I don’t think anyone checks on us parents often enough. Especially during the last seven months. Everyone is concerned with themselves and their immediate family (which is totally fine!). What we are going through now has made us all appreciate the little things. When you feel like you’re stuck in the Twilight Zone constantly, you have to realize there are tiny milestones to celebrate. You have to find something each day to be present in. That moment of fun. That moment of relief. That moment of gratitude. We all need those moments.
When we find these moments that sometimes seem to be hidden amongst a wall of fear or anger, we need to abandon ourselves completely. What I mean by that is we must transform into our own superhero. Wondermom. Superdad. Captain Mom. Spiderdad. We put everything aside to put our children first. Their well-being. Their happiness. That’s all that matters. When you put someone or something first for so long, you tend to forget that you also need to be watered in order to grow. It takes a lot out on us raising our children to hopefully be great people one day. That’s all we ever want.
I was standing in line waiting to shop at Trader Joe’s the other day, when there was a woman playing the violin outside. She captured everyone’s attention and I could see the smiles behind everyone’s masks. There was one lady who got out of line to just go and dance to the music. I’m not sure if it’s my motherly hormones but it brought tears to my eyes. Witnessing the simple joy of song and dance during these new normal situations. That woman even leaving the line ( and if you go to the Trader Joe’s in Hyannis you know that’s a big deal leaving your spot in line ) ! Everything about that moment was beautiful. Humanity. If you want to listen to this superwoman’s music, her Instagram handle is Violin Viiv.
Just getting out of the house to grocery shop while my boyfriend and daughter stayed home was some quality “me” time. We all need alone time. We all need to stay sane for humanity. We need to stay present and maybe today, just ask a parent if they are okay. Ask them if they would like to have a socially distanced coffee while the weather is still nice. A place they can be okay for a little while. Escape the everyday and just be.
Isolated. Withdrawn. Lonely. Afraid. Hopeless. Almost everyone has felt one of these or all of these feelings in the past six months. What’s funny is that I felt some of these same feelings when I became a mom. The new mom (& dad) anxiety is real and living through it during a pandemic can be tragically devastating. Yet, we can take this time to self-improve ourselves.
Meditation. I can’t say it enough how important it is for your mind, body, and soul (sorry for the cliche) . I swear meditation even got me pregnant! Yet, it can be easily overwhelming to try and make time for it, especially with children. I first recommend reading Stress Less Accomplish More by Emily Fletcher. This will give you the foundation and understanding of mindfulness, meditation, and manifestation. When I started meditating, I become more aware of my surroundings and being in the present moment. These days, it is all about living in the present because the future is seemingly unknown and the unknown is scary. Not only is it worrisome to think about the future for yourself and loved ones, but also the tiny little human(s) that call you mom and dad! Stress can be deadly and we all need a lot less of it.
Exercise. Whether it is going out for walks everyday or taking a workout class in your home, staying active is crucial. Even though it might not be something we look forward to doing everyday, our bodies look forward to it. We are meant to move. Turning on the tunes while you cook breakfast can be a workout! Find time throughout the day to do your dance, whatever it may be.
Gratitude. Keep a small notebook by your bed and write down three things you were grateful for that day before you go to bed. You can go as simple as the roof over your head. Or, go into more detail with being grateful of your daughter for making that weird noise that made you both laugh. I know life can throw some curve balls at us but there is always at least three things to be thankful for.
Now, some of you may feel the reasoning for bettering yourself is pointless. Who even wants to make themself better when 2020 has seemed to completely go down the toilet? Who cares to be “our better selves”? What’s the point of doing all of this when it may get even worse? Our children. We do it for our babies. Maybe we don’t want to take care of ourselves, as most parents seem to differ from, but we need to do it. We need to choose waking up each day better than the day before even if we don’t feel it. Some of our dreams may be on hold because of the pandemic and that is okay. We can become who we are meant to be anytime. We will conquer our dreams one day and be grateful for the path we took to lead us there. There will be clarity, hope, wisdom, and love throughout our journey.