[00:00:00] Hey, my name is Patricia Ciavarello and I am obsessed with all things motherhood and helping you keep calm in the chaos of motherhood and life's unexpected moments. I am a mom of twins with a doctorate in business whose world fell apart and had to pick myself up piece by piece. I am not an expert, but I have totally been there, and I am so far from perfect, but definitely not afraid to get real and vulnerable.
I teach you the secrets to motherhood and life I wish someone told me, because as much as we wish there was, nobody hands you a mommy manual. So pull up a seat, get comfy and get ready for me to spill my secrets. This is Real Mom Truths Nobody Tells You.
So if anything that we can all agree on is how COVID has completely [00:01:00] disrupted our status quo as we know it. And I think that dealing with COVID on its own is enough, but dealing with COVID on top of parenting has kind of completely shifted perspective on maybe things that we were used to before COVID even existed.
I mean, I think there's so many things that us as people, we just took for granted before we went through COVID. Just even the way that we lived our lives. And, I mean, even just not seeing, you know, smiles on people's faces, cause we all have masks on and you know, it's just changed everything about life.
But I think that one thing first and foremost, it [00:02:00] has given us pause and gratitude for things that maybe we took for granted before. I mean, just simply health and being safe and having our health. I mean, we have lost so many people, unfortunately from COVID that it's life altering in a way, and just taking a step back and saying, you know what? I woke up today, healthy and breathing and present. And that alone is something to be grateful for. But I think one thing that has really been first and foremost, especially when it comes to parenting and COVID is how it has almost amplified parenting [00:03:00] in a way that was fearful, anxious, and almost overstimulating in a way, because if you think about it, you know, if traditionally you went to work and you came home or your kids went to school and they came home, you had the moment of space in between, right? You, whether it was driving in your car and going to work or at your house while the kids were in school or whatnot, you had almost like that breathing room in between. Whereas now it's almost like being an octopus, right? You're stretched in a million different directions and you're answering, you know, if you're working from home, maybe you're answering emails from work or taking the zoom call in the midst of the kids, screaming in the background.
And it's like, almost overstimulating in the sense that, I mean, I know for me, like sometimes when there's too much noise, I can't even concentrate. It's just so [00:04:00] distracting. And I think that all of us have had this heightened sense of fear and anxiety surrounding COVID and the health aspects of it. But also this almost overarching role of protecting our families in a way we never really had to do before. I mean, we, we never had to worry about, or at least never in my lifetime, you know, family coming over and, you know, having those hard conversations, and worrying about the transmission and, and all this, and not being able to see our loved ones.
I mean, it was almost like an extra isolation in a way for families, because of course they want to see their loved ones. And of course they want things [00:05:00] to be as they used to, but there was an added fear and anxiety of what is the right choice. What is going to protect me and my family. And I think that is almost aside from like the medical decisions that every family has to make and that is in and of itself, you know, very heavy decision, but just also the fear and anxiety of being isolated and juggling all these balls in the air and trying to be you know, the good employee, the good mother, the good, everything, air quotes here, air quotes, in the midst of all this fear and anxiety and chaos, right?
It has really, I think, taken its toll on moms, particularly who are carrying a lot of that weight [00:06:00] because they are the decision makers because they are the ones that quote, unquote, mostly, holding down the fort in these decisions. So I think that there's a lot to be said about that and look at the end of the day, no mother wants anything to happen to their children, their family.
Right. And I think it's in that in that questioning of, am I making the right choice? Is this the right choice? What should I do? And you know, of course you turn on the TV or social media and you're bombarded, right. With more fear and more anxiety and more comparison. And what should I do? And, and you know, what to do is a very personal choice.
And I think that every family has to figure out what's best for them. But even just the, you know, the, it's almost like that [00:07:00] unsolicited advice aspect that moms go through a lot, especially when they're new moms, you know, everyone is kind of like giving them their piece and their 2 cents and it's like, it almost becomes overwhelming, because here you are trying to make your own decision, what you feel is best for your family. And you're almost inundated by all these different opinions and, and all this advice and all this fear and all this anxiousness. And sometimes, I mean, advice is good, right? Like take advice, make your own choices, listen, take other perspectives.
