Home Tweens + Teens What Surprised Me about Our New Normal By Tinybeans VoicesApril 15, 2021 Search more like this dining-roomsilentreturnremotehardwoodhybridclassschooltapworkgratitudeforcecomputerpandemic Read next Tweens + Teens 10 Splurge-Worthy Keepsake Gifts for Baby Tweens + Teens 30 Meaningful Activities for Families to Try in November Tweens + Teens New Health & Safety Innovations for Babies & Toddlers Tweens + Teens 12 Creative Crazy Hair Ideas That Won’t Stress You Out Tweens + Teens Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya Is Making a Big Splash Photo: Jenni Brennan via Changing Perspectives Online The new normal.For some reason, I hate that term. Maybe it’s because I don’t like labeling something as normal vs. abnormal. It feels too judgmental. Maybe it’s because I don’t like change. Change is always hard and uncomfortable. But, this is my life now—the new normal. Whether I like it or not. After over a year of remote and hybrid learning where my children have been at home at least three school days each week, my children have returned to full-time in-person schooling. After over a year of working primarily from home, my husband has returned to being in the office for most of his shifts. The other day was our first day where I was the only one home. After over a year of me working fully remote from home, I’m still here—seeing all my patients via telehealth and teaching all my classes over Zoom. But, after 13 months of family togetherness, I was alone. The house was silent. No teacher’s voices could be heard on the computer through the doors of my children’s rooms. The house was silent. No cheesy manager jokes from my husband could be heard as he led a zoom meeting from our dining room table. The house was silent. No dog footsteps could be heard tip-tapping on the hardwood floors as they wandered the house looking for anyone who was free and could give them some attention. They were snuggled all cozy in their crates, probably enjoying the quiet opportunities to nap. The house was silent. No dirty dishes were found in the sink as remnants of quick snack breaks between my kids’ classes or between my husband’s meetings. The house was silent. No one was there to pass me in the hallway. The house was silent. No one needed my help with getting into a Google Classroom meet. The house was silent. No one was there at my kitchen island eating their lunch while I poured myself another cup of tea. The house was silent. Silence recharges me. Silence refuels me. Silence calms me. But this silence was different. The house was silent and I realized just how lucky my family had been for the past year. We stayed healthy and we enjoyed the forced togetherness. The house was silent and I felt deep gratitude for the memories we had made as a family over the past year. We adapted and grew and were able to be a part of each other’s lives in ways that never would have been possible without a pandemic. The house was silent. And I missed the loudness. This post originally appeared on Changing Perspectives.