“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.” – Thomas Paine

Folks, I’m terrified on a daily basis. There’s just… there’s a lot, isn’t there? It’s just a lot, all the time. As a mom I sort of have a constant low-level anxiety about the future at the best of times, but lately the temptation to give into despair is greater than ever before.

Despair often wins. I’ve been finding myself escaping into reading or video games a lot recently, which has not been good for my productivity at all. And sleeping? Nah, not so much. Throw in the usual stress of January in our household, and despair has got a lot going for it.

One of the only things that heartens me a little bit is thinking about all the mothers before me that had to do their mothering through what must have felt like the literal end of the world. Tragedies have befallen generations long before mine. I’m not saying that ‘we made it through before, we’ll make it through again’ is a good anti-panic strategy – that’s survivorship bias, because plenty didn’t – but the sheer fact that I do not face uncertain times unprepared gives me a little strength. I am girded with the armor and the duty of motherhood.

Mothers have done their mothering in the face of hardship long before I was born, and if fortune is good, Momo will have the chance to do the same. I take up the charge of my foremothers, their sacred burden: if there must be trouble, let it be in my time. Let me shelter my child, let me weather her pain, let her not know the deep unrest of her childhood until it is long behind her.


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