pandemic frustrations

The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone. Unfortunately, moms have often received the brunt of the difficulties. You’ve had to guide your kids through their anxieties surrounding the situation alongside dealing with those you’re feeling. It may have impacted your career, too. A recent study found mothers were 3 times more likely to have lost their jobs during the pandemic than fathers.

Let’s face it — this relentless piling of issues can be extremely frustrating at times. Unfortunately, if you can’t find effective ways to cope, the pressure is likely to build. There are some relatively standard coping mechanisms you could use. However, moms have also found some alternative approaches.

We’re going to take a closer look at some of the unique ways moms are releasing their pandemic frustrations.

 

Feeling the Noise

There are going to be times you just want to scream. As a mom, you already know the struggle of making certain you don’t unintentionally snap at your children or take your anger out on those who don’t deserve it. You are only human, though, and bottling everything up can only make the situation worse.

One of the most effective approaches during the pandemic has come from women spending time together to scream. There’s a certain catharsis that can come from unleashing your frustration in a mutually supportive and unrestrained session of wild noise. Moms are gathering together in parks and other open spaces to express their pent-up emotions freely and safely. 

This isn’t just the act of primal screaming, though this certainly plays a role. Part of the benefit of this communal experience comes from the fact it normalizes the feelings of rage. Everyone in the session recognizes how angry, frustrated, and sometimes powerless one another can feel in these circumstances. You, therefore gain from both the screaming and the reassurance of knowing you’re not alone.

 

Directed Rage 

A good scream is all well and good. However, sometimes it can be helpful to direct your rage in places it can have a tangible impact. In most cases, those closest to you are not necessarily the most appropriate focus. Some moms have found it helpful to apply this energy to the source of some of their frustrations.

The lack of adequate access to childcare has been a particular point of frustration for many people. Some areas are considered childcare deserts that unfairly affect the wellbeing and economic mobility of women as a direct result. This is particularly prevalent for those in rural towns, minority communities, and low-income backgrounds. However, these deserts don’t just “happen.” Government policymakers on a state and local level influence where resources are provided.

As such, moms have taken to organizing grass-roots advocacy activities to vent frustration in practical places. These “rage lines” invite moms and caregivers to record their grievances with the system over the phone, email, or video call. The messages are then forwarded to relevant policymakers to see the emotional and practical impact of the lack of adequate support. Finding groups like these in your area or even starting one of your own can be a positive direction for your rage.

 

Getting Virtually Physical

The physicality of exercise can be a good way to keep your potent angry-mom energy in check. But it’s hard enough as a mom to find time to head to the gym or take a nature walk in non-pandemic times.

As a result, some moms have taken to creating their own online group exercise classes during the pandemic. This empowers women to let out some of their frustration in intense physical sessions that fit into their schedules. Because these take place over Zoom or Skype and use minimal equipment, there’s no time wasted heading to the local gym and no unnecessary expense.

This isn’t just something that needs to be directed by a single mom in your social circle, either. You can make a schedule for sharing the session leadership duties. Take the time to understand one another’s physical or scheduling limitations and build programs around this. Most importantly, keep it fun. You’re all there to direct your frustration but you’ll get the most out of it if this is met with positivity.

 

Sharing on Socials

Social media has been a powerful tool during this pandemic in a variety of ways. Sure, there have certainly been those who have sought to spread misinformation and make things more distressing for you and your family. But moms have also found unique and positive ways to share their experiences. For those creating content on these accounts, this is an activity to direct their energy. For moms in the audience, these are key tools for solidarity and relatability.

Tiktok has been a particularly fertile ground for this kind of content. The platform has a reputation for being geared toward Gen Zers performing dances, but moms have made some of the most creative, funny, and poignant videos in the last couple of years. The sight of Cat and Nat just sitting in a car, venting their various frustrations is both relatable and funny. While Mandi Jones resorting to hiding in the closet just to get a little alone time is something most moms have faced.

Engaging here doesn’t need to eat up your free time schedule and you shouldn’t aim to hit a certain number of likes or subscribers. It’s about having a focus on funneling that frustrated energy into something fun and possibly a little silly. You’re showing your unique perspective on the challenges of pandemic motherhood.

 

Conclusion

The circumstances of the pandemic continue to be a source of frustration for a lot of moms. Some women have found catharsis and community in group screaming sessions while others have directed their rage toward influencing change. Remember that exercise can be a good focus for your anger. Whether as a viewer or a creator, social media can also hold potential for positive experiences. The most important thing about all these methods is the sense of sharing. You’re not alone and you don’t need to handle your frustration in isolation.

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