Updated: May 27, 2020
Uff da! No matter what “type” of mom you are, being a mom in the COVID-19 world is tough. Your previous circus act seems like a piece of cake compared to the demands of the new, normal juggle. You are the chef, teacher, coach, doctor, virus expert, professional housekeeper, traffic controller, dog walker and Chief Mom. The only saving grace is that the title of chauffeur has likely been removed from your list - for the time being.
And then, there is finding time for that full-time or part-time job or passion. Yeah, that thing that either pays the bills or fuels you. Between conference calls, emails, and every other method you are using to stay connected and on top of the ball, you are dodging flying toys, wiping tears, saying “no” to at least one living creature and keeping things in one piece.
You're the female version of Stretch Armstrong. You feel as if you are being pulled in a thousand different directions and are failing at every single task being asked of you. The stress of it all leaves you locked in your bathroom with a glass of wine balancing a chocolate brownie in one hand and a cell phone in the other. You have resorted, again, to the bathroom as your one place of “peace”. Scrolling through image after image you look to see if you are indeed the only mother not keeping it all together and losing her mind. After all, you are eating a brownie in the bathroom...
Rest assured, Mama, you are not alone. Your situation and circumstances may look different but you’ve got a band of moms right alongside you wondering when or if the old normal will return. So, the TRUTH is that you are not failing. You are doing the absolute best you can with the knowledge and resources you have.
When you are feeling alone or have hit your breaking point, that is when you need to shift your focus from the priorities of the roles you play to yourself. Easier said than done? Nope. All we are asking for is 2-minute increments to get you through your day. By practicing one of the exercises below we promise you that you will feel a little lighter, even if it’s just for that moment.
Breathe Yes. Breathe. Just like they tell you in yoga or Pilates, breathe in for five and out for five. That’s five seconds in and five seconds out. After one minute of breathing, you will find your shoulders relaxing and your heart rate lowering. Keep it up for two minutes and you will have given yourself a mini-meditation experience.
Gratitude Think of one person you are grateful for. As you think of them pay attention to the emotions that you are feeling. Start to focus on the positive experiences that you have had with that person and how they have shaped your life. After two minutes, end with a deep breath and a “thank you”.
Find Purpose Finding purpose in your day-to-day can sometimes be difficult, especially during the current environment of fear and chaos. However, if you look for it, you can find it. You can find purpose in cooking by knowing that you are providing your family nourishment. You can find purpose in helping your children with their schoolwork by knowing that you are helping educate them for a brighter future and doing so with love. And, you can find purpose in walking the dog knowing that you are keeping it healthy and happy.
Are you feeling a little lighter yet? Try out these exercises for a few days and see how they work for you. If all else fails, turn on that song (you know the one) and dance! Through it all, just remember that there are other mamas locked in their bathrooms right alongside you with a glass of wine balancing a brownie in one hand and a cell phone scrolling in the other.