This Mother’s Day will be unlike any other. For many moms during this nightmare pandemic, it’s really, really hard. And that’s OK. It’s difficult to have patience all the time. It’s tough to be “on” and happy for your children every minute of the day as our job security remains uncertain and the bills pile up, along with the number of people who’ve succumbed to COVID-19.
I want to be uplifting. I want to be inspiring. I want moms to feel like I’ve got all my ducks in a row and I’m making art every day and teaching regular math lessons. But I’m not. And that’s OK.
I recently spoke to a former art professor of mine, and she asked me how Elliot, my 5-year-old son, was doing. I appreciated the question. As moms, we want to give our children the world, even when the world is sheltered in place.
But I was honest. He’s a resilient, caring, kind, thoughtful and hilarious little person—but I do worry about how my actions (or inactions) might affect him as he begins kindergarten this fall, or whenever school starts. I’m a parent—now a teacher—and I work. It’s challenging to tackle each one of those responsibilities in 100% Steph fashion during this time. And that’s OK.
So what was her response? She immediately said, “Nah. All you have to do is make him happy, love him and raise a good human, and I know you’re already doing that.”
Those words nearly brought me to tears. They washed away all the anxiety that’s been gripping my heart since March 19. It made me feel like I am a kick-ass mom with a beautiful son, who’s going to be OK. We all are. Some people, other parents, might make you feel inferior, like you’re not doing enough. But you are.
If your kid is laughing, if they know they are loved, if you even do something as simple as eat lunch outside or take a walk to clear your heads from all of this—that’s great. Do what you can to express that you love them, show them you’re strong and reassure them that we’re all going to get through this together. Give yourself a break. Trade off with your partner when they get home from working out in the world.
But most of all, know that as mothers, we are as strong and resilient as our littles. There will be good days. There will be bad days. And that’s OK. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommas. We got this.