This one is for all the mothers out there. We’re just coming off of the holidays that each of us in our own way worked really hard to make magical on a budget.
Mothers: You Are Enough
There’s the added pressure of living through a pandemic and making sure our families are safe and well. Many of us are working mothers and our kids are returning to school or e-learning. We’re trying to execute everything perfectly so that our families and friends don’t see the stress we are under. We’re so wrapped up in moving through the day—work, kids’ homework, managing our homes, meal preparation; being a good friend, daughter, partner and mother. Sometimes we forget to breathe.
To bury our feelings of inadequacy we lose ourselves in social media, binge watching programs on television, cleaning, organizing or presenting perfection. It’s a ruse we work really hard to maintain because if others do not notice our flaws, maybe we will not have to admit them to ourselves.
Here’s the thing—the stress of keeping up appearances is going to come out, one way or another. It may be showing up for you as weight gain, irritability, wine o’clock, loss of interest and a feeling of just going through the motions. If you’re working a job outside of home, your work product may be suffering. And if it goes unaddressed it can become more serious and arrive as headaches, a series of mysterious maladies, or even a life threatening illness.
It’s time to cut yourself some slack. Mothering isn’t about being perfect. It’s about being present and holding on to a deep knowing that as flawed humans, we are enough—just as we are.
I read a funny op-ed recently (I wish I had flagged it so that I could give you the link). A child psychiatrist was writing and giving the opinion that right now, of all times in our history, is the perfect time to allow your kids to run feral so you can care for yourself. If you need an hour to regroup, put them in front of the electronic babysitter and toss them some junk food. Mothering differently during the pandemic will not damage your children for life.
Take off the mask of “perfect mother” and proudly step into Good Enough. You just might find that your life and the lives of those around you are profoundly changed for the better.