Coping with the Aftermath of Hurricane Ida as a Mom
I can hardly believe we are here again, another crisis.
We are now in the midst of a post-Ida recovery that has displaced our entire South Louisiana community. We are still managing COVID on top of this. I would like to request one crisis at a time please. Back to the hurricane…we have been through this, 16 years ago. It was very different 16 years ago and we were very different. We were younger, more likely to have been singularly independent, and physically able to endure more.
But Moms, hear me when I tell you: Today we are stronger in ways our younger selves were not. We now understand self-care. We are masters at reaching out to others for emotional support. We are wise and know what battles to fight and when to say “whatever!”. We now have the wisdom that comes with surviving a colicky RSV baby who hasn’t slept through the night in 10 days. We are the jugglers of all things and wearer of all hats. We are capable of channeling our UTMOST CAPABLE SELVES to focus on getting through our own uniquely different and ever evolving lives.
We are taking this ONE DAY AT A TIME. We are focusing on what matters: roof over our family’s head, food, and water. We are back to the basics. We are going to take on more as it unfolds and figure it out as it comes.
We are in such a state of flux right now. It can be so extremely draining to be displaced, even if our homes have no damage. We are surrounded by varying degrees of damage, devastation, and displacement. The majority of our jobs and workplaces are damaged or without power. Our children cannot attend a school that cannot open in a city with no power. We are teachers, managers, business owners, stylists, accountants, home-makers, care-takers…all experiencing a domino effect of impacts. Our children are not in school, what will we do about school? How can we have virtual learning, if we do not have the technology or WiFi to support it? How can we have virtual learning if our teachers do not have the technology or WiFi to support it? This is just an example of the endless cycle of “until this, then that”. Just writing that makes me grind my teeth and clench my jaw.
This is not the time to feel guilty for being exhausted because others have it worse. We are exhausted both for our own situation as well as our community. Ask me to show you a city that cares about their neighbors and I will show you a picture of a family in Westwego, Luling, New Orleans, and Slidell. We have survived this before and we will do it again.
We show up one day at a time. We remind ourselves as needed:
It is okay to be exhausted.
It is okay to be not okay.
It is okay that we don’t know.
It is okay you are ONLY surviving right now.
It is okay to implement short term coping tactics, such as extra screen time for children or PB&J for all 3 meals.
It is okay to not have it perfect.
This is not forever. We need to focus on today and know that tomorrow will work itself out. And every day gets us closer to better.