being a mom covid 19 experience

It is ok not to be super Covid 19 mom right now. Yes, I am am a mom too with high expectations of myself too. I also scroll down my timeline and when I see Karen has posted an activity on how she built an ark with left over chopsticks, I too feel a pang of “not good enough”, “I must do more”.

How we all cope with different situations is not right or wrong. I don’t think someone who has a whole list of activities, who wakes up at 5am, who is organised with homeschooling and who bakes up a storm is right or wrong. What I do think is that if you put things into perspective you will find that your priorities should be;

We Are At War

We are at war, and the enemy can’t be seen. There is a big reason for concern. We are on the brink, (scrap that) we ARE in the middle of a disaster of epic proportions. You cannot (I can’t stress this enough) stick your head in the ground like an ostrich and pretend its not happening. This is a time to acknowledge and to learn to adjust. Not to be world’s most perfect mom. How are you getting used to the changes and the “new normal”? It will take a bit of time to get used to and this is ok.

What Are Your Needs Right Now

For what you need right now simply put, I am going back to the basics of psychology. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. A Clever man published this in the 1940’s and it stuck with us in business as well as everything else as it is accurate and very true about every human being.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

First and Foremost Physiological (pink)

Focus on food, drink and anything do do with physical health. Have enough healthy food in preparation for a 3 month at least stay at home. Make yourself familiar with what you can and can’t purchase online so that you can start thinking of plan B should the need be. Make sure your children and you get enough rest and some exercise. It does not have to be ground breaking exercise. Just enough to keep the kids moving.

Mental and Financial Security

You need your home and your surroundings to be safe. Spend time cleaning out your home, and preparing to be at home for a very long time. Don’t assume that we will only be locked down for 21 days. Prepare for at least 3 months. Make your kids comfy, focus on your immediate surroundings. Emotionally you don’t have to be strong for your children or your family/husband. They will learn to get used to the changes in their own time. You can’t make the circumstances less crappy by trying to keep the kids busy and being super mom. You can’t lift the burden or discomfort for them so stop trying. It is a process. Financially this will have a huge effect on everyone’s finances, no matter how much money you have. Before you start worrying about how you will make up for this, first learn to accept and adjust. Your body can’t distinguish whether you are feeling uneasy about the unknown or because you are in an immediate life threatening situation. To permanently be in fight or flight mode is very taxing on your body.

Sense of Belonging (Green)

The World Health Organization made an epic fail by encouraging “staying apart” as social distancing because they forgot about one of human beings primary need for social connection and belonging. They have since re named it “physical distancing”. Re-adjusting for an introvert could be heaven sent because they are no longer forced into social environments. Introvert or not, we still have to stay connected to friends and family and it is extremely important to make this a priority in this time. Download an app called Zoom or House Party and make a point of connecting. Even if it is just with two people a day.

Self Esteem (Blue)

This has a lot to do with feeling in control of your life but also being recognised for what you do as well as feeling of accomplishment. (Also note that without starting with the first block and working towards this block, the other blocks hardly ever fall into place). When you have managed to come to terms with the fact that we are in a situation that is serious, has a long term serious impact, and that we will never ever be the same after that, believe it or not, you will be in a good position. Why? Because you would have accepted it and opened you up to move forward.

Self Actualisation (Purple)

From here you can think about ideas and ways to accomplish, to be creative and to accomplish your vision. From here you can start with goals and achieving them. You can start doing that advanced yoga course and learn a new skill. This will give you the sense of being in control we are all desperately seeking.

All is not lost, but it is important to put things into the correct perspective and to allow for the process to take place. Don’t ignore the basics listed above. We all don’t have to go into over productive mega drive. It is not realistic and not good for your mental and physical health.

I encourage all of you to connect. Please reach out to me on social media. I would love to hear your opinions and questions if you have any.

Written by Brigitte Willers
Hello my name is Brigitte and I am a working mom from Cape Town. I am passionate about fitness (studied exercise science), work (I have an independent project management company), my kids (I have two boys) and most of all getting the most out of the time I have, with the life I have. I have learned a lot on my journey and my blog was built to share what I know, have learned, (and still am) learning with other women and moms. I am also the General Manager for the Women4Women foundation and work in townships and other community based projects to help educate young underprivileged women and girls. I also have a small mommy and me matching kids clothing range. Please check it out Connect with me on Instagram