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You’re not doing it wrong—we’re not meant to parent in isolation

Before it was hard to keep up with the demands of life—now it is actually impossible.

motherhood is isolation

The world we used to know—the pre-coronavirus world—was a difficult world for moms to live in. No matter how hard we tried to inject self-care into our lives, external pressures and the shortcomings of our societal infrastructure made it nearly impossible to truly feel fully supported and taken care of.

Now, we are in the midst of a pandemic.


And for so many moms, that means we are absolutely reeling.

Before it was hard to keep up with the demands of life—now it is actually impossible.
Before it was challenging to parent—now it is draining beyond belief.

There are so many circumstances that make motherhood relentlessly difficult during a pandemic—things that are completely out of our control. And yet there are still so many mothers who are wrought with guilt.

"I should be able to…"

"Why can't I get my act together and…"

"I wish I didn't feel so…"

Mama, you are living through a global crisis. You have never done this before, and it is incredibly—impossibly—hard.

A few years ago, I wrote a story about one of my personal parenting mantras: You're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard. I'm not sure that phrase has ever felt more true.

So I want to take a moment and revisit this mantra with you. There is nothing about the way you are going through this that is wrong. It's quite the opposite, really.

And, so.

Dear mama, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If you started your quarantine with plans to declutter your closets or plant a garden but haven't started a single project, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If you feel grateful for everything you have and still cry every day because you're just so sad, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If trying to buy food and toilet paper makes you anxious and requires an entire day's worth of energy, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If you are an essential worker and feel angry, worried, tired and scared, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If you are sick, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If you are out of work and terrified, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If your visions of adorable and educational homemade projects made it no further than your Pinterest board, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If, when this started, you said, "We'll have a tight schedule and really try to keep these kids on track," and you just… haven't, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If you emailed your child's teacher and said, "Thank you for all your hard work, but we can't do this anymore," you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If sticking to a virtual learning assignment schedule is the only thing getting your family through the day, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If your child has watched So. Much. TV, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If you haven't cooked a meal since the start of quarantine, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If you've baked and cooked more food than is humanly possible to consume, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If you are trying to work from home while taking care of your kids and feel like you're failing at both, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard. (You're not, by the way, but that's for another essay.)

If your fertility treatments were delayed and you keep seeing people on social media with kids complaining about those kids, and it hurts, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If you are arguing with your partner more than you ever have, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If you love your partner more than you ever have, but cannot muster the energy for anything romantic, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If you have lost a loved one and feel furious and desperately sad, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If you don't actually mind social distancing that much, and that makes you feel guilty, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If you are pregnant and worried about giving birth during a pandemic, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If your mind will not stop racing with the what-ifs, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If your mind cannot think about the future or even beyond what's happening for the rest of the day, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If your roots and grays are growing in and it makes you unhappy (and then you feel guilty for feeling unhappy), you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If you are worried about the long-term consequences of this on your child (or yourself), you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If you are so tired at night, crash into bed, but then stare at the ceiling for hours, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

If you have all these feelings within the span of an hour, you're not doing it wrong, it's just that hard.

Mama, there is no "right" way to get through a pandemic. And when there is no "right", there certainly is no "wrong" way, either.

Stay safe.

Love yourself.

Love your family.

See a virtual therapist.

Eat a whole bunch of junk food and then try to eat some lettuce.

Binge-watch your favorite show (even if you just finished it last week).

Take social media breaks.

Go outside.

Sleep.

Pet your dog.

Take a shower.

Be so gentle with yourself that it feels gratuitous and extravagant—only then are you actually starting to be gentle enough.

I said it last time, and I'll say it again. The fact that you keep going and keep loving in spite of how hard it is, is your superpower. You're doing the hardest job on the planet with dedication, grace and love—and there is nothing wrong in that.

We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!


A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.

$239.99

A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.

$219.99

A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.

$379.99

A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.

$29.99

A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.

$99.99

A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.

$15.99

A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.

$79.99

A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.

$99.99

An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.

$24.99

A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.

$59.99

And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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