Not only could I not handle riding out a storm, but I absolutely was falling apart knowing I would have to do it as a mother of three.
Boom! There went a metal object and our power about 8pm on Sunday, August 29th … 16 years exactly after Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Ida was coming in hot.
I spoke with my parents who live in Houma, and they insisted on riding out the storm. This made my anxiety go through the roof. I had to rely on God and my anxiety medication to get me through that time, knowing I couldn’t make my parents come up to Baton Rouge, and I had to protect my babies. Riding it out was all I could do. Every bad thought was going through my mind. My anxious thoughts had me believe that my babies would lose Maw Maw and Paw Paw due to storm surge or wind damage. Around 11pm that night, I got a phone call from my parents saying that their roof had three leaks and parts of their home were falling apart (no phone you want to get). Once again … there is nothing I could do but freak out.
I did not sleep that Sunday night. I was wide awake at 7am trying to call out to friends and family, but no calls were going through. AT&T signal was down all over parts of the south. This immediately brought back flashbacks of Hurricane Katrina. I remember standing in a Burger King in Pensacola, Florida at age 15 hearing about how the whole roof of the New Orleans Superdome was blown off. We all know how it goes; word of mouth gets exaggerated a lot, especially during tragedy. No cell signal was present during Hurricane Katrina and here we are again. I stood out of a Starbucks like a Red Stick & World’s Okay-est Mom in a bathrobe and flip flops trying to get internet at 8am.
I didn’t cry in the days following Sunday, August 29th, without power, internet and not able to get to my parents, but man … was I wondering “How do I do this?” My babies were complaining about the heat, you couldn’t find gas anywhere for generators (or wait in line for over half an hour), and the gas stove was absolutely a “bear” to cook on.
As a full-time mother who works three jobs and never slows down, I was forced to shut down and appreciate my family even more. My babies were driving me crazy, but I loved every minute of it. I always question myself as a mom, but I even questioned myself more post-Ida.
I could not, for the life of me, get my parents to come up to Baton Rouge to ride out Hurricane Ida. I must be failing as a mom.
I can’t find gas for our generators to keep the house cool. I must be failing as a mom.
I can’t work right now because I have no internet. I must be failing as an employee.
I can’t seem to stop having panic attacks during this time. I must be failing myself.