I’ll be honest, I had a whole different post planned for today but I decided you probably need this. I know I sure do.
I don’t know about you but the past couple months have been challenging (and that’s putting it mildly, isn’t it?)
And I sometimes catch myself wondering if this whole pandemic situation would be easier if I wasn’t a mom.
Would I be less stressed?
Would it feel less hard?
Would I have more patience?
Would it feel less painful if I didn’t have to worry about trying to get work done without childcare support?
Would I just get to sit down and relax for more than 5 minutes without needing to get someone a snack, wipe a bum, or attempt to be a Pinterest-worthy Mom and make some elaborate craft out of popsicle sticks and glitter glue that they’re only going to play with for five minute anyways?
And then as soon as I think these thoughts I immediately feel guilty.
As if thinking them means I’m wishing my girls weren’t here. And of course I want them here. I love them so much. And even thinking this makes me a bad mom. And on and on goes the Mom Guilt Merry-Go-Round.
As you can see, I’m still working on my mom guilt.
It’s an ongoing battle that I have to make an effort to escape from unscarred.
And lately it’s been extra challenging.
Because normally life looks different.
Normally I have a routine that helps keep me nourished, happy, physically and emotionally healthy and focused on things that matter – at least most of the time.
Normally I have some more breathing room to work through thoughts like these so they don’t become so monstrous.
Normally I have preschool, friends, and extended family to help with childcare so I can make sure I’m taking care of my own needs too.
But amongst all this, my days are weirdly unstructured without as much support and it can just feel harder.
My patience is thinner than it used to be.
The tears are geared up and ready to flow at the drop of a plate of sticky, sloppy food that my little lady throws on the floor after I just cleaned them. Again.
My introverted self is very much in need of less togetherness.
And I have to keep reminding myself that having thoughts like these doesn’t mean I love my kids any less.
It doesn’t mean I’m a “bad mom”.
It means I’m normal. Human. A woman with needs beyond being someone’s mom.
So if you’re aching for a life that no longer exists – whether you’re thinking about pre-pandemic life with more support and less restrictions, or simply pre-baby life – you’re not alone.
Motherhood is hard and no baby (heck the average teenager) is not going to consistently show gratitude for your efforts or say things like, “Thank you, Mom. You’re doing an amazing job!”
And right now it’s notably harder.
I don’t have all the answers for you.
I don’t have a magic pill.
But I want you (and me) to remember that trying to control the experience is not going to get us anywhere.
Allowing the present moment to be what it is – knowing that you’re going to be okay, that whatever happens, it’s going to be okay – is what’s going to get you, me and our kids through this.
We can’t change this.
We can’t control this.
We simply need to make a decision that we will make it through this (and that we’ll hopefully be better humans, moms, friends, partners, employees and business owners because of all the lessons we’ll learn during it).
And we can make it through this better than before, as long as we remember that the people who thrive during and after times of uncertainty and turmoil do so because they make a plan, but they’re not attached to that plan.
They plan, but they also allow.
They surrender control and let go.
They allow the present moment to simply be what it is and make a decision that it will all be okay – regardless what happens.
It’s not easy.
But it’s the choice we need to make if we want to feel better about all of this and make it through stronger than ever.
I’m with you.
You are not alone in this.
And you need to remember that you’re not failing because you’re wishing things were different. You’re not. The fact that you worry that you are means that you absolutely aren’t.
It’s hard. Especially now.
But the fact that you’re reading this means you’re doing an amazing job because you’re looking for some way to make it better.
So you can stop being so hard on yourself.
You can have some self-compassion.
You are enough.
You are good and loving and kind.
And that gorgeous, smiling, tiny face that lights up when you walk into the room is proof that you can let that doubt and guilt go because they believe you’re the world’s #1 mom.
And they’re right.