I’m writing this in the notes on my phone while my husband snores soundly beside me. It’s 1:54 AM.
I should be sleeping, but instead, my mind is running wild in typical mom-fashion. I know somewhere out there, yours is too.
The mental load of motherhood is nothing new to you. You spend your days running through an endless checklist of to-dos: Switch out the laundry. Pay the bills. Keep the pantry stocked. You worry constantly about your kids: Are they making friends? Are they growing into good human beings? Were you too hard on them earlier?
A mom’s mind never rests. Not ever.
And now, just when you thought the mental load of everyday motherhood would crush you, along came a virus that added more racing thoughts to keep you awake at night.
How long will this last? How many kids will go hungry without school lunches? How will the small businesses in my town stay afloat? How many more days can we go before I have to make a grocery run?
Are Mom and Dad staying in like they should? Are the baby’s sniffles allergies? A common cold? Something more? Is it only a matter of time before someone I love gets very sick?
The questions are endless and the answers are few . . . it’s a tough place to be.
It drives you crazy to feel so helpless.
You wish there was more you could do—you’re a fixer, and washing your hands and staying inside doesn’t feel like enough (although I promise, it is).
You’d give anything for a sneak peek six months into the future, just to see that everything is going to turn out OK.
I know uncertainty is extra unsettling to your mama heart, but I also know this:
You were given this mental load because you are best equipped to carry it.
The anxiety that keeps you up at night transforms into action in the morning as you do exactly what needs to be done. You are the rock that will get your family through this time.
Because of you, your family has food to eat and supplies to last.
Because of you, your household will still run like a well-oiled (possibly screen time-dependent) machine, even in the middle of chaos.
Because of you, your husband has a steady teammate to weather this storm with.
Because of you, your kids feel safe and loved. Even now.
Don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking you’re not doing enough, because all of these things matter so, so much.
So to my fellow anxious mom who is awake in the middle of the night, I say this: stop Googling. Put away your phone, close your eyes, and try to get some rest. When morning comes, pour yourself an extra tall cup of coffee and tell yourself everything is going to be alright.
The mental load of motherhood in the time of a pandemic is heavy.
But you are strong enough.