Motherhood during COVID-19

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The current reality in these "unprecedented times" of acting as parent, professional, teacher, partner, playmate, chef, workout instructor, and maybe more has put many a mom in an unprecedented emotional, psychic, mental, and spiritual space. It’s not uncommon for parents to vacillate between gratitude—for this unexpected time to spend with their families—and despair and worry—for obvious reasons.

To honor this Mother’s Day and the women it champions, we asked a few moms we know to share how they’re navigating these troubled waters, what their current states of mind are, and how they're planning to celebrate a day dedicated to them—from home, of course.

KIM MAES

Owner of Blos, make-up artist, mother of 2 

WHO ARE YOU CURRENTLY HOME WITH?

My family: My husband, 2 daughters (19 and 11) Marie & Lou, our golden retriever Charlie and Cat Malou

WHAT HAS SHELTERING IN PLACE TAUGHT YOU ABOUT HOW YOU PARENT/MOTHERHOOD?

That I don’t have that much patience :-)

And that my children do not complain that fast...

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OVERALL MENTAL STATE THROUGHOUT THIS TIME?

Mmmm, hard one. Although I went to my shop 5 days in the week and was busy with the online shop, I still felt trapped. Freedom is really important to me so I had to get used to the isolation so I wasn’t always in my best mood. I’m a bit ashamed of it though because I know that we are really lucky that we have everything we  need...

WHAT RESOURCES (BOOKS, FILMS, INSTAS, OR WEBSITES) HAVE BROUGHT YOU THE MOST EASE?

My sister is a yoga teacher and she started with a platform where you can find guided meditation and yoga classes. That is what I do now every morning and every evening and it works so good for me.

WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU’LL DO WITH YOUR CHILDREN ONCE THIS TIME IS OVER TO CELEBRATE MOTHER’S DAY?

We'll visit my family! My sisters and brother all have children and I miss seeing them.

DIANA DELGADO

Co-founder of Jus Jus

WHO ARE YOU CURRENTLY HOME WITH?

I’m home with my partner Alain (who has been covering for me and working hard at Jus Jus during this crisis), our dog Mickey (who wants the lockdown to last forever) and our 2 kids, Max, who just turned 4 and Eliza, 3 months old.

WHAT HAS SHELTERING IN PLACE TAUGHT YOU ABOUT HOW YOU PARENT/MOTHERHOOD?

It may sound contradictory because I feel like I’m doing more than ever before but this experience has taught me to do less.

I like to be busy going places and doing things, so the idea of being housebound was terrifying. However, after a couple of weeks, we found a new rhythm to our lives together and found a new joy in slowing down.

Max and I have also learned that I’m not a crafty person and that is ok. Neither is he. But we both love getting outside and walk in nature and learning about plants, animals and insects.

Also that children really don’t need much other than your time and attention. So right now, it has been important for me to slow down and really value this extra time I’ve been given to be together with my family.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OVERALL MENTAL STATE THROUGHOUT THIS TIME?

Initially the lockdown sent me into a panic. I’m a control freak and the uncertainty of it all was extremely overwhelming.

I worked hard on learning to surrender and once I did, the weight of it all felt a lot lighter.

Plus I'm aware of my absolute privilege. All I have to do to stay safe, is stay home with my family. There are far too many people in dire circumstances and it’s been very hard to see the suffering around us.

WHAT RESOURCES (BOOKS, FILMS, INSTAS, OR WEBSITES) HAVE BROUGHT YOU THE MOST EASE?

I thought I was going to watch all of Netflix but I'm so tired by the end of the day that I can only manage a few minutes before falling asleep.

I downloaded Untamed by Glennon Doyle as an audiobook and it blew my mind. Every women out there needs to get the book! I also loved Erin Lovell Verinder’s new book on plant medicine, it's gorgeous.

I’ve cooked my way through the quarantine.

I obsessively devoured @canellevanille instagram account and her gorgeous book and even learned to make her gluten free sourdough bread from scratch (the starter and all), 

I’ve done a ton of "binge listening" to podcasts. Second Life is always so inspiring! Brené Brown's Unlocking Us is a new fave of mine.

And I took notes on all the episodes of Upbringing, it’s a podcast on respectful/mindful parenting and it has been my "bible" for the past 6 weeks.

WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU’LL DO WITH YOUR CHILDREN ONCE THIS TIME IS OVER TO CELEBRATE MOTHER’S DAY?

