These past few months have been . . . a lot. I honestly don’t have the words to articulate all the feelings I’ve had since the world turned upside down in March. I don’t ever feel like I can rightly discuss all that’s happening. I’m not informed enough, information changes too fast, I’ve been inside the bubble of my home for months on end, and I rarely turn the news on because it gives me anxiety and I don’t want to bring fear into my home that my kids will easily be able to pick up on—this list could go on forever.
Over these past few months, I have discovered I have hard limits.
I think we all have figured that out lately. As moms, we have had more thrown onto our plates than ever before and the mental load has become disastrously large for most. By the time my kids go to bed at the end of the day, it takes all I can do to simply pick a few things up and not leave a mound of dishes in the kitchen sink before I crash into bed myself.
I have never been so tired in my life yet unable to sleep due to sheer panic/anxiety/worry/fear/exhaustion/whatever you want to call it. At the beginning of the year, I jokingly said that my only goal for 2020 was to survive and, boy, what a tasteless joke that has turned out to be.
My kids have taught me more about myself than anyone or anything else ever has, and the pandemic has shown me that in epic proportions. I would follow my kids to the end of the earth (what mama wouldn’t?), but y’all, they have worn me out beyond repair and it’s only August. I have cooked and cleaned so much I’d rather just not eat than stand at the stove making another meal. I have opened and closed the back door so many times I’m pretty sure it needs new hinges. I have gotten so many snacks for tiny hands that if anyone yells “Snack!” at me again I might just lie on the floor and officially give up. There is enough laundry in my hallway right now that needs to be folded and put away for 18 people, but only four people live in my house. If it wasn’t for my husband stepping up and doing more than his share, I think 2020 would’ve already done me in.
2020, and this pandemic specifically, has opened my eyes to my limits. Every person has a breaking point. A person can only fit so much on their plate before it starts to crack and things start falling off.
I want to be a good mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, cousin, aunt, and church member. I want to be able to not feel like my world is spiraling out of control. I want to be able to put effort into my marriage, into my personal dreams, and I want to give my kids the attention they deserve. I can’t do any of these things if I am spreading myself so thin there’s none of me left for anyone.
I know that if I had another kid to take care of inside my home right now I think my head would pop off my body.
I mean it, y’all. I just couldn’t do it.
Don’t come at me saying I shouldn’t have had kids, this is what I signed up for, I’m a terrible mother, etc. My kids are my joy and no one knew we would be parenting through a freaking global pandemic. Sure, I could use more patience and a break from my kids most of the time, but that doesn’t make me a bad mom.
The months-long home lockdown has shown my true colors in a lot of things. I’ve learned that in order to be the best mom for my kids, the best wife to my husband, and the best version of myself, I can’t have the house full of kids I thought I wanted.
I have learned that there is not enough of me to go around to make that possible.
And you know what? That’s OK.
A global pandemic turned most of our lives upside down and made us question most, if not all, of what we do. We have all had to reevaluate life trajectories and family goals. During these times we’ve all had to re-budget and dig a little deeper into our hearts to find the faith needed to sustain us.
I think this pandemic has shown me my weaknesses and strengths. It has opened my eyes to what I need to learn and what I need to tinker on inside of my own heart. I have been able to spend more time with my kids than ever before and I didn’t even think that was possible.
I want to be the best mom I can be and now I know I can’t do that if I am spread too thin to be even just myself.
Moms come in all forms, and some of the most mothering people I know don’t have any kids at all.
The number of kids you have living inside of your home does not make you any more or less of a mom. Please, don’t ever let anyone make you think that.