Does anyone else feel like The Universe woke up one day and was like, you know who I haven't fucked with in a while? The moms! You moms have it way to easy! You can totally handle more! Ugh! Now, to be clear, I'm being sarcastic. I don't actually believe the Universe is fucking with us. But I do believe we are in the middle of a massive shift of some kind. Hopefully, an awesome awakening of sorts.
Let me take you back to January of 2020.
Happy New Year! New Year, New Me!
We begin in Australia. The destructive, fatal fires in Australia, killing over 30 people and what appears to be over 1 billion animals. As a mom, (and an animal lover and a decent human), this event broke my heart. It was part of family and school discussions, especially because we were exposed to graphic images, courtesy of the media outlets. But, what about the moms in Australia? I couldn't imagine what they had to go through.
But, we did not even get to mourn for Australia or get out of January before we were forced to have the most horrific discussions with our children. Our town suffered the tragic loss of a young boy, abused and murdered at the hands of his father. One of the saddest, most disturbing story I have heard so close to home. The remainder of January and February we spent grieving, explaining and hugging our children tight.
As we began to pick ourselves back up, COVID happened. Everyone's life was turned upside down. We were scared. We hoarded Lysol and toilet paper. Stocked our shelves with canned goods. Bought masks and gloves. Many moms took over education. We soothed our young ones. We tried to make everything as normal as possible. We tried to keep our families together, among fear, stress, job loss, closed businesses, illnesses, deaths of loved ones and all the while, keeping ourselves together.
The months flew by during lock down, and just when we though we were getting back to normal, the protests began. Civil unrest swept our nation, resulting in violence, looting, destruction and division. Once again, the moms had to explain an unexplainable situation. Somehow, we had to put our own beliefs aside and do our best to help our children understand what they were seeing, without coming across too biased. And as difficult as this was for me, I hurt even more for the mothers who lost children during this time to acts of violence. Innocent children shot dead while playing outside during these violent times. Unnecessary tragedies.
I wonder, how many nights between January and June did you cry yourself to sleep? I wonder how often you prayed, pleaded and paused to catch your breath. I lost count myself. Before I even knew what was happening, I was again having grown up conversations with my children. Racism, historic monuments, politics, corruption, criminal activity, bail reform and more. Conversations I never thought I would be having with my kids. Conversations I never thought I'd be having AT ALL.
But I am a mom. I do what I have to do. I keep going. I don't stop and join protests. I don't participate in destroying anything. I certainly don't teach my children hatred or prejudice against a group of people. I am a mother and it's my job to do everything I can to protect, provide for and support my children. To teach them how to think for themselves, search for facts, be kind to everyone, and avoid sticky situations. Silently we struggle with conflicting thoughts, hoping we are using the right words, but outwardly, we are strong for our children.
And just when we thought the craziness was settling, stores and restaurants were opening, the virus numbers declining and positive outlooks all around... The Universe laughed at us. Laughed in our faces. Laughed because She knows that the moms were gonna lose their shit when she unleashed the next horror. She laughed because as terrifying and as far fetched as it seems, what she was about to present to us, she knew the moms would be the ones to shout it out loud. The moms would be able to take it. The moms would be the voices.
And She unleashed the conspiracy theories. The #freebritney movement, human trafficking, pi z za g a te, Q-anon, Out of Sha dows and more. And as I write this, I am unsettled knowing that 2020 is hardly over, and we still have a lot of work to do.
NOTE: I am speaking about moms because I am one. It is not to take away from dads. I am incredibly grateful to have a partner, a husband, who is as engaged with our children as I am. I know there are amazing dads who are struggling through this year and you are appreciated.