How are you feeling?
You know what mums really need right now? They need an open mind and an accepting heart – and the more open minds and accepting hearts, the better. To be completely clear, mums need less judgment right now because they’re being pushed past limits during an unpredicted pandemic that has taken over the 2020 show.
Let’s practice it in unison: Wide. Open. Minds. And. Big. Accepting. Hearts.
Hold your thoughts, my friend. It’s not on you to pass your judgement if a mama has boxes of instant noodles in her cart. Pass the diet tips and let the mum breathe, because you have no idea what she might be going through. Perhaps, they’re her only source of comfort at the moment.
If you happen to be at the mall and see a mum with her kids, then try to give a nod of support instead of a look of judgment. Not everyone is able to keep their kids at home with help, some mums need a break, and maybe it just isn’t anyone’s business as to why the mum is at the mall with her children.
Dare I say it? Ah yes, I shall.
If a mum hands her child her phone in front of you, try to resist the judgment of giving a kid a phone. You can absolutely not allow your child to have a phone if you don’t want to, but observing a mum give her child a phone while running errands or trying to keep them still during a doctor’s appointment – that is something that does not concern anyone but the mum herself.
Read also: Dear Mum, take a moment to enjoy your Qahwa
I give you these examples to explain to you that these are common situations we observe in person, and they can lead to controversial conversations. They can also be reasons why mums are labeled as bad parents, or as ‘not present’ enough. But now is not the time for that. Although it is nice to thrive, most people are simply trying to survive the rain and lightning that has made it its goal to metaphorically pour and strike this year.
Mums need extra love right now. Anxiety is in the air, as is depression, and other mental health triggers. While it needs to be acknowledged that it’s generally a tough time for everyone, mums have had to wear many hats in order to get through this pandemic.
To list a few, mum is now also a nurse, teacher, entertainer, and chef. Mum is also perpetually tired and constantly worried about everyone else. This worry does not disappear, it follows her to her bed and wakes her up in the morning.
If you happen to see a mum in her car in the parking lot eating a big tub of ice cream and you feel the need to react, then react with love. Nod your head in approval and let that mama know she’s supported. If it just so happens that you are that mum indulging in ice cream therapy, then you eat that ice cream, mama. You enjoy every bite of it. I hope it gives you the comfort you deserve during this tough time.
Try to remember that open minds and accepting hearts are must for mums right now. This pandemic might not be something we will one day forget, but it is something we must get through. The more compassionate you are when it comes to other people, and even yourself, the easier it becomes to get through this storm together.
Chereen Shurafa is a Doha based community counsellor, writer, and certified change coach. She is the founder of “Dear Chereen”, an online platform dedicated to mindfulness, mental health, and inspiration.