How Are You Today, Mama?
How are you mama?
When was the last time someone asked you that and truly wanted to know?
How am I? Well, if I were to answer that honestly...I’m struggling. No, there is nothing “wrong” per se. It’s just life almost one year into a global pandemic. It’s the middle of winter and this month has been particularly hard.
Like, really hard.
Like many of you, I am a stay-at-home-mom (a SAHM...for short). I’ve been a SAHM since my oldest son was 7 months old. Pre-pandemic, I spent my days following a great schedule: out of the house every weekday morning by 9am or earlier; MOMLETA Parsippany class; then off to run errands or maybe even have a play date. I got to go out with friends, go on vacations, and have time to myself. I worked in my spare time as a hairstylist and photographer. These are the things that made me feel like me and not just a mom. I can thank COVID and the cold weather for taking that away from me.
Here we are, almost 12 months into a pandemic, and I feel like everyday is Groundhog’s Day. My family is fortunate, we are all safe at home. However, this also means, we are ALL home 24/7! My husband works from home and we decided to keep my oldest home from pre-k. I have now become his teacher (on top of all the other jobs a SAHM has) during this time. I also have a very energetic 19-month old who doesn’t ever seem to stop moving. We have been very conservative throughout this pandemic and have no help from family. It’s just the four of us. The more people I speak to about this topic, the more I realize that so many others are struggling too.
So. Many of us. Are. Struggling.
For a long time I felt that I couldn’t say the words, “this is hard and I am struggling”. So many people are risking their lives everyday to help the sick and keep our world going. So many people have lost jobs, lost family members and are terrified everyday that they will get sick or worse, get someone they love sick. How can I complain when I don’t have to do any of that? It’s taken me almost a year (and some therapy) to finally admit, "THIS IS HARD AND I AM STRUGGLING".
This is HARD and I am struggling.
Just because I’m not a frontline or essential worker does not mean I can’t feel and admit the struggle. Admitting that life right now is hard DOES NOT diminish others' feelings. I’m here to tell you, Mama, IT’S OK TO ADMIT THAT THIS IS HARD.
This is a life we never thought we would ever have to live. Most of us have young kids at home and that alone is difficult. A lot of families are juggling virtual learning and work from home with no help. Being in the middle of winter certainly doesn’t do us any good. My kids are driving me absolutely bonkers and I miss my friends and family. At least when the weather is good we can meet up for masked play dates outside, attend our usual MOMLETA classes outdoors, go for a run, etc.
As I sit here now in my favorite sweatpants that I’ve had on for days wondering, who am I? What can I do to make me feel like me again? I am sad. I am anxious. I am burnt out and I have little...if any motivation.
If you’re reading this and thinking, this really resonates with me, let’s talk about what we can do to get us through the next few hard months. I am by no means an expert on this topic, I’m simply trying to help myself through a difficult time and hoping to help some others in the process. Here are a few things that are simple and help me when I’m feeling low. Who knows, perhaps they’ll help you as well:
- Go for a walk or a run
- Use an adult coloring book or craft something
- Take a bath or paint your nails
- Listen to a motivational podcast
- Write in a journal, let those feelings out
- Talk to your partner about your stresses and worries
- Read a book
- Start a gratitude journal
- Plan a trip or something to look forward to later this year
- Put down the phone and snuggle your kids while they watch a movie
- Plan a virtual game night OR wine/mocktail event with friends
- Make your favorite dessert and have your kids help
- Get dressed and put on mascara, even if you’re not going anywhere
- Talk to a friend or a therapist
- Surround yourself with positive people
If you need more motivation, here are some reputable resources:
Remember, take everything one step at a time. It’s hard to start a race and think only about the finish line when it may be so far away. Let’s just try to get through today, one step at a time. Don’t forget, things WILL get better. Always remember, there is NOTHING stronger than a mother.
Christina, a transplant from Buffalo, NY, went from working full-time in the beauty industry to being a full-time mom of two. Once becoming a mom, she took what little spare time she had to start a photography business and work on her own mental and physical wellness. Christina found her tribe of incredible moms and a passion for running through MOMLETA Parsippany, NJ.