Right? There's nothing wrong with that. But I'm also a firm believer in mother's intuition and that ultimately, you know, what is best for you and your family. And sometimes it's just a matter of sticking to that gut intuition and following it and look, do your [00:08:00] research, make educated decisions, trust your gut, all of that.
Right. But at the end of the day, when your head hits the pillow at night, you want comfort in that decision to know that you know, you made the best decision you could and look, we're all human, right. We're going to make mistakes. We can never be perfect. Right? Some decisions are right. Some decisions are wrong. Some decisions we learn from some decisions we grow from and we will make mistakes. And at the end of the day, all that we can do is the best we can do. And taking care of ourselves and taking care of our families and, you know, sometimes it requires something as big as this right, to kind of shift our perspective and say, you know what?
Maybe I was worrying about the wrong things [00:09:00] before. And this has really given me a new lease on life. Is this how I want to live the rest of my life? You know, what is important to me? What do I value? Because at the end of the day, yes, we all need money to survive and live and, and get the things we need and a hundred percent, but you always have a choice and sometimes we get so comfortable and get so, grounded in, you know what?
We know that we're afraid to take that next step into the unknown and that unknown could be something bigger, better, brighter, happier for you. But because it's unfamiliar, we hesitate. We don't take that step. But if anything has shifted the card deck it's COVID right, because look, I mean, even the way we work is so much different now.[00:10:00]
You know, companies that always said, oh, we can never work from home. All of a sudden, now everything's working from home. And you know, maybe that gives you an opportunity to shift industries or shift careers or do something different from home or start your own business or whatever the case may be. My point is follow what fills your soul.
Follow what makes you happy and provides for your family and really what fulfills you, because at the end of the day, you know, your family will remember one thing and one thing only, only, and that is that mom was happy that mom really enjoyed life. And yes, there are hard days and there are tough days and there are challenges in life.
And all of that, I mean, COVID has taught us [00:11:00] that to the utmost. I mean, this experience of this pandemic is one we will never forget. And one, we will always remember and one that has challenged, I think every core of our being, but it also has brought us a perspective that I don't think we would have ever gotten before if we didn't go through this.
And you know, as much as I think COVID has divided us in some ways, I hope that it also is a source of ultimately bringing us together and recognizing that we're all human, right. We are all doing our best and we are all [00:12:00] capable of building a life that makes us happy and that's not ruled by fear and anxiety and, you know, worry.
And I think that COVID has really brought that fear and anxiety out in ways that, I mean, amplified to the hundredth degree. And at some point you have to take a step back and say, is this really how I want to live my life? Do I really want to live my life fearful and worried and anxious? And sometimes that means tuning it out. And sometimes that means, you know, shutting off the news. And sometimes that means protecting that mental space of yours so that you don't build on that fear and build on that [00:13:00] anxiety. And I don't mean, you know, shove your head behind a pillow and be oblivious to what's going on in the world, not at all, but if it's triggering you and triggering you and triggering you and triggering you and triggering you, then maybe it's time to take a step back.
And maybe it's time to take a step back and say, you know what I'm going to do. What my family feels is best for my family, and I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure we're safe and healthy in this crazy time, and I'm going to do things for myself to strengthen that. But at the end of the day, at the end of the day, we don't have control over everything and we have to let go of some of that need for control and just have faith, whatever it is you may believe in, just have faith [00:14:00] that well, we'll be okay. All will be okay. And that you can get through some of the hardest things. I mean, look, we've survived COVID which I mean, we're very fortunate to be here and, you know, listen to each other and empathize with each other and, and really be there for one another and have survived this pandemic. But if you got through this and this was a big one, right? This was a really big one. Then what can't you get through? Truly, what can't you get through? Was it hard? A hundred percent? