I’m seeing a lot of posts from young mothers who are going a bit crazy during these days of quarantine. I hear your stress and doubts and feelings that you’re not doing it right. I hear your worries that somehow you’re failing as a mother if your days aren’t filled with wholesome activities and learning experiences.
I will try and put this in simple language; what a load of crap.
Nobody has lived through anything like this before, so there’s no ‘right’ way to do it. Whatever way you’re doing it that gets you through the day and keeps your kids alive, that’s the right way.
I know it’s daunting to see the videos of all the other families doing their choreographed dance routines, or making interesting and educational crafts together. That’s great. But keep in mind that nobody posts videos of them losing it with their kids or locked in the bathroom crying while their kids bang on the door. Those ‘perfect’ moms have those days too. Trust me.
Many times you’ll feel like Mary Poppins, but other times…Cruella Deville. You’ll never get it right one hundred percent of the time. Nobody does. Believing that they do is a lie you’re telling yourself. Stop it.
I may not know you but I can tell you something I know for sure; you’re being too hard on yourself. Go easier. Be kinder and more forgiving of yourself. There are so many unknowns right now, and that in itself is stressful. Add to that the needs of your little ones who are antsy because their routines have also been altered, and that’s some hard core stress soup right there.
As I read your posts, I am remembering something my mom said to me in the days after a tragedy befell my family. I told her how guilty I felt because I wasn’t keeping the kids routines, and I couldn’t bring myself to cook so we were ordering in food almost every night, and I felt I was really failing as a mother. She said, ‘those kids don’t care about that. They love junk food. One day you’ll be back on your feet and things will go back to normal. But until then, every night when you go to bed, if your kids are safe and healthy and asleep in their beds, you did what you were supposed to do that day.’
So young mothers, I pass onto you my wise mother’s words. Each night when you go to bed, ask yourself if your kids are safe and healthy and asleep in their beds.
If they are, you’re doing a good job.