On Mother's Day, I'll play some groovy tunes and cook a big batch of banana pancakes. Then go for a good long walk!

Once this is over, I’m dying to go to the seaside and feel the breeze and sand on our skin.

 

SOPHIE ENGELEN

Make-up Artist, mother of 2, lover of plant medicine and natural healing

WHO ARE YOU CURRENTLY HOME WITH?

With my husband and my 2 girls. Suvi is 9 and Ila will be turning 3 this week.

WHAT HAS SHELTERING IN PLACE TAUGHT YOU ABOUT HOW YOU PARENT/MOTHERHOOD?

Being more flexible with certain rules and yes, going with the flow. I try to have some structure in the days but this time has also learned me to grab the moments as they come. Letting go of expectations might be also be a lesson that popped up these days. ;)

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OVERALL MENTAL STATE THROUGHOUT THIS TIME?

I’m actually liking this time more and more. There’s definitely feelings of frustration popping up sometimes because it’s hard to find some me-time or focus on work in between the cooking and taking care of the girls. But I also love that there’s less pressure with timing now. No morning rush!

WHAT RESOURCES (BOOKS, FILMS, INSTAS, OR WEBSITES) HAVE BROUGHT YOU THE MOST EASE?

Honestly I almost never watch tv, I have an addiction for books though. Most of my books are about health or psychology so I just grab them if they call me. I love Goop’s newsletters. But it’s the simple rituals that brought me the most ease. Like making myself a cup of my favourite tea ( Burdock and genmaicha), meditation, a ride on my bike or smelling some flowers during a walk. Nature in general!

WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU’LL DO WITH YOUR CHILDREN ONCE THIS TIME IS OVER TO CELEBRATE MOTHER’S DAY?

Going to the seaside and have a picnic in the dunes.

LIESELOT BRONSELAER

Speech therapist, mother of 2

WHO ARE YOU CURRENTLY HOME WITH?

For the moment I’m home with my son Lou (3years), babygirl Pippa (11 weeks) and my boyfriend Jeroen. He starts working at the office again on Monday 4/5.

WHAT HAS SHELTERING IN PLACE TAUGHT YOU ABOUT HOW YOU PARENT/MOTHERHOOD?

I realized that I focused too much on trying to do everything perfect, planning everything en being stuck on a schedule.

It taught me that this way of parenting made me miss a lot of beautiful moments with my kids. So I try to let it all go more often, enjoy all the moments we have together and embrace the messy house 😬

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OVERALL MENTAL STATE THROUGHOUT THIS TIME?

Rollercoaster 🎢 panic, stress, paranoia, sadness, anger, being nervous, extremely calm,.. Some days I’m “ok” with it, other days I panic..

WHAT RESOURCES (BOOKS, FILMS, INSTAS, OR WEBSITES) HAVE BROUGHT YOU THE MOST EASE?

Some of my favorite foodinsta’s are @Amychaplin, @minimalistbaker, @lespetitespestes, @cindydiprima, @cannellevanille, @we_are_food

I’m a big fan of adding adaptogens into my meals/lifestyle.  Certainly now, during these stressful period. For that i love scrolling the instas of @adastudios_, @yosogreen, @amandachantalbacon, @animamundiherbals, @sunpotion and @seed.leaf.life.

The podcast “Unruffled” from @janetlansbury is really helpful for me during this not so easy time of parenting. @stefaniecornut always has great creative ideas to do with toddlers and I love the adventures of @elisabethvanlierop and her cute family.

Since the lockdown i started following “Penguindailyshow” 🤭😂 I love penguins & they always put a smile on my face.

WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU’LL DO WITH YOUR CHILDREN ONCE THIS TIME IS OVER TO CELEBRATE MOTHER’S DAY?

If everything will be back to normal (but I think it will never be the same again)i would love to make our first trip to Brussel as a family of 4. Before Pippa was born, Saturday was our “familyday”, because it was the only day we were all 3 together. Mostly we went to Brussels, spending time at a kidsproof museum because Lou loves that, have some walks in the park or a little market and playing at the playground. After that we had coffee/tea and eat the most delicious vegan pecan cookies or sourdough toast at our favorite coffee bar Mok. So I would love to do that.. Take Pippa with us now, being a very proud mommy of 2.

And of course, ASAP going to my parents, without social distance, so they can hug Lou and Pippa again.. being together with them, with my brothers and their family and eat my dad’s delicious homemade pizza, celebrating we’re all healthy and happy together.

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