This is my first Mother’s Day as a mom of two. With everything going on right now, I honestly almost forgot about Mother’s Day, but in the last week, I have been bombarded with pitches for Mother’s Day gifts and pleas from husband to tell him what I want.
It’s funny because in year’s past, I wanted things like to sleep in, a necklace with my son’s initial like all the other moms had, and a family photo where everyone smiles before a delicious brunch. Then there was a period, where all I wanted for Mother’s Day was to be a mommy again, and then there was last year, when I felt more blessed than I knew possible — we had James and were expecting a baby girl in a few months.
This year, Mother’s Day feels different. We’re still in full-on quarantine in New York. We won’t be celebrating with family or attending our usual dinner buffet, which I look forward to every year. We won’t be going out to eat, we won’t have anyone to take our pic, and the likelihood that my kids will let me sleep in is zero to none. But it will still be one of my most cherished Mother’s Day yet.
Yes, I’m burnt out from working full time while caring for two little kids and a very poorly behaved forever puppy. Yes, I am stressed and worried and would desperately like to check into a spa for a week just to sleep and pee in peace. But I also wouldn’t trade these past couple of months for anything, because I’ve gotten to spend them with my babies, who are growing up so fast. I know how precious this time is — and how fleeting it is. I also know how lucky I am. There were years when I would have done anything to have two babies, so to juggle more than sometimes I think is humanly possible still feels like a blessing that for a long time I worried wouldn’t be mine.
I cry when I see stories of moms who can’t hold their newborn babies due to the Corona virus and feel so blessed that I got to hold my baby the second she was born, that my husband was there to hold my hand (well, legs really), and that her grandparents and brother got to visit us in the hospital and help bring her home. I feel blessed that we are all healthy and together and in a safe place right now. I feel grateful that we moved before this all began (even if the remaining renovations we have left to do are driving me crazy — Charlotte really needs her room!). And while I don’t feel like my family is quite complete, I feel so beyond blessed that my miracle baby Charlotte is here. Every day, when I’m driven to my wits end by running a magazine while caring for, schooling and feeding my little kids, I’m reminded how lucky I am that I get to call these two precious souls mine and that we are a family.
Yes, this Mother’s Day is beyond weird. It’s scary to think how we’re going to get back to normal… or really a new normal and what that will look like. But I’ve never felt more blessed to be a mama to my beautiful babies and to be home with my family right now. But that doesn’t mean this hasn’t been tough, especially on us so many of us moms who do the majority of the care-taking for our families.
As moms we’ve never been tested so much. We’re schooling and working and feeding and cleaning and entertaining and washing and holding it all together so that our families don’t fall apart. We’re trying to make things okay for our littles while worrying ourselves if it will be ok. We’re staying up late to finish work after exhausting days inventing new ways to make our kids feel loved and occupied and educated and nourished during this tough time, and then falling asleep only to do it all over again the next day. We’re beating ourselves up for yelling when we’re driven to our wits end or for resorting to frozen nuggets and fries because we couldn’t get groceries or find time to cook between conference calls we had to squeeze in during nap time. We stress about whether our kids are missing out on important social interaction and educational opportunities that will forever impact them. We freak out that our house is a mess and start cleaning obsessively when we know we should just enjoy playing with the kids, because it’s something we can control and a way to let our anxiety out — anxiety we hide from our kids because we don’t want our kids to worry and we want to be strong for our partners. We worry about our jobs and our mortgages and what our world will look like in a month. We worry summer will be canceled and what we’ll do with our kids for the next three months. And we long for a break without any idea when it will come.
Being a mom is the hardest job in the world and pushes you in ways you never imagined. But being a mom right now is truly the ultimate test. I’ve never felt more like a mom, or less in control of myself and my life. I often feel like a failure, more so than ever before. But I also feel closer to my kids than ever, and more comfortable in being their mother than I ever have before. I don’t know what the next month, let alone next year will look like. But I know how lucky I am that these two little souls are mine to love and care for.
Happy Mother’s Day!
On Charlotte: Floral Top and Bottoms