Are you trying to figure out how to be successful in motherhood while also dealing with everything that comes with being in a Pandemic? Maybe you have begun to venture out and are introducing your child to new environments or have begun to travel and go on vacation again. Or maybe you are still struggling with feeling comfortable with your kids experiencing new environments without constant guilt that you are unnecessarily exposing them to potential sickness and germs?
As a mom myself, I know how it feels to want your kids to have a “normal childhood” that is not sheltered in the house or marred by constant conversations on the Pandemic, masks or staying inside. Having thoughts of “Am I doing the right thing for my kids while in this Pandemic?”, “If we go on vacation, am I unnecessarily putting my family at risk to get sick?”. Or even feeling guilty if you went to that waterpark or spent time at the museum, especially if your child developed sniffles or a cold after your fun vacation experience.
Know that there is not one right answer. What works for one family, may not work for yours. Children of all ages, deserve to make positive memories, even in a Pandemic. If you find yourself in a negative thought loop, try to bring yourself back out of it, by thinking or listing all of the positive things that happened with your children as a result of venturing out of the house and making new memories. Your child will not remember the cold they got after their vacation, but they will remember all of the fun and laughter they had at an amusement park or going to see the animals at the zoo.
I have also listed some steps below you can utilize to help you begin to feel confident in your decisions as a mom. You deserve to feel as if you are surviving and thriving within motherhood, as you navigate the new rules the Pandemic has placed on all of our lives.
Steps to Surviving Motherhood in a Pandemic
- Remove the negative thinking. If you fall into a negative thought loop, begin to pull yourself out by challenging those negative thoughts. “My child will only get sick if we take this plane ride” can instead become “My child is going to make so many positive memories and will learn more about the outside world as we travel. If my child catches a cold or gets sick, I have the resources available to help them feel better.”
- Acknowledge changes in your life as a result of the Pandemic. Unfortunately there is not a manual on how to parent and be a mom in the Pandemic, so you may need a little more help on figuring out how to balance it all. Acknowledging how things have changed, while also acknowledging your own feelings around it, could help you get a handle on how you are feelings and how your feelings have been affecting your actions.
- Mom guilt is not always a valid emotion. Just because you feel guilty about traveling, going on vacation or making memories with your children, that does not mean it’s a bad thing. Read that again. Just because you feel guilty about it, does not always mean it is a bad thing. The source of your guilt can come from many different places. If you are feeling an immense amount of mom guilt over your decisions, take some time to journal a pros versus cons list of your decision. This could help you identify the area that is causing the guilt and allow you to challenge that guilt with realistic facts.
- Do not be afraid to get more help. If you are struggling with negative thoughts or guilt and do not have a way to work through it, it may be time to get extra support and help. This can look like having conversations with the people you trust about your thoughts and feelings. It could also mean you sign up for counseling sessions, specifically with a therapist that you align with and has the experience to be able to address your needs.
How to Thrive as a Mom in the Pandemic
- Remember your own self-care. You are being an awesome mom but have you taken the time to focus on your needs? You can’t thrive if you are constantly pouring from an empty cup.
- Allow yourself grace to make mistakes. There is not a manual for motherhood. You will not always make the best decisions or do all of the right things and that is okay. Your kids are not expecting perfection nor do they require it.
- Call on.your village. Sometimes being successful at motherhood is recognizing your limits and calling on your village of support to provide an extra hand. This could be look like a mini mom break to provide you with some personal free time or provide you with an outlet for adult discussion.
- Feel confident in knowing that your child is constantly growing and learning as a result of the new experiences they are participating in. Memories are being made which has a positive effect on your children.
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