

Before quarantine started, we didn’t have a regular girls night. Once a month, we would gather with our families in someone’s home for dinner, having conversations in spurts as we told our children “just one more bite” and broke up fights over toys. On Sunday mornings at church, we’d squeeze in a few sentences as we chased our children down the hall. Our conversations were mostly punctuated by motherhood. Much too rarely, we’d get together for a girls night, reveling in the chance to have a complete, uninterrupted conversation.

Now our girls nights are virtual, but with our calendars cleared by the pandemic, they are weekly, and in this time of quarantine, they have been a lifeline.

Most days, by the time I’ve wrangled three children, supervised the virtual kindergarten assignments, managed the virtual meeting calendar, changed diapers, handed out snacks, and cleaned the kitchen over and over, I am exhausted. While it's hard to imagine enduring this pandemic without all of the technology options we have to keep us connected, sometimes by the time I've done all the things that need to be done, I am too tired to connect with anyone outside of my house. Zoom, Marco Polo, Instagram, FaceTime, texting, occasionally the good old-fashioned phone call--I am so thankful that we've had these options while we've been sequestered in our homes, but I don’t always have the energy for them.

The regularity of our Monday night calls has steadied me during this time. On difficult Monday afternoons, knowing that our call is just a few hours away has buoyed me. Once a week, I look forward to hearing about our different quarantine experiences, sharing our favorite takeout restaurants or the latest Netflix show we are watching. Our children all fall in the same age range, so we share our virtual school successes and failures. Sometimes we discuss heavy things, and sometimes we keep it light and full of laughter. We commiserate about a life that is looking nothing like we imagined three months ago.

On Mondays nights, I stay up later and get less sleep, but I feel rejuvenated and refreshed. We can't be together in person, but this pandemic hasn't succeeded in keeping us apart, either. When 2020 is a distant memory and I look back, I know that these Monday calls will be something I remember as a bright spot in an uncertain time.

This post was written as part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to read the next post in this series "Apart, Together".

Art by Phoenix Feathers Calligraphy for Exhale

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