The other morning I woke up and my daughter said she had a sore throat and wanted to stay home from school. She didn’t have a fever but she did have a craving for grapes and a yogurt parfait. After sending my boys off to school, I quickly googled the number of cases of the virus in my home state of Maine.
That day there were no reported cases in our state, but looking back, of course, she could have had the virus with mild symptoms. Things seemed relatively calm around here and although my anxiety had been rising as news about the virus swirled, it still felt far away.
I laid next to my daughter and worked in my robe while she slept in bed. The next day, my son had a sore throat. That was the day something inside of me changed. I no longer felt like this was just a typical day with my teenager being sick at home. I began to think about the “what ifs” in a way I never had.
I wasn’t expecting to hear that schools were closing
The day after that, we got word that there were a few cases in the state and that schools would be closing for at least two weeks.
That was almost 8 weeks ago, and I have worked in my robe every day since. What I thought (and what we all hoped) was just a small speed bump, has turned out to be a very difficult time for many of us.
The Monday following school closing, while my kids kept trying to get into their online classrooms, and my daughter shut down because she’d never seen all her school work assigned to her at once, I read a story about a woman in Italy who said they were going on their 4th week of staying at home.
That won’t be us. It can’t be us.
Maybe I was in denial, or just plain ignorant, but I never thought that schools would shut down, sports would come to a halt or vacations would be cancelled. I never thought our future was so tenuous.
Maybe you shared my thoughts or maybe you saw the long game and you knew the doom and gloom that was rolling in. I know you’ve watched the news and tried to stay objective about it—just wanting the facts without getting completely wrapped up in it all. I’m still trying to figure it out and it’s been almost two months of the same thoughts cycling through my head.
I see you, fellow mom, and I know what you worry about
I know you haven’t left your home in weeks and you may be wondering how you’re going to pay your mortgage. Or you’re wondering how your child will attend school in the fall.
I know you are worried about the health of your family. Their physical health as well as their mental health.
I know you are exhausted wondering if you are shopping the correct way, taking hours to get to the grocery store and then spending hours wiping it all down before you bring it into the house.
I know your teenagers are restless, need something to do, and are missing their old lives so much it’s painful to watch.
I know you don’t feel like yourself right now and you wonder if you ever will.
I also know we will get through this
But, moms, I also know that we will get through this.
This situation, this dark cloud hanging over us has taken all of our strength and we still get up every day and handle it. We already know how to deal a lot better than we did three months ago. We are stronger for it and our kids are stronger for it, even if we don’t feel like it right now.
Just think about how you’ve adjusted. Think of the moments that felt so heavy you had to really dig deep to get out of the state you were in. Think of the resilience you have, because believe me, you are resilient.
And when everything starts to slide back towards normal, which it will, you will see everything in a different light even if you aren’t conscious of it.
Going through something like this changes people. And we moms know how to take on a challenge. We know how to do our best and let it be good enough. We are masters at seeing the light in dark times.
Motherhood comes with so many different jobs; and we’ve just got handed a whole new set of tasks we didn’t want, and we aren’t sure how to complete. If we were feeling burned out before, we are running on fumes now. Actually, I have days when I don’t even have those to burn so I’m guessing you don’t either.
But somehow we will get through this. I refuse to not take anything good from this experience. We will get through this, even if it’s with zero grace. No one is keeping score. All we need to do, moms, is make it to the other side.