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Moms Are Not OK - The Reality of Parenting in the World Right Now

In the quiet moments after we kiss our children goodnight, tucking them in for a peaceful night's sleep, we find ourselves alone with our thoughts. It is then that the harsh realities of the world creep in. We see videos of innocent children suffering and dying on the news and social media. The helplessness we feel is overwhelming, the world our children are growing up in seems fraught with unimaginable dangers. These images trigger vivid, horrifying projections of what it might feel like to hold your child’s limp, lifeless body in your arms. For those mothers already traversing the lonely path of life after the death of a child, these sensations and flashbacks are all too real.

Despite the trauma and grief that many mothers carry, we continue to show up for everyone. We go to work, expected to perform exceptionally as if the world is not literally and figuratively on fire. After the workday ends, we return to our homes, where another set of responsibilities await. We grocery shop, prepare meals, and do the dishes. Simultaneously, we try to capture and share precious moments of our children's lives on our phones, all while trying to maintain the semblance of a balanced life.

We come back to work too early after the birth of our babies, because FMLA without pay is not feasible. Childcare is barely affordable, yet we wish we could pay our caregivers more. Diapers, wipes, and formula—essentials for our children—are all too expensive. Yet, we deal with it because there's no other choice. We take our kids to book fairs and plan thoughtful birthday parties.We memorize what our kids are wearing before we send them off to school, a heartbreaking precaution taught to us by tragedies like the one in Uvalde. We show up for PTA meetings and organize community efforts, all in the hope of creating a better future for our children. Well-meaning people often tell us to "Be happy and grateful!" But the truth is, even in small moments of joy, we are burdened by guilt. We are acutely aware that somewhere, another mother may have just witnessed the violent death of her child—whether here in the States or somewhere else in the world. It's a chilling thought that casts a shadow over our happiness.

Moms are not OK. And we haven’t been for a while. The struggles are constant, the fear is pervasive, and the emotional toll is heavy. But amidst it all, we find the strength to carry on—for our children, for our families, and for ourselves. In acknowledging these struggles, we take the first step towards addressing them. Because it's time the world realizes: Moms are not OK, and something needs to be done about it.

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