As I sit here and take in the news of what is happening in Ukraine, my heartbeat increases. My palms collect sweat and my eyes well up with tears. I am overwhelmed. Another unfortunate event taking place in our world. It doesn’t seem to end.
I see images of mothers and children fleeing a broken country. Families being uprooted and separated, uncertain of if or when they will see each other again. I see children being left behind and mothers gathering their strength to return and fend for peace alongside their husbands. I see parents putting their lives on the line to fight for the present moment and future of their children. I am overwhelmed by the reality of it all. And hearing stories of mothers trying to sustain their calm only to fall apart in a matter of seconds,
I am reminded of the heaviness that can sometimes burden the joys of motherhood.
The natural instinct of a mother is to shelter her children from mental, physical and emotional harm. You spend moments waiting for this sweet child, knowing that one day, they will have to face the world. And this world can be cold, cruel and downright exhausting. And you may not always be able to keep them out of harm’s way, but your commitment is to protect them. Always.
In moments like these, life is put into perspective for me as a mother, and I’m sure that I am not alone. Suddenly, spilled milk isn’t something deserving of my tears. A lack of sleep isn’t something to mourn over. Arguing with my husband over inconsequential things isn’t worthy of my time right now. Not when there are far greater worries that mothers are faced with across the world. The worries of being a safe haven for their children when the world lends them no protection. The worries of showcasing a character of strength for their children when all they want to do is break down and cry.
So I hold my little one closer during these times, a privilege that stirs up the feelings of guilt, as I know many mothers don’t have the pleasure of doing this right now. The dishes can wait. The clothes that need to be folded can sit a bit longer. Right now, I take the opportunity to pause and shower my little one with love. I take a moment to extend my support even though I feel like it is just a small grain of hope.
To the mothers in Ukraine, I cannot imagine the heaviness of mothering in the midst of a life-altering event such as war. But I stand with you. I cannot imagine the fears or the angst that must be running through your minds. But I stand with you. I cannot imagine the weight of being separated from my child or my husband. But I stand with you. And I empathize with you. And even in the times where your strength is the only thing that keeps you going, I understand your need to be weak in this moment as well, mama. The world is heavy and gives you all of its burdens to carry. But mothers across the globe recognize your pain, your distress, your unease. And we stand with you.