I type this article after much time away from writing. It was like I could never find extra time or inspiration lately. I have experienced COVID fatigue or new-mom-of-two fatigue; I am not quite sure what to call it, but it has been hard. And at times it has felt like there was a lot of unproductive time.
Add in political unrest and just the general state of the world, and this year has been a disaster. But one thing I have been considering is the good that came along with the bad. We all need to reflect back on the heroic mothers of this difficult year and see the good that came from 2020.
Big Life Transitions
If you, like I did, had a baby during the pandemic, congratulations! You learned how to be a mother in a way not many could imagine. You were resilient with all the changes and uncertainties of each day. Despite the challenges, you made the best decisions for yourself and your child.
You may have missed out on family visiting in the hospital, but I hope you had the chance to enjoy the quiet of just you and your new baby those first 24 hours together. Then bringing your precious bundle home, you may have been as scared as I was with how you were to juggle your new role along with everything else going on in the world. But you figured it out and you are a stronger mother because of it.
If you have recently moved, congratulations! You purchased a home or found a new place to rest your head. You moved during a pandemic. That meant navigating open houses, making sure your home was neat and presentable, and viewings with people coming and going. Then on top of that, you packed up, moved, and then unpacked again. That takes a toll mentally and emotionally. I hope you got to sit down when the new home was quiet, look around, and see the new space with all its potential. To look forward to all the new memories that will be made in it and be thankful.
Navigating Schoolwork and Jobs
Many of you have successfully juggled school in some way, whether virtual, in-person, or home school. Depending on where you child is in the grade level, you juggled all the curriculum that was assigned, kept up with Zoom meetings, learned the portal that your school district had your child submit work for, and helped your child learn as best you can.
There may have been struggles, but you and your child got through it. And we will remember with awe the teachers who were able to adapt and keep a classroom on task from afar. And our kids as they giggled and talked with their classmates on Zoom. One thing we can say about doing school during a pandemic, it has been memorable!
We have adjusted to work during a pandemic, and some even had to find new jobs or navigate applying for unemployment. To extra challenges this presented cannot be dismissed, whether you had a retail job, hospitality job, medical, or worked from home. You have done a wonderful job of learning and adapting on the fly, while also balancing the guilt of working while your kids are awake, or working early or late in the evening. You’ve tried to keep yourself on track and ignore that the house is a mess. We may all be running on fumes and extra caffeine, but we are doing it all as best we can.
Thankful for Connection
We have had to redefine family boundaries and celebrations. We are now accustomed to virtual events: meetings, happy hours, and playdates. This was something we would not have thought about before and now it’s the norm. We learned to adopt a new way of letting our children keep in contact with family and friends through the use of technology and social media.
Family gatherings were already stressful before, but now seeing your family and friends has more meaning. If you learned how to navigate the virtual celebration dynamics, you are doing great. And can be thankful that you have been able to keep in contact with loved ones.
With having everyone at home, I get it now; the need for peace and quiet. The constant feeling of being over touched and all the noise. It can be a lot. But then there are moments when your little one runs from across the room so excited to give you a hug and kiss, sticky fingers and all. And you feel the love and warmth of having your family close.
2020 was a tough year. You found yourself in situations that you never could have imagined and you persevered. You are real heroes, moms, and I applaud you.