We live in a time where online is king and we can pretty much order anything we need at the touch of our finger tips. Most of us have shelter, technology, ongoing Amazon orders to keep the kids busy (sure, maybe not prime delivery any more), and food that’s delivered straight to our doors. There is an abundance (albeit overabundance at times) of content and resources that are handed to us while we endure this pandemic. It’s incredibly important to keep the perspective of how fortunate we truly are during these times of isolation.
And just like that, as soon as I’ve chosen joy and faith over fear, I have to address the elephant in the room: This stay at home order is HARD!!! Being isolated at home day in and day out is not natural or healthy for the human race. We were designed by God for community, not digital community. The face to face, the long hug type of community. Nothing compares to physically interacting with the people we love.
If you feel like you are failing by not keeping up with school work or making a million crafts with your kids (that they’re actually excited about); not baking sourdough bread, playing games daily; or you’ve been yelling way more times at your kids then you would like to admit (that was me today), you’re not alone! Does it feel like mom fail after mom fail? Don’t believe the lies that you aren’t good enough or everyone else is rocking this stay-at-home thing. Many of us already were dealing with anxiety, depression, struggling marriages, weight challenges, etc. It can feel like our support systems are gone right now, and it’s OK to feel like this is hard – because it is. So what do we do?
First, share with others that it’s hard. All of us want to know that we’re not alone in the struggle. Posting all the things you’re doing right and giving ideas on how to keep the kids busy is encouraging and inspiring, but we need to know it’s not all a bed of roses at our homes. My daughter had a 45- minute meltdown today, plus with all the other expectations we needed to meet for the day including my two other children, home, work and husband, I began to feel suffocated. So, of course, I yelled and immediately felt like the worst mom ever. Also, here’s a good note: I homeschooled (pre-pandemic), and to all the moms who are being thrown into “homeschool,” please know that what you are being asked to do by your schools is not how homeschool looks. You are being told what to do, how to do it, and managed by your school district or private school administrators. You have permission to cut yourself some slack, and rest in the fact that every schooled child is going to be a little behind when this is all over.
Second, give ourselves GRACE. The first couple of weeks during quarantine, I was running around constantly stressed that I was going to drop the ball in school, work, parenting, marriage (the list goes on). Of course, I dropped the ball in about a hot second. It’s inevitable when there are too many balls in the air that one (at least one) will fall. I had to re-evaluate what was really important for me and our family, and then I had to be OK with some days being on schedule and other days the TV being on – All. Day. For my sanity (and the kids), all-day TV is far better than all-day mom yelling.
Finally, if we don’t choose to do the first two, make sure to do this one. Acknowledge that we don’t have control over this situation, even when we think we do; remind ourselves that God knows what he’s doing even when it doesn’t make sense to us. Rest in the truth that he is for us.
Mamas, YOU are doing a good job (even in your worst moments) because you are showing up every day, striving to be the best mom given your specific circumstances. Even though we all are in quarantine, each of our life circumstances and home environments are different. So, may we stop the comparison trap, share what’s really going on, give ourselves (and each other) grace, and look to the One who controls everything and loves us dearly. May we continue to gather with a girlfriend (or two) across the sidewalk or digitally, and be encouraged that this too shall pass.
Sarah Ferraro is the Membership Manager at MOPS International. She grew up in Orange County, and has served in several ministries for over 15 years. She is in her seventh year serving as the MOMSnext Coordinator at Fullerton Free church. Sarah is married to David, and they have 3 children, which she homeschools. She is passionate about helping mom’s navigate the journey of motherhood, loves spending time with family and friends, and believes that EVERY day must begin with coffee. A lot of coffee.