If I’m being honest, I’m worn out from hearing the word unprecedented in the news. It’s used so much that I’ve become numb to it. Unprecedented times, unprecedented situations… Does anyone else want to go back to normal times and normal situations again…and soon?
I recently decided to overcome my dislike of the word and look up its definition. Dictionary.com describes it as “without previous instance; never before known or experienced; unexampled or unparalleled.”
Do you know what I found in that definition, moms? A reminder that this situation is brand new to all of us, young and old. A reminder to show ourselves grace.
The reality is we’ve never done this before.
- We’ve never felt the threat of an unknown virus around every corner.
- We’ve never had our kids’ schools suddenly closed and scrambled to teach them from afar for months at a time, all while working from home.
- We’ve never been restricted from seeing other moms face to face for coffee dates or support groups.
- We’ve never been told that we can’t let our kids play with other kids.
- We’ve never been told that we can’t let our kids hug their grandparents.
- We’ve never driven by the park and seen caution tape around every playground.
- We’ve never stood in line outside grocery stores, hoping and praying they still have toilet paper when we get inside.
- We’ve never had the decisions of a few people impact our everyday lives on such a profound level.
- We’ve never walked through this level of anxiety, fear, depression, or anger.
None of us have done this before. Not the grandmas. Not the moms with high schoolers and college students. Not the young moms, new moms, or moms-to-be. We’re all new to this, and we’re all navigating it in our own way.
What does this mean for you and me right now?
1. We don’t have to be so hard on ourselves.
There’s no roadmap to navigate exactly what we’re facing. This can be hard for those of us who like structure, but guess what? It also means we get a free pass if we don’t get it 100% right. Our kids might be on screens more, or we might lose our patience. We can take steps to correct anything out of balance, but we don’t have to beat ourselves up. Our heavenly Father gives us grace upon grace upon grace, so why would we trample on His gift by not extending that same grace to ourselves?
2. We don’t have to be so hard on our kids.
If we think this situation has turned our world upside down, that’s equally true for our kids. Depending on their age, they may not understand all the whys behind it. Let’s lead them with a little more grace and compassion during this season—not letting them run reckless, but letting them express their fears and negative emotions without judgment. Don’t we moms long for a safe space like that for ourselves? Let’s extend it to our kids.
3. We don’t have to be so hard on each other.
Isn’t it funny how social media compels us to explain our every viewpoint right now? Even going to the store can invite judgment. Who’s following the guidelines? Who isn’t? Sadly those questions seem tied to a person’s moral value. Are they responsible or heartless? The all-or-nothing list goes on.
Moms, can we make a pact right now to not judge each other anymore? When this world comes to an end, it won’t matter if a person wore a mask or not…or whether a mom scheduled a play date for her kid. What will matter is the condition of her heart in relationship to Jesus.
We’re all doing the best we can right now. Let’s lead the way in showing grace one day at a time.
We’ve never done this before. And that can be a beautiful thing.