A Letter For All Mamas in 2020

Yall, 2020 has been so rough. At the point to where I KNOW it can only go up from here.

Even though I have a lot to be thankful for, it is hard not to dwell on everything that has happened to me, and to everyone else in the world this past year.

As moms, that kind of burden and weight is hard to keep in even though you know you have to. The only thing kids will remember from this time is how different WE WERE. Not how different the world was. They will forget about all of that.

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First, let me start with what happened just yesterday. I was at Target with Troy and Miller and Troy had to run back in because we forgot to grab something. Miller was super fussy (she hasn’t been feeling that great lately) and was asking for the keys. I knew she wanted to bite on them and suck on them and just have something in her hands to play with on the way home. I gave in and gave them to her just to stop her fussing. She had been fussy the entire time through Target and I was just aggravated with her by that point. WHY? Honestly because I had more clothes I wanted to look through but she was tearing the place apart whenever I set her down and our cart was full so we couldn’t put her in there. Selfish reasons why I was aggravated, you know. We all have them.

Anyway, I gave her the keys. Can you see where this is going yet? I strapped her in, handed her the keys, and closed the door. In the time it took for me to walk around the car to get to my passenger door I heard the BEEP BEEP of the car being locked. I froze. I didn’t even have to try to the handle because i knew in my heart what had just happened. A baby sees buttons and what do they immediately do? They click on them. DUH. How stupid of me. How thoughtless. All because I wanted her to stop fussing.

I panicked on the inside but tried to remain calm on the outside. It was a 91 degree day in Denver, which means it was hot. The car had been sitting outside for the hour we had been in Target in that heat. I knew if Miller saw me panic, if I yelled, if she thought anything was amiss she would cry. That would end up raising her temperature even more.

Oh and did I mention my phone was in the car?

First I went around and checked all doors and then I started talking to Miller through the window. “Click the top button baby, no not that button the other button.” Over and over again since she kept clicking the lock button. A woman was walking by and heard me and came up to the car and asked if I wanted her to dial 911. I immediately said yes. While she was talking to 911 I kept calmly trying to explain to Miller how to unlock the car. She eventually put it in her mouth so I was trying to tell her to bit down on the buttons. She was just smiling and laughing away like it was a game.

And then I heard the click of the car being unlocked. She had done it!

The woman let 911 know everything was ok and at that moment Troy walked out of Target. That’s when I broke down. I could hardly hold myself up. I think I bawled for an hour.

Thinking back on it after I am sure Miller would have been ok. Troy or someone from the fire department would have broken a window and all would have been fine. But in my mind I put her in danger and it will be hard to forgive myself for that.

A Letter For All Mamas in 2020

It is OK to feel what you are feeling. It is ok to be exhausted, sad, impatient, lonely, claustrophobic, moody, etc. We have all been there. Just don’t let the guilt of any of it eat you alive.

A mom wrote me just yesterday saying she has just been especially moody and temperamental with her kids lately and felt so bad for it. But just last night her daughter had a nightmare and so the mom went in there like she always does to try to calm her down. The daughter asked if her mom could read her a book. Her first thought was ‘of course not I’m exhausted it is 2am”, but instead thought about how she had yelled at the kids earlier and decided one book would be ok. After the book was finished the daughter hugged her and said, ‘thank you mommy I love you’. It melted her. The point of the story was to remember that the daughter, the next day, would remember the love, not the moodiness. She would remember that her mom read her a book instead of the fact that her mom had been a little impatient. Kids are so resilient!

It is so easy to feel guilty at the end of the day, especially in 2020. You probably do the same thing we all do and play back the day in your head like this: did I play with them enough, was I patient enough, understanding enough, did I teach them enough, did they eat well enough. Instead, try thinking of it this way: Did they go to bed knowing how much I love them? Because that is really all that matters.

I know a lot of you have guilt over sending your child back to school. There is no RIGHT ANSWER there. If sending them back makes you a better mom for when they get home then that is what is important. Whatever decisions you make for your own children are the right decisions and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. You will always know what is best for your own children.

If you are still at home with your kids and are losing patience, hang in there. We are all right there with you. Mommying is so hard. Your kids love you! Just do the best you can each day (that is all we can do) and this too shall pass.

2020 will be over before you know it. We don’t know what 2021 has in store but if we made it through this year we can definitely tackle the next!

In case you have any time on your hands (as if, right?), here are some recommended books to help:

Pregnant Mamas in 2020:

The most important thing I read is that there are so many things out of our control this year. There is NO NEED OR REASON to focus or worry about those things that we have no control of. LET THEM GO. Instead, focus on the things you can control. Focus on how exciting this time is for you and how soon you will get to meet your little one. We truly have so much to be thankful for! All of the other stuff will come and go and we will handle it all when the time comes.

Focus on: Getting your baby’s room ready! Nurseries are so fun and getting it ready will help take your mind off any anxiety you may have.

Focus on: Your baby shower! Just because we are in a pandemic does not mean you should not celebrate the baby! If you want to keep it safe, plan a zoom baby shower or a drive by shower. I will have some ideas posted for both of these very soon so stay tuned.

Focus on: Your birth plan. You may not be scheduling an induction or c section, so the date of your baby’s arrival may be out of your hands, but go ahead and write out your birth plan so your dr has it. Let them know who you would like in there with you, what kind of pain management you want, etc.

Focus on: Your After-Birth plan. How will you keep your infant safe during this pandemic? For me, all family coming to help us with the baby will have to be tested first. That includes my parents and Troy’s parents. For the rest, we will go by the pediatrician’s instructions for when to leave the house with the baby, etc. These are all things you have control of.

I hope this post helped someone, somehow. At least I hope it helped you realize that we are ALL feeling what you are feeling and we are all going through the same emotions. We have all had days where we have lost it, have broken down, have felt like they have nothing left to give. Motherhood is a tribe, and we are all in this together.

xox Amanda

 

5 Comments

  1. Rebecca Sweigart
    August 28, 2020 / 2:59 pm

    We all have mom fails in their childhoods it doesn’t define us as mothers it’s how we fix them and show them how to fix them makes us human. I too locked my child when she was 1 month old in the car. I know exactly how you feel. I was in a hurry, in an unfamiliar place. Fortunately people were around to help and God was good. But mom guilt is so real. I wore my car key around my neck for years just to make sure that never happened again!! You’re right Be kind to yourself and show them love, that’s what they’ll remember! 😘❤️

  2. Barrie
    August 27, 2020 / 8:25 pm

    I read your letter, my heart goes out to you! It happens to all of us! How kind of you to share with us!

    I admire you so much!

  3. Debbie
    August 27, 2020 / 4:45 am

    Please forgive yourself as we have all done it, some more than once, with all good intentions. There is no instruction manual for how to raise children and there is no instruction manual on how to say “goodbye” as they leave for college. As I always told my kids before they jumped out of the car for school “beeurbest”. That’s all we can do!!!

  4. Irene
    August 27, 2020 / 4:18 am

    ❤️❤️ thank you for this! I also sometimes just give my toddler something they want to stop the fussing, I think we all do. Thanks for posting it is rough during Covid with limited play dates and social interaction.

  5. Savannah
    August 27, 2020 / 1:59 am

    Thank you for posting this! I had the same exact thing happen to me Saturday and stressed myself out about it. Doesn’t help that I’m pregnant too! But then I thought God is protecting me from something else by allowing this to happen and suddenly just felt a sense of peace. You’re doing an amazing job!

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