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I want you to know that it’s ok if you feel like you are not really coping.
I get it. Your anxiety is high.
Your mood is low.
The walls are closing in.
The world has suddenly collapsed in on itself and no-one wants to talk about because “we’re all in this together.”
Completely apart.
You’ve been trapped in the house with your beautiful family who make great prison buddies and who for the most part you love and adore and you mostly like.
But it has been months and months and they are starting to become a tad annoying. And you feel guilty for even thinking that, let alone saying it out loud.
Because secret mum code is that you like and love your kids always.
Especially on Facebook and Instagram.
Days rolling into days with no head space.
With no alone time.
Not even when taking a bath.
Or collecting the mail.
Because someone always follows you or you are wondering who might be putting a knife into a toaster or pulling the dog’s tail or eating all the Nutella from the jar you have hidden on the top shelf so you can eat your feelings later.
There is no peace in your full house.
Not even while on the toilet when children burst in or their fingers creep under the locked door.
Are they safe?
Everywhere you turn, your prison buddies are there.
And they need you.
Now more than ever!
Because the whole world has collapsed in on them too and they are acting up. Because this is the new normal.
And it’s frightening for them too.
You feel exhausted and worried and deeply lonely, despite the precious company that you love with your whole heart, but that also drains every fibre and every ounce of energy from your being. Because true love gives and giving takes effort.
Even though your house is full.
You feel so lonely.
And social media makes you think everyone else has their crap together.
And we are all in this together.
Despite being completely and utterly Apart.
More than we have ever been.
You are in high demand with the constant needs of others who are also struggling because their whole world has been suddenly and silently ripped from them too.
Some of you are remote learning.
And it’s tough because you are not a teacher and they don’t treat you like you are one either.
And they get frustrated. And they miss their friends and sitting at home inside is not good for a child’s soul. And you failed maths or science or English or art, it’s not your thing and they need it to be your thing. And you get frustrated because you don’t know how to help them with their work even though your pretty sure that you graduated third grade. You need a nap. But there is no time for that. You are needed, all day. And all night and all day, again and again and again.
When you’re a mum, you are always on.
You have responsibility for their happiness, for their bellies being full, for their safety, for their health and mental well-being. For the house being organised and in order. You are responsible for their teeth and their vitamin intake, for their character development and their manners and for developing their work ethic and you can’t even get them to take the rubbish out or unstack the dishwasher.
Let alone take their freakin plates to the sink. And who is using all the towels?
Why are there so many odd socks?
And if you hear “what’s for dinner?” one more time you may just curl up in the crumbs on the floor and prepare a meal from them.
How will they ever be employable and buy a house you wonder, as you imagine them homeless, or living in your basement when they are 35 years old.
And you’re holding it together.
Because apparently Ann Frank did it and you are safe in your home!
You really do keep it together mostly because you know you need to be resilient
because they need you to be and they need to be also.
Because the world is tough and only getting tougher and you don’t want to raise a snowflake. But you can’t acknowledge this because all you’re being asked to do is watch Netflix and chill on the couch right?
Pull yourself together.
Stay safe.
Stay home.
But you’re worried about their future.
And what the world looks like now.
Maybe your income has gone. Or will be soon. But you gotta be strong. Take one for the team.
Because we don’t want to kill old people right?
This is just what we have to do.
The bills can take care of themselves apparently.
You’re selfish for worrying, is the message constantly beaming at us from the telly, the radio and even as we walk down the supermarket aisle.
This is all for the greater good.
We’re all in this together.
Completely apart.
Don’t be selfish.
Even though you literally have no time to think about yourself….
Because you’re a mum. And good mums put everyone else before them right?
And now you are being asked to trade the well-being of the elderly, for the well-being of your kids and you’re not quite sure about the trade off. But you can’t say this out loud.
You are their rock and their soft place to fall.
But you have a mask on. And it’s not an oxygen mask. You feel depleted and tired and bored and your cup is getting empty. You feel like you are suffocating and you need fresh air.
Because the truth is, mummas need to fill their cups so they have enough to pour and they have to put their oxygen masks on first so we can put them on our kids.
But the air is stuffy.
And the walls have long closed in.
And we don’t know how many waves we will have to ride.
Wave after wave after wave.
Apparently we are now eliminating this thing.
So this new normal is with us indefinitely…
No end in sight.
And you block that thought out because it’s unbearable to think that this will be your children’s childhood.
But you truly don’t want people to die.
Even the 90 year olds.
Surely they can live forever if we all just do the right thing?
So your kids need to take one for the team also.
As the mum you are the referee between fights, the love giver, the peace maker, the mood setter, the verbal punching bag when the emotions are too hard for said child to manage, whether they are 2 or 12 or 6 or 16… the displaced emotion is projected your way. You feel taken for granted and under appreciated because the expectation from your kids is that you have it all together.
Or maybe that’s just what you tell yourself.
