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Why motherhood feels so heavy right now

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There are so many articles, stories, and memes about motherhood on the internet right now that, at times, the state of motherhood on any given day seems to swallow up entire newsfeeds.

This is especially true during our current struggle with COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictions on our communities. Schools are closed, people are out of work, and others are labeled ‘essential workers’ so they are still going out to work.

Mothers from all backgrounds and lifestyles are fighting to keep their heads above water right now.

The honest burden of motherhood is so paralyzingly clear during these ‘pandemic times’ that it really shows just how much grueling emotional, mental, and physical work a mother does from sun-up till sun-down even just in ‘normal’ times.

Motherhood memes are everywhere right now. There are poignant memes about how hard motherhood is. There are funny memes trying to find the humor in how hard motherhood is.

I am a mother. I am also a full-time stepmother. I know the torrential burden mothering can sometimes — or almost all the time — bring.

But why does motherhood feel so heavy right now? Has motherhood always been this way?

Have we as women always struggled to find this balance of sanity within ourselves while also caring for our children in the most efficient way possible?

I suppose this is why we share things — this is why the internet is bombarded with the struggles of motherhood in all of its many shapes, sizes, labels, and forms.

Motherhood demands attention on a level many of us are not prepared to give when we first arrive at motherhood. The toll of a new, baby, a toddler, a big kid, and eventually a teenager can be taxing in so many varying ways.

Each stage of child development brings with it some new torrential lesson, it seems. Just when you think you’ve conquered the mountain shedding your blood, sweat, and tears as a mother — behold another mountain is already forming to replace it.

There is something about a mother — a woman who nurtures. A woman who feeds. A woman who holds. A woman who cares for her child with such a steadfast dedication that it makes the role of mothering undeniably vital to the success of individuals and society as a whole.

It’s a big burden. It’s an avalanche of responsibility.

But a mother can only do so much. A mother can only give so much — to the best of her own individual ability.

Motherhood can be cold and isolating. It can be difficult to find solace. There are nights when you want to scream and days when you want to pack up and leave. Some mothers do scream. And some mothers do leave.

Even when you are capable to the max. Even when you are organized to the hilt. Even when you are as calm as bloody meditation music — moments of hopelessness and unimaginable stress will come as you try to mother and guide children through this world — this ever-changing, sometimes terrifying world.

Yes, motherhood is a deep burden. It’s a heavy burden many of us chose for different reason. A burden is a duty. It’s bearing the weight of something great — something heavy. Something magnificent. A human being.

Motherhood will always be heavy. But it will also bring moments of lightness. It will test your character and your strength. It will make you rise when all you want to do is kneel in agony.

Many mothers feel helpless under the weight motherhood can bring — especially right now. That doesn’t mean we necessarily want to give up. It doesn’t mean we wish we weren’t mothers. But it does mean that we need help. We need understanding. And most importantly, we mothers need each other.

So, while we can, let’s laugh, cry, and commiserate. Let’s share silly internet memes — because no one should have to bear such a huge responsibility alone and certainly not without laughter.

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