When counting down the seconds until midnight of 2020, I certainly didn’t anticipate the trials this year would bring. But when the balloons at the party failed to drop due to a release cable malfunction, that was the first sign that things would not be going according to plan.
I didn’t think a global pandemic would challenge motherhood like nothing else has. I didn’t anticipate the mother COVID has made me.
Motherhood in a Pandemic
This year has not gone remotely as anticipated and I am not always the mother I intended on being. And while I try to focus on the positives and the “in this together” mantra, some days I can’t help but wish I was handling this better.
For example, most of my inspiration for this article came after I unexpectedly snapped at my 2nd grader for submitting an e-assignment before he completed it. “Why didn’t you bring it for me to see before you submitted?! It’s not this hard to follow the right directions!” I yelled. Tears filled his eyes. “I didn’t know, Mom,” he whispered through a cracked voice.
UGH, there I was again. Flustered, upset, and reprimanding in a situation that I never could’ve envisioned a year ago. I knew it was is not a big deal, but instead of treating it like such, I pretty much freaked out. I apologized but my gosh, it amazes me what seems to push my buttons most days this year. This fall has just been tough; the last few months have been tough. And although we are getting used to this reality, there is nothing normal about it.
The Mother COVID Has Made Me
The reality is that a lot of my days, I am not the best version of myself. Between trying to stay positive and engaged with my children, shielding them from political banter, and dealing with the constant change of school and expectations, I feel like I am breaking down most days.
I feel that this year has really tested me as a mother. I have realized that the unconditional love of a mother can be accompanied by concern and anxiety for those that we love so dearly. And that can really wear on us.
And by the end of the day, I often find myself mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted.
Getting through 2020
This pandemic has tested every ounce of patience, creativity, and resilience I have. I feel like I am running a marathon. And just as I round a corner to sprint to the finish, I find out I am far from the end of the race. The positive attitude is harder to maintain as the finish line keeps moving farther away. First it was about just getting through March, then it was getting through homeschool and get to summer, then it was just get back to school. With nothing going according to plan, I have gotten to the point where I just don’t know when things will get better. The togetherness and brightness from the beginning of quarantine has faded and I am just trudging along.
I want you to know if you are feeling this pandemic fatigue, you are not alone. And that it ebbs and flows. I know my family has had a lot of great days at home and hybrid learning is working well most of the time, but the stressors of life in the midst of a pandemic remain. And it’s okay to not be okay with how 2020 has looked and made you feel as a mother.
In It Together
These are extraordinary times and although we may feel isolated and alone, many of us are feeling the same stresses, worries, and disappointments.
So when I think of “we’re in this together,” I think about the friendship, gratitude, and empathy we are trying to spread among each other. I also think about the tough side. The isolation, disappointment, and reflections of what motherhood has looked like this year.
I hope that as you are reading this you feel supported and understood. I hope that you try to focus on the good things and also give yourself grace in the tough situations. Laugh, cry, go get a coffee or a massage; take it easy on yourself. Do what it takes to get you through this last part of 2020. And know that you are not alone in your struggles as a mother and a human in all the good and the bad of this crazy year.