It's hard, isn't it? When your plans get tossed upside down and everything you promised and hoped for this year gets thrown to the curb. When you see little eyes gazing upon you, sad as you tell them the beach isn't going to happen this year, the park is closed and that trip we had planned to the zoo may not come as quickly as we had hoped.
It's hard, isn't it? To look at your loved one as they walk out the door getting ready to brave the front lines as a nurse or doctor or scientist or paramedic or firefighter or any other profession still working. It's hard to embrace the uncertainty; the unknown and the what-ifs.
It's hard, isn't it? When the choice is suddenly not yours as to whether you will go to work tomorrow or whether you will stay home and draw unemployment. When you depend on daycare in order to work and suddenly there is none. It's hard to look at your spouse or significant other and tell them that you're scared; that you don't know how you're going to make ends meet. That you need essentials but there aren't any.
It's hard, isn't it? When you want nothing more than to protect those you love; to protect your family, your parents and any other elderly people you may know. It's hard to know how to help, to know what to do or the right words to say. It's hard when conversations are held between glass windows and family gatherings are cancelled. When all you want is to be with family but have to settle for FaceTime and Zoom videos instead.
It's hard, isn't it? Juggling work and children, trying to manage the workload while simultaneously trying to be there for your kids. Praying they don't see your anxiety and your stress; that they look past your flaws and your temperament. That they remember this time as time spent with family. Time that for two weeks or four weeks or however long it takes, the world stood still and we were brought together instead of against one another.
It's hard, isn't it, mama - to be strong when on the inside you're uneasy. To put on a smile, when really you want to lock yourself in the nearest closet and cry.
I know these times are unsettling - they sit like a rock in the pit of our stomach. Some of us eat more, while others eat less. Some of us run to try and clear our heads, while others of us lie awake at night with our minds feverishly racing.
It's hard when we realize we're not in control. It's hard when we realize that there are things that are bigger than us; that sometimes no matter how hard we try and grasp it, we can't.
I know the world is different right now. But sis, the one thing you do have control over is yourself. In how you respond, in the things you say and do. The way you pick up the phone and text a friend to check in and make sure they are OK. The way you call your mom multiple times a day just to see her face. It's calling on your grandparents and neighbors making sure they don't need anything. It's looking up from your own cart in the grocery store to see the elderly gentleman who could use a hand.
Because right now? It's going to take all of us. It's going to take the elimination of I and the continuation of WE. It's going to take the replacement of YOU and the coming together of US.
I know right now it's hard, I feel it too, but I promise you it's easier when done ... TOGETHER.
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.