As we close out year two and look toward a third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, parents are worn down and struggling. For those of us of us with children under 5 (who cannot yet be vaccinated), the challenges of quarantines and childcare issues have not abated; the crisis is ongoing. I could go on and on about the unsustainability of this situation. Instead, I will offer this blessing that came to me when I needed it most.
For parents everywhere…
barely hanging on,
and desperately in need of
from this pandemic
that has upended our lives,
led to anxiety with every cough or sniffle,
obliterated the concept of reliable childcare,
and contributed immeasurable stress to everyday life.
This blessing will not tell you
to “cherish this time”
or give you any tips for thriving,
but it will acknowledge your weariness
and assure you that you are not alone.
You are seen.
When you keep on giving, helping, caring –
trying your best to be patient and understanding –
creatively adapting to every circumstance,
even when you haven’t gone to the bathroom alone all day.
You are heard.
When you say this is extraordinarily difficult,
that it requires every ounce of energy that you have,
more stamina than you can fathom,
and you do not know when reprieve will come.
You are valued.
Even when your children scream and whine,
the assistance you offer is rejected,
the criticism is deafening,
and you never hear “thank you” from anyone.
You are good.
Because you are showing up
for the ones you love
and doing what is yours to do
and you are not super-human.
You are enough.
Even when you are worn down,
juggling too many responsibilities,
feeling constantly behind in all things,
and you want to run away (at least for a day).
You are loved.
By your family, your friends, your children
(even when they don’t say or show it)
and most especially,
by the One who
created you to be good,
reminds you that you are enough
and calls you “beloved.”
*Special thanks to Rev. Teresa Welborn for this benediction she offers frequently: “You are good. You are beloved. And you are enough.” These words echo in my heart and mind and served as inspiration for this blessing.