I can't tell you how many conversations I've had about how hard it is to make decisions in this covid-19 world. There are so many factors. So much (and so little) research. So much news. So many contradictory studies. So much advice from well-meaning (and maybe some not-so-well-meaning) people in our lives.
I have friends whose kids haven't missed a day of daycare this year and others who have not been anywhere except their homes and the outdoors since mid-March.
Some of us can't imagine doing this one more day. Others have settled into a rhythm that works for their family. I have those same two thoughts sometimes within 5 minutes.
But one resounding cry I hear on repeat is the complete exhaustion around all of the choices we have to make. We already had more than enough choices - how to feed our babies, where (and how) they should sleep, who will take care of them, how to take care of ourselves, etc. etc. We have serious decision fatigue coupled with moral fatigue. We were already drowning in stress.
And now we're being asked to do the impossible - make the best choices with no information in the middle of a pandemic.
It's REALLY FREAKING hard.
And the answer is there are no right answers. And the other part of the answer is it's not your fault.
As Alison Escalante wrote a few years ago, but I can't help but share now, “I want American moms to stop blaming themselves. I want American mothers to stop thinking that somehow their conflict is their own fault, and that if they tried a little harder, got a new schedule, woke up a little earlier every morning, using the right planner or the right app, that they could somehow figure out the key to managing their stress. That’s just not the case.”
We live in a culture that doesn't value mothering or caregiving. We're pitted against each other when all we really want is whats best for all of our children.
So this week I have one decision-making thought, one quote from Frozen 2, and one request.
After you have gathered the information, had all of the conversations, and done all of the googling, turn it all off. Go to a quiet (or relatively-quiet!) place, put a hand on your heart, take some deep breaths, and sit with your decision. Notice how it feels in your body. You will likely know if it's the right one.
Know that you are likely just choosing "The next right thing." (link to the Frozen 2 video!) Meaning, it's ok if you change your mind after a day, a week, or a month. You did not "fail." You were not "wrong." You just need to change course sometimes.
And please let's all be in this together. Let's release judgement of ourselves and of others. There is no one right way for every family and we all need a little more kindness and compassion as we navigate the truly overwhelming task of growing, birthing, and raising our babies in a pandemic.
Sending you all big (virtual) hugs this week!
Thoughts on pregnancy, birth and motherhood.