I hurt my knee pretty badly the other day, and – while I wish I could say that it was due to something exciting like ‘I got hit by a car while running a marathon’ – the truth of the matter is that it happened as I was bending over to pick up an Amazon package. And while I wish that I could say it was a 50 pound package for which I had to brace my body during the lift, it was actually the arrival of my daughter’s new, pink-flamingo bathing suit. Sooooo, basically I was taken out by a plastic envelope that weighed less than a pound.
Oh, dear Jesus, take the wheel!
Bending the wrong way and popping my knee has become a thing that I do on occasion, because – apparently – I like to switch things up sometimes by restricting my ability to walk… I’ve gotten really good at crawling up stairs, hopping on one foot, and sliding out of the shower like a slug.
You know those sweet little ol’ ladies who hobble around the grocery store, hanging onto their shopping carriages for dear life as though someone’s sneeze might blow them over? That was me the other day… Except I’m in my 30’s, and those sweet little ol’ ladies were passing me in the aisles and giving me “the look” because I was too slow and getting in their way.
It’s all quite humbling really.
The bum knee… Pandemic life… Being a mom with a bum knee during pandemic life…
Because of social isolation, so much of what once kept me busy and feeling human has been stripped away, leaving behind just… me. All the activities and titles I once juggled as a familiar part of my routine have been set aside for life at home.
It’s simple. I dress for a day of being “just mom”. I cook, tidy, scrub, wash, fold, teach, and play. I snuggle. I go to bed. I wake up and do it all again.
I’m busy… always. But yet it’s amazingly easy to feel as though nothing was accomplished. I clean, but I know I’ll step on those very same Lego’s the next day. I cook, but the next meal is only a few hours away. I wash and fold laundry, but yet my hamper is always full. I fall into bed, exhausted; but there are no completed spreadsheets, or graded papers, or anything else tangible at which I can point and see productivity.
It’s just… mom life. And not ‘real’ mom life like how I used to know it. It’s pioneer mom life (of course, without the milking of cows, collecting of buffalo chips for kindling, plucking chickens for dinner, or boiling water in a kettle for bathing).
Okay, fine, it’s nothing like pioneer mom life…
But it has all just been so isolating.
Suddenly my existence completely revolves around my family. And while I honestly thought that this was already the case, the pandemic has brought it all to a whole new level. Not only is my family my entire world now; but sometimes it feels as though they’re the only ones on my nosy, overly-cramped planet.
It can be easy to start feeling a little less than human in the monotony of serving snacks, wiping bums, and searching for lost socks. It can be easy to start thinking about how wonderful it would be to do something that “matters”.
Limping around the grocery store the other day, I had a moment where I almost laughed to myself as I thought, ‘Wait, is all this really happening or am I dreaming right now?” I would have asked someone to pinch me, but social distancing and all that… But seriously, can we just pause a moment and acknowledge that 2020 has been absolutely insane in every way possible?
How can a mama not go completely mad when each day is the pandemic version of groundhog’s day?!?
It all comes down to value and the realization that what we do is absolutely priceless. And while we mothers all know this in our minds, sometimes we need to be reminded of it in our hearts too. So, Mama, let me remind you…
In a world that seemingly has been shaken, you – as a mother – are the foundation that can remind your children of a God who is steadfast. During a time when their little lives have been upturned and all the routines they once loved have been closed off, you are the familiar. It’s the macaroni and cheese that you serve them for dinner… The songs you sing during clean-up… The gentle way you wash dirt from their fingers after playtime in the sandbox… The bubbles you pour in the bathtub… The towers you build together with blocks… The clean pajamas that you help their sleepy bodies into at the end of the day… And the way you kiss the tops of their heads at bedtime before you sing their favorite lullaby…
To you, at times, it might feel like the same ol’ routine. Day in and day out.
But to them, even if they don’t know how to say it, it’s a safe home.
In a time when all your extra’s have been stripped away and you might be feeling a little insignificant, don’t forget… What you do each day matters more than absolutely anything. Because to them, you are everything.