During the first week of February in 2020, I was on a Caribbean cruise with my husband and my, then, one year old. Two months pregnant, celebrating my 30th birthday, honestly, living my best life. Our first cruise ever and it was an essentially flawless trip, start to finish. Soon after, March 2020 begins. In, seemingly, the blink of an eye, everything changed. Priorities begin to shift. The pace of our daily lives slows. No more planning trips. Have a baby shower, if you must, but only with proper distance. Continue working, remotely of course, while your toddler screams in the background. Celebrate graduations, birthdays, and milestones on zoom and Facetime. Attend your prenatal appointments, but come alone. Stay home, stay safe. I am sure we all have our own pandemic trials and testimonies. We, as mothers, as people, are forever changed. The way I live, think, and function now is not the same as it was in March 2020. So now, as a Mother, I’m sharing three things that changed my perspective during the pandemic for the better.
The Time is Now
Back in February 2020, I wasn’t going to book that cruise. I am an indecisive, overthinker. We made the decision to go about 4 weeks before our departure. Nevertheless, as I reflect now, I am so grateful to have had that experience. Time never stops, not even during a pandemic. Our time, days, weeks, and months are constant, but not guaranteed. This is one of the many lessons I learned as a mother during the pandemic. I am more determined now to make time for the things that are important to me. I no longer spend time overthinking or waiting for the “perfect time” to do something or visit someone. Life is short. Life is precious. I remember being pregnant with my first child. People would always say, enjoy the time, it goes by fast. “It goes by fast.” “They grow up so fast.” Such simple, yet frequent sentiments shared with parents. I used to think that was just something people would say. A universal statement to fill the silence. Well, my one year old who we took on that cruise is three now. I can attest and affirm that time does go by fast. These kids do grow up so fast.
Make the time to do the things you want to do
Make the time to do the things you want to do. I live by this now. Try that new restaurant. Play hide-and-seek with your toddler and let the laundry wait. Hop on a plane and go visit your great aunt, to celebrate her birthday. Take the kids to Disney World. Who cares if they won’t remember. They’ll be there in the moment. In these ways and more, I spend my time on things that matter most. Sometimes, I still worry. Is it safe? Do we need to? Can we afford to? I also still have to work around the confines of work schedules and commitments. Nonetheless, I make the time to do things that leave me feeling alive and fulfilled.
In this ongoing pandemic, one thing that has changed is—well, everything. In every aspect of my life now, things are constantly changing. I am learning to accept change and circumstances that are out of my control. This is another one of the valuable lessons I learned as a mother during the pandemic. Don’t get me wrong. I still prefer stability. I like the calm and security that comes with consistency. In spite of this, I have gotten better at accepting, and embracing change. That being said, I am only human and sometimes change is still hard. Lately, however, I am going with the flow. I can better cope with this new reality. The reality that things will happen that are out of my control.
Perhaps it is new processes or routines at work. Occasionally, it is as simple as the hours of operation for a store I visit often. Recently, it is sending my preschooler off to a school building I’m not allowed to step foot in. My pandemic baby is now a 15-month-old toddler. It is accepting that his childhood looks different from his sister. It means still creating fun, magic, and memories for my kids, amidst the ever-changing norms. At times, it looks like reminiscing on the way things used to be. On the other hand, it requires me to be intentional about living in the present. I embrace all the good that each day has to offer. I cry when I need to, because change can be hard. All the while, I give myself grace. I cope with the tough changes. I celebrate the wins that come, as a result of me embracing change.
This pandemic left me feeling empowered to try something new. At the height of the pandemic and even now, I watch moms and businesses pivot. Many people have started new businesses, hobbies, and other ventures. The pandemic has increased our awareness that life is short. I work hard to avoid the “pandemic blues.” There is no reason to wait until retirement to feel free and fulfilled. I feel empowered now, to create a life I love living. Making time to travel more is a priority. Traveling brings us joy. The days of everyone being expected to go to work 9-5, come home, cook, eat, sleep, repeat are behind us. I realize now that I am in control. I feel encouraged to try new things. Maybe that looks like something as simple as trying a new food every week. My fellow picky adult eaters know this is a big deal. Perhaps it means trying homeschool with my kids when they get older. This will allow more time for our travel adventures. Lastly, it is not letting fear or doubt get in the way. We are living in a time where we can do and accomplish so much with nothing but a smartphone. As we navigate these times, I am committed to making the most of each day. I want to make memories with my children. Spend more time with my husband. Invest my time and resources into things that bring me joy and peace. I am empowered to truly live and enjoy life to the fullest, and these three things that changed my perspective during the pandemic have made me this way.
Read, Reflect, and Rejoice
I hope that reading through my list of the three things that changed my perspective during the pandemic has left you feeling inspired. I encourage you to take a moment to reflect. Reflect on how far you have come. Consider all that you have to look forward to in the weeks, months, and years to come. And finally, celebrate for having made it this far! You are doing amazing!