Nope. We were NOT at all prepared for this one. The mothering manual didn’t come with instructions on it. Didn’t even provide us with a warning label on how to prevent it from happening. Nope. I wasn’t ready. In the beginning of quarantine, I slipped. I was thrown off by the chaos of it all. I was tossed around by the gravity of the “new normal” that we were all dealing with and you know what? I betcha I am not the only one. How YOU DOING mama? Yeah, that good ol’ self help book and parenting book combo isn’t quite helping now is it? This has been very challenging. It is very difficult to not know how to navigate a storm but have to actually steer the ship regardless of any experience at the helm during a hurricane. Sounds crazy but we really only have two options — dig in or quit. I am in this and am going to do my damn best.
Making decisions during a time of grave uncertainty is some of the hardest work we do as a mother. Fears about making the wrong decisions creep in and take precious moments away from our ability to appreciate what is right in front of us — our babies in their most whole and pure form. During times of sleepless nights and fighting with delusional fears I find myself always steering the ship back to center and GRATITUDE. The simplicity and daily practice of gratitude consistently brings me to a place of calm in the middle of a storm. It is the kind of thought that doesn’t allow fear to exist. Like light in the darkness, gratitude literally casts out fear and they cannot coexist. Every day I write 5 one-word things I am grateful for and 5 intention statements (statements written as thought they have already happened even if they have not). This daily practice has helped me reflect and refocus on what truly matters.
I did this for years before this pandemic and you know what? During the beginning of the pandemic, I stopped doing it without realizing and felt it within a few days like a tidal wave. I allowed my thoughts of fear to take over and they pushed gratitude out to sea until it was literally unreachable. I started to see a change in myself, my relationships and even my children’s behavior. You see, thoughts become things and intersecting thoughts with gratitude has been very healing during this time…and NOT just for me. About a month ago, our entire family has begun our daily ritual of gratitude journaling – yes even my tween/teen have started….and you know what? We see instant changes. This exercise has really allowed us to make room for and focus on what matters most during a time where it is so easy to simply forget and get lost in the storm of what doesn’t.