“You make it look easy!”
“You’re super mom!”
“How do you do it all?”
While I absolutely love hearing these compliments from others, I need to be frank.
I’m absolutely not super mom. I don’t mean to ‘make it look easy’. And how do I do it all? Well, sometimes I don’t.
I am guilty of posting about all of the positive moments, realistically, who wants to sit and talk about the negatives? No one does, however I do think it is important to talk about the nitty gritty of being a parent during this pandemic. As much as each and every one of us is doing their best to stay positive and push through, it is so important to remember that it’s okay to struggle. It is okay to have hard moments, and it is very okay to need a damn break.
The other day, my eldest and I went to a therapy session for him. We talked about emotions, and she asked him what makes him feel sad. His answer hit me hard.
“When mommy yells.”
Because yes, I yell. I reach my limit some days, I get overwhelmed, my patience becomes stretched and I yell. Am I proud of it? No. However, I am not afraid to admit it, because lets face it, not one part of this is easy and we all reach our limits at some point.
I am not super mom, and I am not a perfect mom. I am not a perfect human. My kids are not not perfect either. I have bad days, they have bad days, and above all we are all stuck in the same house every single day. There are days when we have a blast, it is perfect and we all go to bed with smiles on our faces. Then we have days when we are all at each other, there are tears, frustration, anger and so much tension.
I try to find balance in it all. I try to let the bad days go, and focus on the positive.
Yet, each night, I go to bed thinking about how I can be a better mom in the morning. What can I do differently? What can I change? I challenge myself every evening, even on the good days. I beat myself up over the things I believe I did wrong, and I tell myself I could have done better even in situations that were successful.
The truth is, none of us will ever perfect this whole parenting thing. Especially during these unprecedented times. None of this is easy on us as parents or on our children.
However, one thing will always remain constant, and that is the love that my children receive. They go to bed with big squeezes and smooches, tickles and bed time stories. We drown out the negative by being silly and finding reasons to laugh.
And that is where the easy part comes in. It is easy to love them, it is easy to have fun. It is easy to enjoy the moments that seem so small to us as parents, yet will remain a constant in their hearts forever.
So, yes, parenting in a pandemic is freaking hard. Some days, it is borderline impossible. Yet all of us get up every morning and we do it. We face it, knowing our children need us to be strong for them.
But remember what is, and always will be easy. Love.
When all else fails, love them. Love yourself. And most of all, remember that all you can do is your best, and to your children, that will be absolutely perfect to them.
You get through 100% of your bad days. Even if on those days, you’re only operating at 50%. That’s okay. Remember to give yourself grace, and that your children will see that you got through it. Sure, they will notice that you had grumpy days. They will notice that you yelled. However, when they are old enough to understand, they will see that all you did was your very best, and that is what matters the most.
Apologize when you know you handled something poorly, and pat yourself on the back when you recognize that you have maintained your composure even during the most difficult of times. Your kids will see it. Your kids will appreciate your ability to admit your wrong doings, and they will admire your confidence when you know you’re doing well.
Most of all, don’t forget about yourself in it all.
Take a break.
Do something for you. Shamelessly binge that show you have been hoping to watch on Netflix. Take a hot bath. Pour that glass of wine.
Be okay with doing things for you, and remember to let your kids see it.
Beyond that, if something isn’t worth stressing about in this very moment, don’t stress about it.
If you’re exhausted, let that laundry wait until tomorrow morning, and go to bed early. Sweep the floors when you’re more rested. If it isn’t urgent, don’t let it take up space and energy.
Parenting during a pandemic is hell, if I may be so frank. However, we have the chance to show our kids the utmost strength and resilience. For myself, when things seem next to impossible, I think about how my children will look back on how I handled this. And I have one hope for it.
I hope my kids think their mother is one hell of a bad ass who could do it all in a time when every sense of normalcy was taken from us. Even if at moments she cried, yelled or lost her patience, she still did it.