The impact of 2020 on mothers has been astonishing. The mental load of living with so much uncertainty and disruption in way of life is taking a toll. Mothers are working from home, parenting children, trying to take care of themselves and keep their families safe and healthy. Others may be furloughed from work, suffering the loss of a pregnancy or parenting a baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Moms are operating most times feeling depleted and also feeling like they are coming up short. At least, this is what I am discovering in sessions with my mama clients. There are some things that can help moms in the pandemic to take care of themselves.
I see you and I know this is all so hard. Here’s what I want you to know. You are doing the best you can with what you have. None of us know how to live in a pandemic. There’s a reason moms are either stay at home moms or they work outside of the home. It’s difficult to do both and since no one saw a pandemic coming, mothers were not prepared to do both. Let’s look at a few simple things that can help.
4 Things That Can Help Moms in a Pandemic
How you would normally move about your life needs to look different now. Times are different so the expectations you would normally have for yourself, should reflect the changes you’re experiencing in your life right now. For example, if you’re normally very rigid about the order and organization in your home, you probably need to be more flexible. It’s ok if the laundry piles up more than you would normally allow or be okay with. The house will get cleaned, the laundry will be done…everything you need to get done will be done. Release the expectation that it needs to be done by a certain time or in a certain way.
Expectations are not meant to be set in stone. They should be working for you, not putting you in a box and keeping you stuck or miserable.
You deserve nothing short of gentleness, kindness, patience, understanding, empathy and compassion. Your inner dialogue needs to be robust with daily self compassion. Speak to yourself with an abundance of self compassion.
Don’t worry about doing it perfectly. There are 3 simple steps to remember when engaging in self compassion.
- Recognize how you feel in the moment
- Remember that you are not alone in those feelings
- Say something to yourself that shows kindness
You can check out a list of other things you can do to manage your emotional and mental well-being during the pandemic here.
Believe that you can do this. We are in our fourth month of a pandemic and while things have reopened in many places, things are definitely still not the same. You need a belief system in yourself that you can do this. You have been doing this and have survived your hardest days already. Challenging does not mean impossible. Also, struggling does not mean you are failing.
Ask for help
You don’t have to do it all. If that’s an expectation you have of yourself, revisit number one from this list. Trying to do it all will lead to overwhelm and burn out. Delegate if you need to and ask for the specific help that you need. Mind your mental health and reach out for support if you need it.
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