Total burnout. Like a car without gas. One more “Mommmyyy,” and I’m afraid I might implode. I don’t have the answers to the endless barrage of questions and/or any creative juice left for my kids climbing the walls. Not an inch of energy left in my poor, falling-apart body.

I give up. I go into my room amid the clamor, the boredom, the food prep, the jumping off the walls and the fighting.

The door is now locked, and I crash onto my bed.

I’m too tired to even cry. I wonder if my body will everI’m too tired to even cry be able to peel itself off the bed. And I wonder if this means I’m a failure. I feel scared. How can this family survive the rest of this corona without a functioning mother? Will I fall apart? Don’t I need to stay strong and make this all work somehow? To help my kids feel OK?

And then I hear it. That soft quiet tender voice that I’ve come to rely on. My anchor, my compass, my soul.

Who said you need to be so strong, Nechama? Why do you feel like you need to have it all figured out all the time and keep everyone happy?

Well, I reason, my children are, after all, bored. And after all, it is I that made the boundaries around the screen time. How can I just sit back while they literally ooze with pent-up energy and discomfort?

Ouch. I’m starting to thaw out a bit and can now feel the tension in my body. Strong tightness in my stomach. Good, I breathe with relief. That means the lessons are about to be revealed to me. Thank you, G‑d, I whisper, for reminding me that my healing comes through my children. For using them as my angels to freedom, the beams of light to my subconscious, unleashing my blockages to my greatest light.

I relax into the messages my body is about to tell me.

I can’t help them. This will never end. I am afraid of the unknown and all this uncertainty. Afraid of not being strong. Afraid of my children’s anger.

Although 36 in years, I have now been transported back to my little 6-year-old girl within. Flashback, the vision comes.

I can see the fear in my little girl’s eyes. Little me had just moved into my new house. There is no food in the kitchen yet, my bed is still on the truck, and my parents are busy getting settled. I feel helpless and out of control.

What are we going to eat for supper, I see myself anxiously asking? When will my bed be set up; where are my toys? When will everything feel calm and like home?

Wow! What an eye-opener! My little girl’s voice and way of questioning sound exactly like my son’s questions! Parallel. When will the coronavirus end? How long will you be going out on a walk for? When will Tatty come home?

I know this is a gift. A window to my own children’s hearts.

What do you need, my sweetheart? I ask my 6-year-old self. How can I be of comfort for you?

A reassuring hug. Comforting words. Reassurance that it’s normal to feel uncomfortable and even scared in a new house. That my feelings are OK, that we will be OK.

The language and empathy for this new experience.

A sudden burst of renewed energy flows through my bodyHow can I be of comfort for you? like a gust of wind. My heart pumps back to life, adrenaline surging through my blood. The light is back on in my brain.

I now have the language and empathy for my children. I rush out of my room, a passionate woman on a mission.

I attract my children like flies to a lantern. My renewed energy is sending a subconscious message of warmth, love, safety. They flock to me.

I bring them into a warm embrace, and with empathy and feeling I know what to say. I know how difficult it is right now for us all. It is boring. It is normal to feel uncomfortable, scared, frustrated. Me, too, I’m also struggling.

No denial, no guilt, no solutions, no fixing a struggle that is not mine to fix. My only power right now is in one area. Empathy.

I feel G‑d’s presence in a deeper way in my home, as if a new light went on. I relax into G‑d’s embrace as I remember once again that I am never alone. I am Your child, just as My children are Yours. I have renewed my parenting partnership with You.