In case no one has reminded you lately, you are totally rocking it. I know, you believe that as much as you believe that the house won’t be wrecked by the time you get home, but it is true. And I felt like you needed to hear it.
If someone would have told you 365 days ago what you would have up ahead, it never would have sat well. Your plate was full then, and you already had too many hats to trade off.
And yet, here you are, totally killing it. Think about how far you have come – how much you have grown – in the last 12 months.
Within days, you learned how to figure out your entire job from home. Maybe you had to set up portable screens, figure out new ways to communicate or tame a screaming toddler during conference calls, but you did it.
And all those school logins, the different websites, the reminders, the deadlines and the meltdowns (sometimes the kids and sometimes your own), guess what, you figured all of those out too. Because that’s just what you do.
You may have wiped down all the groceries, lost your sanity sanitizing all the door handles and surfaces, feared the worst and prayed for the best. Or you may have called it all hocus-pocus and done none of that, but you still felt the pull of the chaos around you. And you didn’t waver. You stood tall and did what you thought was best for your family.
You found activities that were allowed and safe for your crazy kiddos that were itching to get out of the house. And, with caution and anxiousness, you gradually snuck back in some normalcy throughout the year. You kept them busy, growing — no, flourishing — in a situation that has never happened in our lifetime. You did that, Mama.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t always easy, nor is it something you ever want to do again. But, what you don’t see — what these kids don’t even realize — is that you took a time that was completely out of your realm of possibility and flaunted it flawlessly like you knew what you were doing all along.
And, let’s be honest, you had no idea what you were doing! Rolling with the punches, screaming into pillows, hiding out with chocolate in the bathroom, making the best of every day or pouring that glass of wine — whatever you needed to just keep on going, you did it.
Was it easy? No way! But you, Mama, made it look easy in front of those babies. Sure, you may have lost it a few times (more than normal), but they don’t remember that.
They will remember that strong lady who magically just made it all happen. And they may never understand the depths of the water you swam through to make it all happen (at least I sure hope that this never happens again in their lifetime), but they will remember that you were there busting your butt all along the way.
And you should be proud, Mama — so proud — for getting through one of the toughest years, regardless of your feelings on the entire pandemic. This wasn’t planned or foreseen — no parenting book included a chapter on what to do if the country shuts down due to an unknown new virus.
No, Mama, you had no tools to go by other than your motherly instinct and your complete will to never fail your babies. Oh, I know. There were times where you felt like you failed — should have handled so many things differently, could have done this or that. But, don’t let those define you, Mama. Those were simply the growing parts that got you through and where you are today.
And today, we are coming up on the time that just last year felt like was ripped from us, like an entire year stolen. Yet, through all the learning curves, ups and downs, smiles, tears, laughter, anxiety, fears, and thoughts of completely messing it up, you are here — a full year smarter and full of memories of time spent with your babies that you may never experience again.
You took it in stride, Mama, like you always do. And came out of it so much stronger by just doing your best and totally knocking it out of the park.
The future is looking brighter which is a weight off the chest, but I know just how exhausted you are. And that’s OK. But guess what, Mama. Last lap. You got this.
You rocked it, you are still rocking it, and you will continue to rock it. Because that, Mama, is just what you do. And I honestly could not be more proud of you.
All my love,
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.