The Mental Load Of Motherhood Has Never Been Heavier

by Dris Wallace
Originally Published: 

Nothing makes the mom guilt hit you like a ton of bricks more than when you hear “enjoy this extra bonding time with your kids.” Or when people remind you that “you’ll never get this time back.”

I know they mean well. I know their hearts are in the right place when they think those comments are supportive, but at the same time it often brings up so much mom guilt for the recipient. When someone tells me to enjoy this extra bonding time, it honestly makes me cry — because trust me, I wish I could. I wish I didn’t have to worry about finding a job during a global pandemic. It’s hard to enjoy my time with my kids without stressing about the unknowns of this phase in my life.

There is no silver lining to my situation, and it hurts to say that because I am such an optimistic person. There is nothing good about the loss of my job. It’s a situation I’ve never dealt with, nor would I ever want anyone else to through. It still hurts. I am stressed and anxious. Despite it, I continue to post cheerful posts on my social media. I’m a positive person to begin with. I want to feel the positivity again that I once had, so I put it out there as much as I can in hopes that I can once again regain that sunny disposition.

My kids don’t deserve to see me in a state of anxiety all the time. It’s not their fault that I got fired because my boss didn’t like me being a mother. I have to try my best to show them love and patience, and I do that by putting a smile on my face even though inside I feel the opposite. I have to show up for my kids because they don’t deserve to know all the pain I’m enduring. It’s not their fault.

I let them see me cry sometimes, because I think that’s healthy. They need to know that their mom is human, and that it’s okay to express our feelings. I just don’t think it’s good for them to see it every day, so I do it in private most days before I muster up the energy to put that smile on my face and tackle the day.

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I know I’m not the only mom hurting right now. Many moms across the world in this period of uncertainty are hurting. We’re hammered with issues.

Not being able to leave our homes the way we want to.

Not being able to see our friends.

The fear of sending our kids to school.

Deciding if we should take a vacation to bring some normalcy back into our children’s lives. To improve our mental health.

Financial stress.

Stress about when this pandemic will end.

Taking care of our children 24/7 without a break for the last five months.

Caring for kids and working at the same time.

Supervising our kids’ virtual lessons.

Increasing anxiety and depression.

The list goes on. This pandemic has brought so many moms to their knees.

I see you hurting, exhausted, anxious moms. I see you running on empty. I see the toll that it has taken on our children and on our families. I want to offer some advice that I know I would appreciate getting. Next time you see a mother and want to offer support in a way that won’t kick her while she’s already down, rather than tell her to find a silver lining in this chaos that we are living in, simply respond with “I am here for you. We will get through this together. I know it’s hard.”

Don’t try to find a silver lining or a solution, because sometimes there just isn’t one. That isn’t being negative; it’s being realistic, at least for the time being. Times are tough right now, and every parent out there is dealing with some sort of anxiety and worry that the pandemic has caused (0r exacerbated). Moms are carrying so much right now. The mental load of motherhood has never been heavier.

I leave you with this: Mamas, I’m here for you. I know it’s hard. Your babies love you. We will get through this together. And you don’t have to enjoy every moment — especially not right now.

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