Ever since 2020 hit, a lot of moms have found themselves isolated more than ever. The old saying, “it takes a village” suddenly didn’t seem to apply the same way anymore. In many circumstances with social distancing and quarantining, it couldn’t.
None of us were able to sail through the past couple of years unscathed. Sure, we were all in different boats, the waves may have hit some harder than others. But we all experienced the waves, we all experienced a change in direction. Many moms were already feeling isolated before setting sail.
Isolation. The meaning of this word changes once women become mothers.
The meaning of this word changed again for many of us due to the worldwide pandemic. Mothers who had already perfected balance in their lives, whether working or staying at home, were now expected to go back into the isolation phase. School, daycares, extended family who helped with childcare, playdates, and the like all came to a halting stop.
Unless, of course, the mother was an essential worker, and then she had to juggle a whole different deck of cards. But this mother was still isolated nonetheless, and a lot of times from her own family. Trying to keep everyone healthy and navigate a new world full of unknowns.
Now that some years have passed, and a lot of the world has assimilated back into society, we mothers need to resist the isolation that’s become comfortable. This may be harder to do for some moms than others. It may also depend on whether you are introverted or extroverted. But momma, we need community regardless. We need our villages. We matter in this world.
Below are steps (not in any specific order) to help you resist isolation. These steps will also help when getting out isn’t an option.
1. Be Intentional
Being intentional could mean blocking off time on the calendar each week to speak to a friend. Bonus points if you can get together in person. This could also mean making a weekly or biweekly date with your significant other. If you can go out, great! If not, plan your night in while the children are asleep.
2. Join Something
Sign up for that weekly spin class, check out a local MOPS group, take those piano lessons. Whatever you’re passionate about, make it happen. Joining is the first step.
3. Get Outside
Whether you’re with the kids or not, get outside. Take a walk, go to the park, play in the yard, tend a garden. Breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun, and notice the world around you.
4. Change Perspectives
Being isolated (with children) for extended periods of time can be mentally draining. Try to remind yourself that nothing lasts forever. Work on shifting your thoughts to what is good about the situation.
5. Give Grace
When isolated, are you on edge? Does your patience go out the window? Remember, you are only human. Give yourself some grace. Take a bubble bath while the kids have screen time. It’s okay to take a moment to take care of yourself.
6. Pray or Meditate
Prioritize your spiritual health. Even when you are alone with the children, you can still pray or meditate. Take each day moment by moment. Tape some favorite Bible verses or motivational quotes in your cupboards, on your mirrors, and throughout your home. Let these encourage you daily.
7. Put Down the Phone
Stop scrolling social media and comparing your life to others. Remember, that people’s feeds are just a highlight reel and don’t necessarily represent what is real. Instead of viewing the lives of others, put the phone down and live the life you’ve got.
8. Take it One Day at a Time
Every day is a new day and an opportunity for change in your life. All these steps don’t have to happen overnight. Maybe just add one at a time until you start to feel balance in your life again.
We moms are strong, and if the past few years have taught us anything, it is that we are up for the challenge.