I was saying to someone the other day that I think this pandemic has been super challenging for one group of people in particular: mothers. Overnight, many mums became breadwinners, solo carers, and teachers all at once. At the same time, they were stripped of the extra family and school support they relied on. But as we look back over this time, we should realise something incredibly encouraging – we are stronger and braver than we thought we could ever have been!
Dear stay at home mum of littles,
As the nights bleed into days, you are stronger than you know – and braver than you think.
In the season of motherhood when you’re sleeping even less than your unsettled kids; you’re facing sickness after sickness; you’re heavily pregnant or you’ve got toddlers and infants in tow; and you’re struggling to make it through the day – you can think you are failing.
You can think you’re weak when you’re living in perpetual overwhelm, your house is in chaos, and you can’t keep things together. But look back now at how far you’ve come – You made it this far. And if you’re in the thick of it now – you made it through last night. And you’ll make it through another one.
Maybe you feel at times like you’re barely holding on. And yet you do.
Maybe you feel like this season will never end. And yet, it will. It may feel gruelling, and that’s because it is. But it is not permanent.
So grab all the support you can lean on for strength. No one can do this alone.
Dear working mum of multiple kids,
As time slips through your fingers, and the days blur into years, you are stronger than you know, and braver than you think.
When school runs, doctors appointments, work meetings and house work feel like they are clambering all over you and weighing you down, you can think you’re buckling under the pressure.
With every recital, parent-teacher interview, laundry load and football practice taxi run, you feel the tug of wanting to hold on to each precious moment, and yet longing for something that makes you feel like you’ve still got some of your own identity left.
Maybe you feel like time is going too fast, and somehow you’ll miss what matters. And yet, with each lovingly-packed holiday suitcase, and wave at the school gate, you are building something incredible. Something that lasts far beyond these years. You are building what family means for your children.
So please don’t feel guilty about doing those little things that make you feel ‘you’ again, so you have the endurance to keep building that legacy.
Dear mummy to those with extra needs,
You. Are. Special. Your tenacity, perseverance, and willingness to sacrificially give out is an encapsulation of real, agape love. A choice to lay aside your own needs for another. A beautiful expression of love as a verb.
You’ve worried more than most of us. You’ve researched more than all of us. You’ve spend money on treatments we haven’t. And at the end of each day you may feel wrung out, but you are beautiful.
After spending every waking minute caring, investing, and reading up on how to alleviate your child’s distress, pain or discomfort, you might feel like you have nothing left. That you are on your knees and that no one understands.
You may have had to exit a restaurant with an overwhelmed, screaming child. But we see you as flexible. You may have had to spend hours in hospital corridors. We admire your patience. You may have been hit, kicked and growled at. We are in awe at your resilience. You are not weak, you are not alone, and you are not invisible. You may be in a position of constantly giving out, but you too deserved to be cared for.
Self-compassion is your survival. You need to forgive yourself when you get it wrong, and give yourself permission to take a break when you’re offered it.
There’s many different kinds of mummies in this world, but you’re all stronger than you know, and you’re all braver than you think. We see you, we celebrate you, and we cheer you on! Keep going!