By Sophie Barcant, BA (Psyc), B.ED
The village that helps us raise our children was shut down eight weeks ago.
We lost the support of teachers, extra-curricular coaches, priests, our exercise partners with whom we got our endorphin fixes (those wonderful happy hormones that flood our bodies when we exercise)!
We lost the support of our colleagues at work and vital social and family outdoor time with friends and family. Even Grandma and Grandpa’s support had to stop. Mom and Dad became the village!
It’s Mother’s Day and although we mothers love to be acknowledged every day of the year, we tune into our mothers today for extra special acknowledgement and appreciation.
The lockdown has forced us, especially mothers, who for the most part are the primary caregivers of our children, to dig deep and even deeper to wear the various village hats.
We have performed our mothering tasks with the whole spectrum of feelings; curious about stepping into new territory as we manage the Zoom classrooms, but also frustrated, angry, anxious, and scared and yet we have done it.
Let’s celebrate ourselves today for how we have navigated this new territory thus far.
Let’s let go of feelings of inadequacy and guilt for when we or others had higher expectations of us and for when we lost our cool and reacted aggressively performing our tasks grudgingly.
We tend to forget that we are limited in our capacity to fulfil this heroic role on our own, most of us probably feel spent now, our inner resources have run dry. The light at the end of the tunnel seems distant and dim.
This saying is not new: “You can’t give what you don’t have.”
To continue to give and meet the needs of our loved ones lovingly and cheerfully we must look inward now and ‘top up’ ourselves. Our needs must be met so we can give. Jesus did say to “Love your neighbour as yourself”, meaning, be kind to yourself. It is good to carve out some time for ourselves, without feeling guilty, and to engage in activities that bring us joy, be it reading, gardening, looking at a show, personal development or just chatting with a friend.
Are you saying, ‘Yeah right, I can never find time for such things’? Well which is better? Performing our tasks grudgingly while complaining, putting out resentful vibes or postponing some chores to meet our psycho-emotional needs, which then enables us to be more productive, efficient and act more calmly?
The ultimate top up of infinite divine graces can be accessed through traditions of our rich Catholic faith. Don’t underestimate the power of contemplatively praying The Holy Rosary and Divine Mercy Rosary to gain peace of soul.
Much peace is to be had by sitting in silence, invoking the Holy Spirit, Jesus Our Lord, meditating on His truths and values. Thousands of people throughout the ages have found sanity in silence, connecting deeply to that “same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead that lives in you” and lives in me (Rom 6:10–11).
If only we would be quiet to listen and receive His guidance and peace.
“Profound happiness comes to the truly grateful person” said a philosopher. There are at least 30 psalms of praise. See the good. Get each member of the family to share daily three new things they are grateful for.
Have you ever heard that we could find holiness at the kitchen sink, changing diapers, sweeping floors, or performing any noble task? The never-ending tasks of parenting and homemaking are now endless opportunities to offer prayers. Let’s offer each task for someone different in need.
Mothers, celebrate yourself today. Appreciate yourself. Acknowledge yourself for all you have managed to juggle and accomplish during this time.
Let’s manage our expectations realistically and not be hard on ourselves if we do not accomplish the entire daily to do list.
We mothers are amazing beings. Admit this to yourself today and every day.
Follow Sophie’s parenting approaches drawn from Love and Logic and Positive Discipline on www.sophiesparentingsupport.com,
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