Society certainly believes you can rise to the challenge.
Completely apart.
You are in your workplace 24-7 with no knock off time.
There are no breaks.
Even if you take one.
You are still required to have an ear open and a place in your soul that is on alert.
Just in case.
Someone falls down the stairs, or whacks their sibling or chases the cat or needs something to eat. Again.
It’s exhausting
And draining.
Motherhood always is.
But the new normal is so not normal.
And yet no-one is talking about it.
Suck it up mumma.
It’s for the good of humanity.
The culture and current social climate has always ignored your noble calling but you never really minded too much before.
The bursts of joy and the breaks and the social interaction provided you with joust enough air to fill your cup. Mothers group Playgroup, kinder and school pick up, a chat with the neighbour, a friendly smile from the shop keeper, a hug or ducking to the shops for some retail therapy may have been enough to keep even the most desperate of mums going.
But now you just have to toughen up and do it for the good of humanity because you are saving lives!
Yet your child is having suicidal ideation and suffering from anxiety and depression or both. Because the world has collapsed in on itself and it’s hard to cope in a war that is more mental and spiritual making it invisible…even though it is very real.
There appears to be no end in sight and so many people have lost hope.
What is life without hope?
Your toddler is having meltdowns and refuses to eat.
They are scared because the whole world is terrified and they keep hearing about death and coronavirus and everywhere they look people’s smiles have disappeared behind a mask.
And no-one is hugging or touching anymore.
Your child is irritable and not themselves because they miss their friends and their sports and their routine and their daily lives.
Your adolescent misses their friends.
Your baby is cooped up.
The swings are empty.
The parks are all closed.
Where do the children play?
The neighbours have all hidden away
into the safety of their four walls.
No zoos, or play centres or cousin catch ups, or a trip to the shop just to get a non-essential ice cream.
And they keep hearing,
This is the new normal.
And that is terrifying.
People need hope.
And to know what the future looks like.
Children need connection.
And to hug their grandparents.
Kids need routine.
And fresh air.
and parks and playgrounds
And smiles from strangers.
And so do adults.
You have nowhere to shout, to cry out, to pray and each day
Is like Groundhog Day.
And it’s the new normal.
And this makes you anxious to think about.
But no one is talking about it.
Because we are now all about the greater good.
You miss your friends, and your extended family and your pampering whether that be, a manicure or a massage or brunch with a girlfriend or just a cuppa and a chat or the peace and quiet of a few hours in your home. Alone.
And you can’t talk about it.
Crafting, and playing, and taking your kids for walks around the block again and again and again. You are the sunshine in their world. You are amazing!
Even though you may not feel so bright.
I see you crying yourself to sleep at night dreading the new day.
But doing it all, again and again and again.
I see how brave you are. We are in separate houses dotted all across the country, even across the world. Our houses look different.
Some “prisons” are prettier and bigger than others. Some have back yards and some are small and cramped and not your dream home. So some are definitely doing it tougher than others.
Especially the single mums.
And I want you to know that whether you are a believer or not, you are seen by the One who loves us most! And He knows, for He honours mothers and hear their tears, even the silent ones.
We can feel unified knowing that most of us are struggling. Suffering is unifying.
Because we wouldn’t be human and the great mums that we are if we didn’t miss connection and we didn’t find the isolation hard.
I wish you knew how treasured you are.
I wish you could feel validated and know that it’s really ok to not be ok with the fact that the world has collapsed in on itself and you are not coping despite keeping it all together.
And whether you are worried about the virus, or your freedom, or both or somewhere in between, your feelings are real and worthy and normal. And you matter.
You matter so so much.
You are the hands that rock the cradles and you are the keepers of the rising generation.
It’s ok to put the telly on and take a nap.
Just hide the Nutella and the dog and the cat and turn the toaster off. Give yourself a rest. These new normal times are not actually normal at all.
They say we are all in this together.
Yet we are apart. Locked up in our houses to keep us safe.
No one is together. That’s the hard bit.
But let me assure you, that feeling low, or flat, or anxious, depressed, tired, worried, angry, or perhaps grieving the loss of the old normal and the fact that your kids have to be disrupted in this way, is the new normal!
This is not what those of us who love our kids want for them. Not the virus or the loss of their normal lives or either or both.
You do not have to feel guilty about not loving the situation. No matter what society’s message repeats.
Feeling not ok, is more than ok.
The new normal sucks!
Share with other mummas so they know we really are all in this together.
Like actually…. ❤

Marijke Rancie is an ordinary, "stay-at-home" mum who shrugs off the restrictive expectations of cultural feminism. She encourages other full time mums to not feel inadequate in their occupation as wife & mother, and champions traditional family values. Also known as “Political Posting Mumma“, Marijke's personal experience and concerned research led her to raising the alarm about the hidden, inappropriate sexual content of the so-called “Safe Schools” resources.

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