©2020 Erin Newton, www.thewellnessgarden.ca, All rights reserved
Moms are always extra busy over winter holidays. We shop, we cook, we clean, we make the magic happen. Like so many moms, I have worked extra hard this year to make Christmas special. I've put lots of time and effort into gift selection. I'm trying to meet everyone's emotional needs and to be the rock they need as they mourn the loss of merriment and connection. I'm trying to keep everyone's moods lifted amidst the ever-looming shadow of Covid and isolation.
At the end of the day, I am exhausted in my bones from what feels like a massive emotional load. Mom-mode almost feels like survival mode. When my mom-mode is switched on, I do whatever needs to be done. I don't always feel the strain until it's over and by then, it's too late. I'm completely depleted.
Well, it's Christmas Eve Eve and I've already hit the emotional wall. The burden is too big and I need to set it down. I can't take everyone's pain away. People will be sad. People will be mad. People will be lonely and all of that is real, normal and understandable. It's not my job to take it away. It's my job to be there through it all.
What I've learned is that, as moms, we can't feel everything for everybody and we can't always take the hurt away. With love comes loss. With joy comes grief. With community comes isolation. If we don't experience one, we can't appreciate the other. Nor can we fully recognize the difference between the two.
By not allowing my emotional cup to run empty, I can be what matters the most. Mom. Just mom. It is my presence that counts, not my presents. The most important thing I can do for my family is be there, to listen and to love. By not allowing my emotional cup to run empty, I am giving my family the best gift of all - my strong, healthy, loving self.