Since we get a full month to celebrate and observe the vital role women play in our history as a Nation. I’m taking it one step further and celebrating women that have inspired, impacted, and helped mold the badass you all know today.
This International Women’s Day, I want to celebrate-MOM’s. Yes, mothers, madre’s, mami’s…me! If you’re a mother, you too!
Mother’s held shit down this year. It’s officially been a year, since we first went on lockdown and as a mother I’m exhausted! I’m not the only one, there’s no mother out there that can’t tell me they are “perfectly fine.” If you can, then you must be on some good meds or smoking that good herb. I’m not doing either, which is why I can honestly say “I’M F’N EXHAUSTED!”
Mother’s have the ability to liberate or, by neglect, to imprison. They’re our first teachers; they are our first loves.Maya Angelou
I only have one. One, high energy, extremely communicative, just as equally curious, five year old that does not know what an “inside voice” is or what closed bathroom doors mean. I can’t imagine mother’s that have several. At this moment in time, one is enough. Just the thought of more, makes my uterus shrivel up.
I’ve learned, I never-ever want to be a teacher or a stay home mom. I don’t have the patience or the liver to handle either.
Many of us have been forced into being both. I’m a single mom, so you mothers with husbands might have had it easier or…harder. I think it could go either way, there’s a reason why we’ve seen the divorce rates go up during this time.
Before I continue…I know there’s stay at home dads and single dads raising their kids. I salute you and I’m sure you can identify with some of the hardships; however, this conversation is not about you. Let me explain why, moms are expected to handle everything. Moms are the ones that are never allowed to complain. Somehow women are expected to be in full mother-mode the minute our kids come out of our bodies. We are supposed to handle and endure, that’s what we were made for, right? BS!!
While dads, you guys get a medal simply for changing a diaper. You’re always “helping out”, which is BS too because you are simply being parents, you are not helping anyone. Helping someone is taking care of your nieces or nephews, that’s help. It’s not helping when they are your kids. No resentment, just being honest. BRUTALLY so.
Now, mothers I salute you! We’ve seen a few articles hit the mainstream, they all show the same thing: a woman with crazy hair, kids pulling on her shirt, while she’s folding laundry, and a laptop in the background. I don’t click or read because I already know what they say. I’m living it.
Stay at home mom’s I don’t know how you did it before, I don’t know how you are doing it now. However, my heart has a soft spot for mothers like me: mothers that work (outside of the home). Because this has been a rude awakening for our SOULS. It has made many of us cry as we sit on the toilet hoping that this time we will be given some privacy. It has made us drive slower to and from the grocery store, because those minutes that we spent alone feel like a mini-vacation.
It’s been a shock to our system, I think even moms who stayed at home before the pandemic can agree with this one. You had six to eight hours of alone time, but now you have nagging kids wanting snacks all the darn time and everyone complaining about the internet being slow.
I can’t also negate the fact that I feel a bit guilty, I really can’t wait for my son to go back to school. There’s something about having 6-7 hours of me time. Which is ironic, because I won’t be relaxing I will be working. Working without being interrupted by a text from my guncle because my kid is not “cooperating” and my presence is needed in our “classroom”. Working without “excuse me mommy can we pretend I’m a T-rex and you’re a herbivore?” or with some animal or dinosaur show playing in the background. Or me having to run out of the room during a zoom call because my kid decides that’s the perfect time to act out a scene from the cretaceous period with roars and all. Or the oh so classic whisper “mami I have to poop” as I’m on a call.
However, he’s not ready to go back to school. Maybe in the Fall, but for now I’ll just think of school as a beautiful holiday that we will soon go on.
But I’m grateful. I have a deep belief that my son was what kept me going when I got COVID. He was the only one in our household not to get it. He was a ball of perfect health and loads of energy as I was aching and coughing up a storm. Having to get up and feed him, and look after him, I had to be okay. Because of him I was able to be vulnerable and accept help from my tribe.
Even with COVID being a mami didn’t stop. As soon as I was better, we were back at it. We were now playing catch up: at school, at work, and home.
Mami’s of the world, I salute you!
Not sure how but we have managed to keep things afloat for our loved ones. Some have had it harder than others, some have had to leave work or “forced to leave”. I mean, what would you call it when mother’s do not have a choice because there’s no child or adult care? Or hours have been drastically cut and if they are lucky enough to have child care your wage is not enough to cover it and your other expenses? Having to take care of a loved one who got sick or yourself getting sick, not all jobs have sick time, paid family leave, and not everyone cares enough to work with you as you get better.
I think these articles that are highlighting how rough mothers have it, will hopefully make people rethink our “normal.” We can’t go back to it. We can’t go back to idolizing long extended work hours, lack of self-care, lack of safetynet programs for families, lack of flexibility at work.
Many mothers are struggling not just financially but emotionally. Mothers have had to carry a heavy load during this time, all the while making sure those under their care are healthy and learning. Not bogged down by the negativity that is around them: pandemic, politics, food or financial insecurity.
That’s a lot.
What relief do mother’s get?
Is self-care possible when you have so many plates spinning at the same time?
I don’t know, I learned I suck BIGTIME with self-care. Working on it, because I can. Because I have a support system that allows me to try to work on it. But other mother’s do not or are afraid to say anything because of the stigma that comes with it.
Mother’s you are AMAZING!
We are trying to stay sane in a world that has been turned upside down. There’s no book on parenting during a pandemic. You are writing it as you go along and as it best fits your family, your lifestyle, and what’s available to you.
To those of you that have mothers, that know mothers reach out to them. Let them know you’re there. If you’re part of someone’s COVID bubble offer to take their kids out for an afternoon. Send them a meal, a gift card to a grocery store, restaurant, or a VISA for anything they might need. Send them wine, a treat for themselves or the entire family if you are able.
I’ve had friends share their willingness to be on a video call with my kid so that he can share all his dinosaur knowledge, so I can relax a bit when we’re having rough days. I’ve had others send me dinner, flowers, cards-it makes me feel thought of and cared for. As a caregiver, that’s not usual as we are used to doing the caring. Friends understand that my time is limited and are extremely flexible if we get to chat or spend time together. They are patient and kind even when I’m unkind to myself.
Thank you to my tribe. You’ve helped and continue to help this Mami stay sane and connected to her SELF.
To all my fellow Mami’s in the world, keep doing what you’re doing. You are being seen, you are being heard, things have to change people are realizing this. However, you have done an amazing job with what you have been dealt. You are making sure your tiny humans, partners, and loved ones are cared for and protected in a very scary time. You are a SUPERHERO!
Remember it’s okay to be scared and be sad. It’s okay to scream into a pillow, take extra-long showers, take the long way to the grocery store (if alone), eat comfort food, drink comfort wine, take deeper breathes, extend screen time or play time, and most importantly it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to order out, stay in your jammies, and just be with your kids. No homework, no chores, just be.
You are a superhero, but you’re also human.
Remember, Bruce Wayne had Alfred and even as Batman he had Robin.
Mom’s you ROCK! We ROCK!
Feliz dia de la Mujer!