Monday, March 30, 2020

Grief & the mom load during social distancing.

I've got a whole lot of feelings swirling around right now which made me think, "it's been a while since I've written and shared." I came here to write and realized its been a WHOLE YEAR since I    had blogged. That made me sad, too. Now I have even more fuel to be here.

March 2020. You've been quite the month.
Oh wait, so were January and February and they don't seem to be letting up anytime soon.

I realize I've had a unique year but then again as this unfolds it's not so unique. But whatever you're scenario is, maybe you relate. Or maybe someone around you does. Or not, that's ok too.

I've been thinking about the layers that exist in this season for me.
Foe one, mom life has already been a big step toward isolation. In my pre mom days I went to a job where I got to be very social and interact with people both familiar and not. I served in a ministry in which I got to connect deeply on a regular level with young adults I am passionate about. I had freedom in my social life and plenty of space for date nights and random outings with my spouse. Throw a kid in the mix and all that kind of went out the window. I spent long days at home getting to know my baby and our new rhythm. I stopped seeing coworker and friends regularly. Dates were a rare occurrence. Ministry shifted significantly. I am very grateful for the changes our son has brought but they have been big changes none the less. And for an extrovert they have been hard changes.

Speed up to toddler mom life - we've made the best neighbor friends. We see neighbors regularly and being able to step back a bit while our kiddos play has been a mom right of passage and has lifted the load a bit. We have our routine with regular outings to enjoy, friends to see and adventures to have. We've (I've) worked hard for this. This community gives me life and Rainier loves his "fwends" too.

These friends got us through the worst months. The end of 2019 was hard and we were ready for 2020 but when my mom got sick on December 31st 2020 welcomed us with a quick turn downhill. Friends got us through the awful 11 days leading to her passing. Dropping everything to watch Rainier, making meals, bringing coffee, amazon delivering a new toy, simply being alongside us... It was awful but out people helped carry us.

Fast forward to March and that's been stripped away. Sure, there's zoom, FaceTime, texting, Marco Polo etc. but mom life leaves little room for those and none of those bring community for my son. This means my load is heavy. He doesn't fully understand the world around us (thankfully) but he also doesn't understand why our routine went out the window and he can't have the regular social rhythms that we love. He doesn't understand why now we can't stop by when we see a neighbor or use the playground at the nearby park. Sure, there could be a lot harder things to go through than solely entertaining a toddler but doing that on top of deep grief, a huge pile of estate logistics and exhaustion is HARD WORK. Creating space for emotions while managing those of a toddler is hard work. Processing the world around me and the uncertainty of all of this while carrying the motherhood load and my own pain is hard work.

I am not sure if you relate to this at all. I do think there are some great blessings being ushered in in this time but I in this moment I am here to say THIS IS HARD. And if you're feeling that, You are not alone. Sure, a bit isolated but I hope you breath a sigh of "me too" if this hits you a bit.

So many post and articles share the three points to ______ (fill in the blank; cope with anxiety, navigate grief during social isolation, etc.). And the positivity rolling around the internet is such a gift. But this post doesn't include those points. I see a post like that coming but this one is just to say, "Yup, this ish is hard my friends" but we're in it together (in spirit).

My sweet husband comforting our very emotional toddler who wanted to splash in this little creek we found but it was too cold. I feel you, kid. Lots of wanting what we can't have right now.

1 comment:

Elisa said...

You are SO right Phylicia! This is SO stinkin' hard right now. There were already so many worries in our once very busy lives and now we're bombarded with even more alongside how to navigate through it all while in isolation.
Our first week of "homeschooling" was filled with many aspirations of getting tasks done that we normally don't have endless amounts of time to get done. We made a list and continue to conquer them; but we grow old of chores and organizing and fixing and trying to focus on "educational" learning. Now, on week 3 of quarantine life, we're learning new skills, what we like and don't like, what works and doesn't work. We have hope and look forward to summer and hope to return to live in the world as we once knew it; though these are uncertain times. I've given myself permission that it is OK to allow ourselves to feel this huge range of emotions to work out the disequilibrium we are experiencing. I reminded my girls that we're living through a significant historic time period and people will read about what happened in history books. This is a great time to journal and blog about it, so I am really glad to hear your voice again; sharing the good and the not so good of life. Thanks! Keep moving forward and look head to better days.