It's been a while since I've sat down to blog, why? Well, Coronavirus happened and my whole world turned upside down. Remember back in January when the first episode of the season 2 of The Latina Mom Legacy podcast aired and it was about setting goals? In case you haven't listened to it, here's a quick link. Anyway, back then it was the beginning of a new decade, the beginning of new mantras, a new you...blah, blah, blah, doesn't that seem like a thousand years ago now?
The truth is, I feel very similar to what I felt after I had my daughter back in 2015. I wrote about that in the post, What I lost when I Became a Mom. The truth is not that different from that post, except for what I gained...except these darn quarantine 15!
What this Latina mom lost during the covid-19 pandemic...
I lost control because I couldn’t control.
Being cooped up for months does weird things to your mind. When you have a disruption in what is familiar, comfortable, and what you know, you feel like you're losing control (and if you're used to wanting to control everything, well that's a problem!). This pandemic seems to be easier on people that just go with the flow and are carefree. Well, that's just not me. I like to plan my days and weeks, know that I have X amount of time to devote to X project. I LOVE routine and this pandemic has been nothing close to routine no matter how much I've tried to plan. When you lose control, your patience is tested, you find yourself extra cranky and moody and that is simply not pleasant for anyone.
I lost my social independence.
Being forced to quarantine was so hard. Yes, it was such a blessing to have my husband home 24/7 after traveling for months at a time and having breakfast with the whole fam all the time. I was a work from home mom before the pandemic and my limited outings included socializing at the gym regularly, attending my biweekly accountability girl group, or traveling to Miami to visit my familia (below, who are my heart and soul btw) or on a bff mini vacay. These were all ME things to do and nobody told me I couldn't (as long as I had a sitter or Victoria, mija was in school). Yes, I agree with keeping gyms closed, travel and safety restrictions, but it doesn't change how I feel. Do you feel like you lost your independence?
I lost my mind & body connection.
There are a few places I go to decompress and reconnect with my inner self. One is my yoga studio and the second is church, both of which have been closed since March (I'm in NJ in case you're curious). I know that after a stressful week, I can go early to church, pray, and cry and cleanse. It’s always been very therapeutic. I know that when I leave my heart and soul feel full and I can recharge.
I know that when I'm practicing yoga in 100 degrees, focused on my breathing, and simply being in the moment that my connection to my inner self is stronger and I have clarity. I have been in a fog for months. Yes, I pray. Yes, I have a daily gratitude practice, but it's not the same when you have a needy 5 year old interrupting you every 5 minutes (as she's doing right now, "What's that button for? What are you doing? Mom, I'm hungry."). (30 minutes later) Now where was I? Oh yes, my body, well, ice cream and papitas became my best friend...sigh, wasn't that what we were talking about?
I lost motivation.
I lost motivation to work out. I lost motivation in work. I even lost motivation in teaching my daughter, something that I used to find great pleasure doing. And so when you lose motivation, you begin to question many things because your mind isn't pumped to do anything. When you lose motivation, you simply go through the motions and become a robot....lather, rinse, repeat or maybe it's repeat, lather, rinse? The order may change because there is no order but you know there are needs that have to be met. So you just do.
So what has this Latina mom gained or gotten out of during this pandemic?
I gained courage.
I wish I could say that I gained a greater sense of purpose, or I gained a closer connection to God because of this. The truth is, that I gained the courage to talk to somebody. I gained the courage to seek therapy for my mental sanity.
Now, I have never been to counseling because as it's very common in Latino culture to say, "pero si tu no estas loca." Yes, I may not be crazy but that doesn't mean I shouldn't talk to someone. I can tell you that beyond the things I feel I lost, I also had to deal with other unexpected personal circumstances that put me over the edge of what I was capable of handling mentally. I knew that I needed to seek help...and I did.
It has been over a month since I started therapy. Therapy has allowed me that sacred place to release. A place where I can vent, cry, and simply let go. It is teaching me to face and deal with my issues more on a regular basis, rather than burying myself in more to dos so I don't have to deal with them (something I'm excellent at doing). It’s giving me tools to better cope with things I have no control over and helping me find that motivation again. Every day is different and there are still very much ups and downs but I am grateful that I had the courage to find help and I continue to remind myself of my Mujer Power, as I like to say.
I know I am not the only mom dealing with added stress, anxiety, and perhaps mood swings. This pandemic hit us like a ton of bricks and we're just trying to claw our way out. I feel your pain, I really do and know that you are not alone. If you don't feel like your normal self, if you feel disconnected, or like it's too much for you to deal with, seek help, don't wait. You can talk to someone in the comfort of your home (or car like I do). There is no shame and there is always hope.
Stay safe my friend. Mañana es otro dia.