There won’t be any Mother’s Day gifts brought home from preschool this year. No necklaces made from noodles or Fruit Loops. No pictures still sticky from undried glue and full of glitter. My husband will not be able to drag my kids on their yearly trip to the mall. They always pick me out an overpriced candle or clothing that I probably won’t like but will feel compelled to wear. None of that of that is happening this year. I think I can speak for all the moms out there when I tell you what I really want for Mother’s Day during our current global pandemic.
Like all moms who are currently quarantined with small children during the COVID-19 crisis, the days are long. There is nothing to break up the monotony. Changing diapers, getting snacks, and playing school or princesses– whatever game my toddler is demanding– makes time drag. By the end of the day, I am craving a few minutes of peace. Don’t get me wrong, my kids are my life and I am grateful for all of this extra time with them, but this mom needs a time out. It doesn’t even have to be quiet; I just need someone not climbing on me or asking me for something! I would like to sit down for more than three consecutive minutes. It would be nice to read more than a few pages in the book I have been trying to finish since the beginning of April.
My Mother’s Day fantasy (which I know will not happen) is an entire day to myself. I would like to lay in my bed, alone, and watch all of my trashy reality shows in peace. While I really enjoy watching Happy Feet multiple times in a single day, this mama needs a break. Even when I get to sneak a few minutes of crappy TV, it’s usually short-lived because someone needs a bottle or their butt wiped. All the joy of my guilty pleasure Bravo binges are gone.
I would also like to not be touched this Mother’s Day. I know this sounds harsh, but moms of littles, I know you can agree. From sun up to sun down, I have kids sitting on my lap, sleeping on me, touching my face, touching my food, pulling my hair, and a million other things to invade my personal space. My oldest daughter is extremely hands-on with me and after an entire day, I feel like I want to jump out of my skin if another person touches me. I know this only a phase and I love my kids, but please don’t pull mommy’s hair the entire time you are watching Dino Dana.
My one form of escape during our time of quarantine and togetherness used to be showering. I would run a hot shower and hide in there from the screams of children after my husband got home from work. It’s a nice break for quick second. This has all come to a screeching halt since my youngest has started a nasty habit of pooping in the bath tub. We have had to move her to the shower, and by default I now end up sharing my five minutes of peace and quiet in the shower with two squealing and splashing little girls.
No More Guilt
Another thing during this pandemic that I am experiencing which is a new emotion for me is mom guilt. As a full-time working mom, I was killing it. I was balancing being a good employee and a good mom. This full-time mom gig while trying to work from home a few hours a week is leaving me feeling more guilt than anything. I find myself questioning my parenting skills, my sanity, and my choices on a regular basis.
Am I giving them too much screen time? The answer is no. We get outside when we can, we do arts and crafts, and we play games. We also do a lot of relaxing and that means streaming movies we have seen a dozen times. Sometimes this is so I can fold laundry, get dinner ready, or reply to an email. Other times it’s so I don’t have to answer the million and one questions that my three-year-old barrages me with on the regular.
Are we eating healthy foods or are we relying on takeout or frozen pizza too much? Once again, the answer is no. If your kitchen is like mine, it’s open day and night for constant snacks and meals…sometimes playing short order cook because picky eaters don’t care that we are in the middle of global crisis. Sometimes a frozen pizza or a Happy Meal is the only thing saving my sanity at the end of a long day. So along with some alone time, this year for Mother’s Day, I would like to put an end to my internal dialogue that is filled with mom guilt.
What I Really Want for Mother’s Day this Year
I am doing the best I can in an unforeseen situation, and so are you no matter how that looks. Some days, I knock it out of the park. Other days, I drink more wine than I should to try and forget the day’s challenges. One thing is for sure, when all of this over, my children won’t remember that they ate macaroni and cheese for lunch (and dinner) three days in a row. They will remember the time we spent together and the memories we made during this challenging time, and what better Mother’s Day gift could I ask for than that?