A Note To Pandemic-Weary Moms: Don't Wait For Others To Celebrate You This Mother's Day — Honor Yourself
This past weekend, my sister sent a widely shared Instagram Reel with me. In it, mom and travel blogger TeAndra Taylor sends a “daily reminder” to fellow moms that they’re doing an amazing job. She does this while forgoing the usual home tasks resigned to many mothers to make time for a drink, and to dance jubilantly to a remix of “Tootsie Roll,” which she comically flipped into “B—h you doing a good job.” She shared it with the message, “As a mom one thing I’m learning to do more this year is to give myself GRACE and to celebrate the small things!”
The video’s content and its message certainly brought me some good vibes as I started the week, overrun and tired as usual from being up late with my soon-to-be 1-year-old. I decided to share it in my InstaStories. Soon after, I received a message from an old colleague who told me she “SOOO needed this today!” She went on to mention that her husband, an essential worker, had recently contracted the coronavirus. She’d gone almost a week at that point struggling to balance working a senior position from home with taking care of their daughter. She was considering flying to see family down south to have some support. She was exhausted, and her gratitude for me simply sharing a video made by someone else that reaffirmed worn-out moms, made me realize how necessary it is that that type of message be spread far and wide.
Mother’s Day at this time last year found us in the early grips of the COVID-19 pandemic and oblivious to how it would turn our lives upside down for longer than initially imagined. In the time since, moms all over have had to change the way they go about parenting completely, with many having to do without childcare, or playing teacher when their child had to make the switch to at-home learning. The demands on us didn’t lessen. We were still expected to work jobs, many having to continue going into businesses if lucky to still have employment, others trying to make ends meet after losing work or giving it up to prioritize family needs. Working from home seemed convenient initially, until work hours stretched longer than ever. It was assumed being home meant you were always available, and catching up on unfinished assignments meant being online until the early hours of the morning.
Trying to balance that with keeping a home together and caring for your own needs (don’t get me started on the needs of a partner) often let many of us feeling like multiple aspects of our lives were in disarray. Maybe you ordered more take-out meals for your family than you’d hoped to. Perhaps you became crankier than you’d like while helping your child with online learning. Possibly, your relationship suffered because it took a backseat to everything. There was enough on our plates this past year to make any person, let alone any mom, feel a little doubtful, somewhat frustrated, and extremely overwhelmed.
As this Mother’s Day approaches though, I too want to send the message that you’ve done a fantastic job, and for that, mom, you should celebrate yourself. We should all celebrate ourselves. Yes, it’s lovely to have breakfast made for you or to get a nice gift from family on the holiday, but be sure to also commemorate your own accomplishments. You made it. A whole pandemic has taken place and you’re still here. Maybe things could have been different or better at times, but be thankful if your children are healthy and happy and you haven’t been ravaged by the virus or the experiences you’ve had since last March. Be grateful if you managed to juggle everything and keep a relationship afloat after quarantining with the same partner for all this time without many opportunities for space. Honor the efforts you’ve put forth, and done so successfully, because you made it. Nothing was easy this last year, but truly, we’re all better mothers for the obstacles we’ve been able to overcome and the things we didn’t think we’d be able to handle that we did. Celebrate that, whether with a dance, a nap, a glass of wine, some shopping, or doing absolutely nothing. You’ve earned it, because you’ve done and are doing a damn good job, mom.