The pandemic has tested my family’s sanity. We’ve turned our house into a joint office / daycare center. We multitask endless zoom calls alongside dishwasher unloading, toddler butt wiping (video off) and remote happy hours (video on).

We’ve never had more stress, more arguments, or more isolation. The word “bubble” once made me think of children’s laughter as they ran to catch soapy rainbows. Now that word just feels restrictive.

However…there IS a bright side to our Quarantine Life. There are many Pandemefits (Pandemic benefits). …


The pandemic has tested my family’s sanity. We’ve turned our house into a joint office / daycare center. We multitask endless zoom calls alongside dishwasher unloading, toddler butt wiping (video off) and remote happy hours (video on).

We’ve never had more stress, more arguments, or more isolation. The word “bubble” once made me think of children’s laughter as they ran to catch soapy rainbows. Now that word just feels restrictive.

However…there IS a bright side to our Quarantine Life. There are many Pandemefits (Pandemic benefits). …


“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.”

John Muir

As soon as we approached Auburn on the I80 and saw the Sierra mountains in the distance, something happened.The stress that had been gripping my brain released its clamming hold. The loneliness that had threatened my heart vanished. And that pit inside my stomach? I looked at the opening sky, took a sip of water, and digested it.

“We’re going to the mountains,” I told my daughter in the back.

“We are? Do you like it there, Mommy? …


“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.”

-John Muir

As soon as we approached Auburn on the I80 and saw the Sierra mountains in the distance, something happened.The stress that had been gripping my brain released its clamming hold. The loneliness that had threatened my heart vanished. And that pit inside my stomach? I looked at the opening sky, took a sip of water, and digested it.

“We’re going to the mountains,” I told my daughter in the back.

“We are? Do you like it there, Mommy? …


Please tell me you see me. Please notice my breaths and efforts. Currently I feel invisible and alone. We all do.

How can you see me, you ask? What exactly should you notice? Anything, as long as it’s specific.

1. Praise me for keeping the kids alive another day. One begged me to drink Windex and the other one asked to jump off the deck. I held strong.

2. Tell me you know about all the childcare, work, and life balance gymnastics I perform inside my head and that you are devilishly attracted to the flexibility of my mind to…


What all moms need to hear

Unsplash, Priscilla Du Preez

Please tell me you see me. Please notice my breaths and efforts. Currently I feel invisible and alone. We all do.

How can you see me, you ask? What exactly should you notice? Anything, as long as it’s specific.

1. Praise me for keeping the kids alive another day. One begged me to drink Windex and the other one asked to jump off the deck. I held strong.

2. Tell me you know about all the childcare, work, and life balance gymnastics I perform inside my head and that you are devilishly attracted to the flexibility of my mind to…


People lay flowers and light candies outside the Supreme Court to honor Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, taken from KY3.com)

Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse, it did. Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. We lost a feminist, civil rights leader and icon of badass perseverance. And gained a glaring open seat on the Supreme Court. My hope for a better tomorrow vanished. I was sliding faster down a depressing slide into the pits of despair. I explained my feeling of loss over a salmon dinner I made for the family. Then, that very salmon gave us all food poisoning. Apparently, things could get even more worse.

As I cleaned up the kids’ puke while ignoring my own stomach…


woman standing with arms to the sun
woman standing with arms to the sun
photo by Unsplash Darius Bashar

“Every marriage suffers unforgivable hurts,” I remember my mother saying.

I was young at the time and had no idea what she was referencing. Nor did I want to know. I preferred to think of my parent’s marriage as perfect. Hurts, sure, yes. But I imagined them fleeting speed bumps on an epic cross country journey.

When I dated in my 20’s, I only sought men that equally (obsessively?) admired their parent’s bond and aimed to be like them. We never spoke about the possibility of unforgivable hurts. If we didn’t talk about them, we assumed they wouldn’t happen. Then…


photo from Reddit by u/auscrisos

It was the end of days. Pantone Orange 9–2020. Images of the orange sky in California went viral. Looking at the sun confused my daughter. She thought the orb in the sky was a bleeding moon. She wanted to give it a band aid. I didn’t know if the earth could be healed. Then Oregon caught fire and I knew we were closer to the apocalypse than ever before.

I’ve been preparing my entire life for this. Since I was a teenager, I’ve dreamt the world was ending. My dreams were like blockbuster movies; full of fire, earthquakes, tidalwaves, and…

Heidi K. Isern

writer. thinker. whiskey drinker. let me help you tell your story. Published here, there and elsewhere across the world. @hisern / www.heidiisern.com

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