You are tired of hearing the words COVID. Coronavirus. Masks. Remote learning. Stay at home orders. All things pandemic related. This time has been hard. It has been beautiful in some ways and there have been some definite silver linings, but it has been really, really hard.
When you decided to be a stay-at-home mom when your oldest was born you were so excited. And then that was really really hard too. You love your kids but you feel like you have lost yourself. And worst of all, you feel like a terrible mom for complaining. Playdates have been critical for you and your kids and so when the stay-at-home orders were put in place, the isolation mounted. At least during the quarantine, you felt like things were clear–the situation wasn’t ideal but it was clear.
Now you are stuck in the space of pure decision fatigue.
Is that gallon of milk really essential aka is it worth the calculated risk of taking my kids to the grocery store? Is school really going to be safe? How will my child do wearing a mask all day? Can we really handle virtual learning again? Sometimes you just wish someone could make all the decisions for you because this is way too much.
Mom rage + a pandemic
Mom rage during the pandemic is at an all-time high and one of the main reasons, I believe, is the lack of sisterhood. Often playdates are just as much for the mothers as they are for the kids. From the beginning of time, women have been gathering to share and process, and support each other. We talked about the absence of the village in the last article and beyond just the logistics of it taking a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to raise a mother. We need these safe spaces and places to process our feelings and to encourage each other’s growth.
To review through my lens, mom rage results from resentment, unmet needs, and a sense of injustice. The absence of a sisterhood speaks to all three I believe. There is resentment for not being able to do what we want to do when we want to do it. For example, how often have you tried to have a conversation with a friend or made plans with a friend only to have it be interrupted or canceled due to your motherly obligations? And even though this is part of what we expect as mothers and while we love our kids, these interruptions still build resentment.
We talked about meeting our basic, self-care needs and spiritual needs of soul expression, creativity, and joy, but the sisterhood of women refers to our emotional needs of expressing ourselves and having safe circles to support each other. Sisterhood is a place to feel and to heal and in its absence, another unmet need emerges. And finally, with regard to injustice, there is an underlying injustice that we mamas feel in living in this patriarchal society that doesn’t value the role of the mother or women in general. Even if we don’t always call it by name, we feel the unfairness of it all.
As Beth Berry says, “As women pull back the veil and begin to examine, push up against, and reject the status quo, patriarchy and all its many players are pre-programmed to shut us down in order to protect the way it’s always been. This is one of the many reasons it’s so important to cultivate strong, healthy, empowering connections with other awakening women. We’re stronger together and can support one another in times of messy change and tender growth.” Beth Berry, Motherwhelmed
The lack of support for mothers
Many of us are waking up to the reality that the system that we are living in doesn’t support everyone equally. With the public outcry for racial justice that is presently happening in our world, that has been made blatantly clear. And as women and mothers, we can see the lack of support built into all aspects of our system starting with maternity leave and postpartum care. The messages we receive about how we should bounce back and the body shaming that starts at a young age and continues into motherhood and beyond. This is all a topic for a future article, but for now, it speaks to the need for the sisterhood of awakened and empowered women in supporting each other in order to combat underlying mom rage.
Women connecting, reflecting, and expressing themselves date back to the beginning of time. First, there were letters where women shared their innermost thoughts, and then there were emails and now with Apps like Voxer and Marco Polo, the expression is still possible…even when the villages are absent and face to face contact is minimal.
So as part of your “anti-rage plan” your assignment today is to connect with a tribe or one mama soul sister where you can express and reflect your truth. Use a new app. Send an email. Give her a call. Have a play date or a mama date.
Remember the world needs us whole and it’s time that we show up.