She’s a mother of five, she’s exhausted and she’s going viral. You may have seen author and blogger Regan Long on HLN recently, talking about the Facebook post that is doing the talking for so many mamas right now.
Long begins her now-viral post with an apology she should never have had to make: “Sorry, I’m just tapped out.”
She continues: “I said this to one of my kids’ teachers this morning as she requested a private zoom with my child and I.
“At the same time as this, I had two other kids hopping on their google meets, I had to pull my oldest from her work to hold the baby, the kids’ Dad had a call just starting, and as I struggled with my laptop to even find which Godforsaken link I needed to even click, I was ready to crumble.
“The laptop wouldn’t connect to the internet. The baby was fussing. My oldest was frustrated I had to pull her from what she was in the middle of. I had noise coming from each room with all the kids trying to, you know, ‘school’, and it took every fiber of my being not to throw the laptop off the table.”
This is completely, totally understandable. And we at Motherly are feeling it, too.
Our third annual State of Motherhood Survey found that 74% of mothers report that they feel mentally worse since the pandemic began, and a recent survey by the American Psychological Association shows that parents have experienced a significant increase in their stress since the pandemic and are more stressed than those who don’t have kids.
You’re not breaking, mama. The world is. Our support system is.
As Long writes: “This isn’t normal. Any of it. Trying to function in the ‘unfunctionable.’ That’s the best way to explain all of this: trying to function in the unfunctionable.”
“So for those who are looking for their white flags to raise and shake ferociously high in the air, you’re not alone. It’s okay to not love this time and feel okay or good about it in every hour of every day. I can’t think about tomorrow or the next day or how I’m going to get through next week. I’m literally taking it one day at a time and focusing on surviving the next hour.”
No one is at their best right now, mama. Parents are struggling without schools, day cares, grandparents or summer camps to help. Because when we lose our village (and the pandemic has taken that from us), mothers struggle the most.
As mothers we are strong, brave, resilient and dedicated, but we are not superhuman. Long should not have to apologize for being unable to do the impossible. We cannot do it all. It’s time to drop the balls that we can drop. For Long, this means “There’s crumbs on my counter. The dishes need done. The laundry needs switched.”
And she reminds us all that even (or actually, especially) on the days when there are dishes in the sink, laundry in the machine and Zoom meetings missed, we are all rockstars.
And when this is over we will fight to rebuild the village, for ALL mothers.