“You’re Not a Terrible Mom”: My New Pandemic Mantra


“You’re not a terrible Mom” is the mantra I have whispered to myself at least 15 times a day since March 7, the day the world ended (I mean, that’s the last time I went into a Target store…so my world may have ended).

When the pandemic began, I was ready. I’m a type 6 Enneagram. I’m fully prepared for any disaster. Months worth of can goods: check. Puzzles, games, and craft supplies: check. Toilet paper: double check. I skated by in March and April (with my kindergartner and two year old in tow) thanks to lots of Cosmic Kids yoga, Mr. Joe’s Music for Aardvarks online classes, zoo animal videos, Pinterest, and wine.

Kids craft

Then May arrived and I was done. I became a complete 90’s Mom who had her kids outside with snacks, bubbles, and a sprinkler all day. We abandoned our adorable craft wall, we stopped all optional school work, we abandoned Zoom and Google hangouts. I sun screened the kids up at 9am and we headed outside with sandwiches and fruit snacks. I was done.

I continued seeing other Mom’s posting fun activities, creative crafts, and other adorable learning opportunities as I scrolled social media. The highlight of my kid’s day in June was our daily walk before lunch and watching the Disney World fireworks on YouTube before bed at night. That’s probably when I hit my bottom.

Kids playing in backyard
Kids playing in backyard

“Am I failing as a Mom? Should I be trying to do all of these things still? I can barely keep everyone happy and fed. How do other people have more than two kids and do this? Am I a terrible Mom?”

Then it hit me. We’re all doing the best we can. This is a crazy time. No one knows how to do this right now. Mister Rogers once said, “Some days, doing ‘the best we can’ may still fall short of what we would like to be able to do, but life isn’t perfect on any front-and doing what we can with what we have is the most we should expect of ourselves or anyone else.”

I’m not a terrible Mom, I’m just a Mom who is doing the best she can. One day, hopefully soon, we’ll all be able to sit with friends (closer than 6 feet apart), glasses of wine in hand, and laugh about all craziness that happened during our mandatory stay at home days. But for now, I’ll just keep on telling myself, “You’re not a terrible Mom”.

Previous articleRage Mulching: A Tale of Blowing Off Steam During a Pandemic
Next article10 Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Homeschooling
Erin grew up just outside of Nashville, but has been in the Memphis area for 12 years now. She’s a former middle school language arts teacher turned C.O.O. of the Lewis home (according to her husband). She’s Mama to Liv (2013), who loves to sing and play soccer and Will (2017) who loves dinosaurs, and wife to Chris, her college sweetheart. Between volunteering herself to be part of any and everything you can think of (face palm), driving Liv to zillions of therapies, and keeping Will from destroying everything, life is busy. Erin loves the beach, a good IPA, Target vacas by herself, and anything Harry Potter related (she ships Dramione!). She hates high heels, rude people that stare at cute kids in wheelchairs, and bad tippers.