Raise your hand if you've ever had someone tell you they could never juggle caring for and educating children all day, every day, alongside all their other responsibilities (like work, paying bills, cleaning, cooking, the list goes on forever).
Yup, that's what we thought: parents everywhere, particularly mamas, have been hearing these types of comments a lot these days. But here's the thing: these comments, like so much else about pandemic parenting, are just not working for us.
That's why this viral tweet from one mom is hitting home so hard. As parents who are overwhelmed and exhausted and carrying incredibly heavy loads, we don't need to hear that no one could ever do what we're doing—because we can't even do what we're doing.
"The next person who says 'I could never do it!' to me re: pandemic parenting is getting a VERY lengthy lecture. Oh, you couldn't do this? Neither can I!! No one can do this! Moms haven't been given special superpowers to get us through the pandemic! WE HAVE LITERALLY ZERO OPTIONS!," reads the tweet from writer Aubrey Hirsch, which has now gone viral.
The next person who says “I could never do it!” to me re: pandemic parenting is getting a VERY lengthy lecture. Oh,… https://t.co/FTHRAyFZbY— Aubrey Hirsch (@aubreyhirsch) 1614024949.0
While this tweet exposes a major issue and frustration parents are facing right now, it also brings something important to the table: solidarity. The response from fellow parents is, according to a reply from Hirsch, making her feel seen.
"What you say resonates with me deeply," one fellow mom comments. "I've always hated the term "super mom"--the romantic admiration of society and women's own spouses at times."
Another adds: "It's like when people tell me I'm a superhero for going back to work 3 weeks after delivering twins. Um, no. I'm a traumatized woman who lost her life savings due to medical bills who had to work in order to pay bills. We are failing mothers in this country. It breaks my heart."
These replies, along with the tweet itself, say so much about the state of motherhood—both before and during the pandemic. The expectations we place on mothers are staggering, and the pandemic has made that abundantly clear. And something needs to change.
Another reply to this tweet hits the nail on the head. "Same with special needs parenting," a mom writes. "And then special needs parenting in a pandemic. 'You must be so strong.' No, I'm not strong or weak, I am human. And this is really hard."
It is incredibly hard. And having someone tell you I just don't know how you do it! doesn't help.
We do it because we have to. We handle things because it's our job. We take care of our families because there's no one else who will.
We're moms. And we're ready for some real help, instead of empty platitudes.