I sank into the warm water last night, phone in hand and ready to scroll (I know, I know!)... but I couldn't bring myself to press the button to turn my phone on. I could not bear the idea of that screen illuminating, of my thumb mindlessly scrolling through a stream of what other people have deemed important, of one more piece of information coming into my brain.
Not one more news story.
Not one more friend's story.
Definitely not one more COVID-19 story.
My brain—my heart—is just too full to take in anything else. So I sat there, still, silent, numb and just so exhausted.
And I suspect that I am not alone. If you, like me, are experiencing major pandemic fatigue, here is my love note to you:
To the mama that is completely fatigued by the pandemic,
You are wearing so many hats right now: mother, teacher, worker, holder-together-of-all-the-pieces. You are being called upon to comfort and nurture, despite having none of your own comfort and nurturing.
Everything feels like an assault to our senses. We feel the fatigue deep in our bones.
It feels hard because it is hard—unimaginably so, at times.
So this isn't a reminder to keep wearing masks (though please, please do).
It's also not an attempt to help you find the silver lining, because some days, it's just not there.
I am not a therapist, nor a meditation expert or a mindfulness coach.
I am a midwife—birth is what I know. All I can do is midwife you through this pandemic. So I will say to you what I say to every person I have the honor of midwife-ing through birth:
Deep breath, and push.
I know it hurts, my love. I know the contractions keep coming, each one more painful than the last. I know you are tired—so, so tired. I know you don't believe that you're strong enough. I know because I've felt it, too.
I also know that you can—that you must—keep going. Because something is waiting to be born.
Right now—in this unprecedented moment in history—we are giving birth to a new world. Every time you hug your child, every time you stand up for what's right, you are bringing this new world into existence.
That's a daunting proposition, I know. But, mama: You've done hard things before.
And quitting is not an option. There's too much at stake, too much on the line.
I can see, right now, even though I know you don't believe me, how absolutely full of power you are. How behind your defeat and your exhaustion and your tears a fire still burns. A fire that was lit by many that have come before you, and one that won't be going out any time soon. This "thing" that you are birthing? It needs your fire now more than ever.
We are giving birth to a world that is just. A world where the collective good is enough of a reason to work hard for something. A world that values mothers, believes in science, doesn't tolerate inequities and feels safe for everyone.
So pause if you need to. Rest. Yes, rest. Reclaim your fervor. And then? Deep breath, and push.
Push though you'll feel too weak to push at times.
Push though it feels impossible.
Push through the self-doubt and the pain and the fear. Push knowing that you are not pushing alone. Push with all your fierce and beautiful strength, because we need it right now. Push through and trust that what's on the other side is worth it.
It always is.
Gorgeous items to help you re-find you in the chaos.
We need your voice and your energy now, more than ever. Remember that you have the ability to make a difference. Keep going, you've got this.
When finding your voice is hard, sometimes starting with a pen and paper can help. We love the prompts and reflective cues from the journals. Remember what matters most to you, and then get ready to share it widely.
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