A Mother’s Day Like No Other
Whether you are a mom in any sense of the word or have a mom, this year will be a Mother’s Day like no other. We are all familiar with the ways kids can throw a curveball, and that’s exactly what life has thrown our way this year. We may not be able to plan this day in the manner we would choose and celebrate exactly the way we want to, but we do deserve to stop for a minute and recognize all the things that motherhood means and give due notice to all the feelings that go with that.
We are living through history in different stages of motherhood. Our daily realities may vary significantly with the ages of our children. You may be expecting a child and wondering how to welcome him or her as safely as possible while simultaneously grieving the loss of all the usual joyous social activities. You may be nesting in place at home with young children or managing the energy and educational needs of sidelined school-age children. You may have teens mourning their social connections and milestones or young-adult children back in the nest after some time away. Or, you may have grown children and maybe grandchildren that you are kept separated from during this very difficult time.
Caring for a family in the face of uncertainty
As moms, we naturally prioritize going above and beyond for our families. Sometimes this means being asked to show up in ways that are new and uncomfortable with so much uncertainty in the world. All this while trying to sleep, care for our families, run a household — with the added challenge of getting groceries, managing your work and maybe your children’s work. Let’s face it. The activities of daily life are just plain hard right now and on top of it all we’re doing our best to answer hard questions and help our children navigate this experience. We all see and can’t help absorbing the outside cultural pressure to learn more, workout more, clean out more, improve more. While meanwhile noticing that our emotions and moods may be changing daily like the spring Michigan weather. And it’s not just our own emotions, but those of our families. This era is not for the faint of heart!
MOVE Marketers Kacey Beach and Nancy Kelly were kind enough to share these anecdotes with us. Kacey reflected on how her first Mother’s Day bears resemblance to what’s happening in today’s world…
“I delivered my twins prematurely on the heels of the H1N1 pandemic in December 2009 and for various reasons, we were advised to stay home through April. My first Mother’s Day felt like liberation. I was bound and determined to load the babies in the double stroller and have brunch outdoors in the sunshine. The thing is, it wasn’t really that warm, it took forever to get them loaded and out of the house, and the babies made it clear that they were NOT on board with my plan. While I was quite disappointed in the moment, I learned that motherhood doesn’t put on the brakes and conform to any preconceived plan or notion of a holiday. It didn’t then and it won’t this year either, and that’s ok.”
Nancy shared this recent interaction with her son…
“My 17 year old son asked ME, yes me, to play basketball today. That was today’s magic moment — something that would never have happened if we weren’t 2 plus months into quarantine. As much as I really didn’t want to brave the cold sunshine, I got dressed and met him outside on the court. We laughed, I lost (badly) and then we walked the dogs.”
Seeking out the moments that matter
So, we do what we do best. We carry on and make it work. Perfection is an illusion on a good day so we will seek out the moments that matter. When your 17-year old asks you to play basketball, you will of course say yes and laugh your way through it. When your twins fuss (ok, scream) through your al fresco brunch, you’ll shrug it off and push the buggy home to get them to sleep. When you can’t go have dinner with your grandkids, you’ll schedule a Zoom party to play a game with them.
These days may feel extremely long and full of uncertainty and your kitchen might feel permanently messy, but there will be moments every day that remind you how unique this time is that we are living through. It won’t last forever. We will all come through it stronger than ever. Capture the moments in your soul and with your camera when you can. Seek out the simple gifts of breathing and take time to get outside and connect with nature. Let go of things that add stress like expectations and screens and try to make time for what builds strength like exercise, meditation, and nourishing food. Know that you are enough. Ask for help when you need it. Be a haven of comfort for your children, but also let their bright minds be a comfort to you. Be assured that your love lives inside them and radiates out into the world.
Nourish yourself for the road ahead
Motherhood and living through a pandemic have this basic fact in common: we’re not really in control. Moms have instincts like no other so listen to your gut and practice sharing what you need with your family. Do something that nourishes you for the longer road ahead, whatever that may be. For some it may be some quiet alone time and extra rest. Others may crave family time. And for some this year virtual time or physically distant time might have to be enough. Find ways to connect and fill the day with the moments that matter, relishing the joy they bring to your heart.
So, to all the moms and nurturers of our MOVE Community, take care to be well and accept our sincere wishes for a peaceful Mother’s Day.