Normally at this time of year, as Mother’s Day is approaching, there is a slight pause and a hint of joy in our ‘mothering job’. We perhaps realise once again, that our kids’ presents won’t be that amazing, but we still appreciate them. Your loved ones may forget to bake you breakfast in bed, but will likely find a way to show they aren’t forgetting you. But this year feels different. A bit heavier.
It hasn’t been easy
If you are anything like me, it seems these last 6-8 weeks have highlighted my own failures as a mom. Everything from yelling at my kids, to crying, to blaming my husband for things I had done and the list could go on and on. Not necessarily items that make me feel like a ‘super woman’, ready to be celebrated. And yet, I also feel like I should be celebrated – maybe this year more than ever.
I can’t promise what kind of day Mother’s Day 2020 will be in your home, but I can encourage hope for all of us this week. Let’s choose hope. For our own hearts, for our kids, for our family. Last Mother’s Day wasn’t like this, and next year won’t be either. But for this weekend, let’s celebrate!
Here are six perspectives to help us ‘super-moms’ begin to re-create hope in our homes this week:
- Life is full of small memories, small moments. Don’t get overwhelmed by the heaviness of the potentially cancelled summer trips or plans, and unknowns of school life next fall. Stop and make a memory today with your child, with your spouse or partner, that will last and bring joy.
- See interruptions as connections. When interruptions happen (and they will), look your loved one in the eyes and answer their specific request. Even those few seconds of concentrated connection can mean more than an annoyed “Shut up”.
- Mundane routines are extracurricular points of learning. View each daily routine (preparing meals, interacting with others, sharing in the responsibilities of housework, encouraging and reflecting, reading and debating) as another ample occasion to learn.
4. Actively watch and learn about your child. His/her interests, hang ups, desires, approaches to challenges, and what causes him/her to feel defeated, are actually crucial areas for you as a parent to know about. Not only now, but also when they return to their normal school life routine post this crazy Coronavirus season.
5. Time lost isn’t lost. The time ‘lost’ to career development for working parents during this strange season can actually be seen as investing in the future of your kids. It’s so utterly easy in our current culture, to feel like we will ‘fall behind’, if we don’t ‘push hard ahead’ at all times in our careers. Right now, each of us – from the top level CEO to the university professor to the self-employed – are all being forced into new roles in the home scene. You will see in five years from now, this family time can be for the long term good of your relationships.
6. You can’t give what you don’t have. Take time to recharge. Whether that means getting regular exercise, eating right, taking a safe ‘sanity’ walk, reading your favourite book, or calling up an old friend. It is important to keep a routine of things that will build your inner strength and endurance. We don’t know how long this CMCO will last. Or even what ‘normal life’ will look like when it’s past here in Kuala Lumpur. But the resources you cultivate internally now, will be part of how those inside your home will benefit.
Don’t lose hope…
Finally, to all of you moms out there who may still feel frustrated or discouraged this month of May: don’t lose hope. The strength of character we gain as mothers, that’s being forced on high speed right now during these stressful days, is invaluable. Yes, it’s often a thankless job. And to be honest, you may only get a wilted flower you are allergic to, or a not so tasty cake for Mother’s Day this year. But let’s all realise that this job is a marathon, not a sprint. From one mom to another, keep up the good work!