This picture of me with my girlfriends was taken at my house once it was safe to get together post quarantine. We obviously had not seen one another in weeks, and the Zoom calls, though entertaining, were met with drooping eyes, a child battle and a disgruntled husband in the background. So on this particular evening in June we sat in my kitchen, drank wine, and unloaded the weight that the past few weeks had loaded on us. It felt good. We needed it. Amongst other things 2020 had begun with the loss of one of our husbands and a pandemic birth of twin girls for me. We needed to hear from one another and we needed to know that though we were all on separate paths, we were all experiencing the same struggles.
As we talked we began to realize the many challenges facing us as mothers right now. We share the same anxieties. We worry we may not be able to get through our daily lives successfully and we worry we will break down at some point. We worry that there is no right answer to all of these issues and we worry that when the answer comes it will not benefit our children. We worry about our children and we worry about them all. The weight of the world rests on us.
We hold out hope that an end to this pandemic is coming as this year has been hard on us and our children. To my own children whenever I need to calm nerves, hush cries, or chase away bad feelings, my words of comfort have always been, “Mama’s here”. This expression that I have whispered to all of my children is my way of letting them know that I am here now and all will be well. And is that not the truth? When my own mother comes to my house, and I am completely entangled in my day to day priorities, my mother takes care, feeds, cleans, clears, sets back straight my upended world.
And perhaps it is mothers that we all need right now. I know I need mine and my children need me. Because it is mothers who can find the beauty in the most ugly situations and mothers that can pick up the pieces, put them back together and love unconditionally the end result. As mothers we feel the weight of the past few months and we realize we are the ones keeping the balance. Everything depends on what we do now. I feel it and I know all the mothers out there feel it too.
As we move towards an unprecedented start of the school year, there’s going to be sacrifices that need to be made and it’s likely going to be mothers that will step up. We are the heads of the households and we dictate the overall sentiment of the home. When Mom is off, the entire family suffers. For many of us this will be the year that careers are put on hold, personal time is relinquished and new roles will be need to be learned and managed.
In addition to the pandemic we are at a moment in time when things are happening, society is being prodded, pricked, and we are taking a good look at ourselves and how we fit into this change, this movement, that is inevitably coming. It is more important than ever to raise self-conscious children. There will be questions and we need to have thoughtful answers. We want to quiet their minds to the noise and at the same time we want to ignite their souls. What has drawn my attention and affected me most during the past few months is listening to mothers and hearing their stories. I have seen mothers on the front lines, mothers as educators and playmates, mothers that were willing to use their own bodies as shields whether it be bullets or a deadly disease, some fighting for women, some fighting for equal rights, all fighting for their children. When it comes to the bond between mother and child, that is something that can unite all of us.
That is what our children have given us, they have erupted a fire in us. A fire that keeps us going day in and out. No matter a pandemic, what role we play on any given day, or answers we are given, we will continue to be there for our children, just like the whispers, the promises, we once made in their sweet little ears.