Holy cow. We are officially in this. And it is hard. When I heard schools were closed until the fall, I felt helpless and scared. And as with anything difficult in life I immediately think of my children and how I’m going to get us through this. This is what moms do - we get everyone to the other side. The other side of anything painful, challenging, difficult, you name it. Being a mother to small children is beautiful, but it is hard! Being a mother to little ones during a pandemic - exceptionally hard. However, we are here. And lucky for everyone, there is nothing stronger than a mother. It’s not a matter of “if” we can do this. We will do this. Feeling trapped, exhausted, isolated isn’t new for us. We’ve been here before - we are moms. We have triumphed and we will once again.
Isolating with children is truly a roller coaster. On one hand, life has come to a grinding stop. I can slow down. I’ve never really felt like that before. And for once I can stop and actually see my kids. I can be present. At times I find myself so joyful, laughing and snuggling with my four-year-old or studying my five-month-old’s eye lashes while he sleeps. Yet the next moment I’m so far away, floating in uncertainty and anxiety, trying to hide the tears in my eyes, worried about everything and everyone. I’m processing my daughter’s emotions all while trying to simultaneously process or suppress my own: is she crying because the picture she was drawing didn't come out "right" or is she really crying because she misses her teachers and can sense something is off with her parents?
In some ways it feels like everything has stopped. It feels like we are in a bad made-for-tv movie that’s playing out in front of us. As mothers, we don’t get to stop to watch. Sure, there are benefits. We are distracted from the horror. But we are also expected to keep life moving “as usual”. And let’s face it - it’s more work. More cleaning, more cooking, more entertaining, more negotiating, more putting out fights, and for some of us even trying to find time to work between all of that. Basically, no time to process what is happening. And certainly no time for ourselves - new concept for us? I think not. But still....
Please know that when you feel alone, or lost in this: we are all experiencing the same emotions. We are in this together. Be there for each other. Reach out when you feel like you’re drowning or alone. Trust me, we all understand. Reach out when you feel like you’re winning - that can be helpful too. Remember: We have to hold onto hope right now, when we feel too weak to hold hope we can hold it for each other.
So my message is: you are not alone. Truly. We really are in this together. And when we come out of this, which we will, we will need each other all over again, but in a different way. That’s okay though, we got this, because there is nothing stronger than a mother.
Kelsey Madden, MA