by Tiffany Shelton
For many moms on a normal day, there is an overwhelming amount of standards to live up to. We’re told we can “have it all” - a healthy body, children, and careers. Moms also are under constant scrutiny of others for their minute choices: whether they breastfeed or not, whether they feed their child carrots or candy, how their child acts, how good their career path is, down to the very clothes they wear. These mommy wars can be brutal.
For one, we were forced into this situation with little to no warning. Daycares, parks, playdates, and schools have all been closed. Our children are around us 24/7 trapped in our homes with entertainment steadily declining. Trying to work on a schedule has become difficult, especially when your child wants to talk about cows and cars all day, every day (or is that just my kid?).
Moms have also discovered new pressures that some of us may not be used to - becoming teachers, home chefs, Zoom professionals. When food supplies are low, moms are thinking about the risks of taking the children to grocery stores, how many masks they will need, and how to keep the children from touching everything in said store.
This pandemic is only adding to a mother’s mental load and making them more mentally fatigued than ever. According to Dr. Eva Ritvo, each time the media plays anything related to the new coronavirus, our brains secrete more cortisol, triggering our fight-or-flight response. As we see more news related to the new coronavirus each day, cortisol builds in our bodies and we experience something called “allostatic overload”. Basically, our brains are so exhausted from processing the dangers of the pandemic each day, that we simply don’t have the energy to do much else.
Helping Mothers this Mother’s Day
I daresay that mothers are experiencing allostatic overload to the max. Not only do they have to worry about themselves, but their children. We shouldn’t be pressuring them to do more than they are during this time. They have more than enough on their plate. This Mother’s Day as we shelter-in-place, we should reflect on the increased mental fatigue they may be experiencing. However, we can all stay safe while doing so. We don’t need to leave our homes to show other moms that we’re thinking of them. Maybe it’s your friend, your sister, or your own mom that you want to help. These are stressful times for all of us. Let’s remind all the moms we know that we care about them. Here are a few ideas to help ease mom’s mental load:
Doing the Chores: From breakfast in bed to washing the car, simply doing household chores would take a huge weight off her shoulders. And if the kids keep making a mess, just tell her that you’ve got it covered ;)
Grocery Shopping: For a mom that you don’t live with, doing the grocery shopping can be a big help. We are all worried about having enough supplies, so making sure the mama in your life is set is sure to be appreciated.
Online Gift Giving: For a mom that you are not nearby, online packages are always a welcome sight. A few easy online gifts could include:
- Foot spa
- Back Massager
- E-Gift Cards
Or take the stress out of planning and treat her to one of Honey Girl Organics’ Mother’s Day Gift Sets so that she can relax in silky-smooth luxury.
Personalized Gift: A gift made just for that mom. Some ideas include:
- Handwritten card
- Drawing, painting, digital art
- Flowers/plants for her garden
- Homemade Chocolate/Other baked goods
If there is one thing to take away from this blog post, it’s that we all could use a little help during these times. A lot of us have had a stay-at-home Easter and some Zoom birthday parties. These celebrations may not have gone down in the ‘special’ column of our lives, but rather the ‘necessary to stay safe’ column. Many mothers are probably not expecting anything huge because of the ongoing pandemic. So this time, let’s surprise them by making Mother’s Day a little extra special. Show that mama in your life that she’s doing an excellent job, and you’re always there for her.
And sometimes the best gift a mom can get is to spend some time to just relax :)
If you’d like to read more about mental fatigue and parenting during this pandemic, here are a few great articles to look into: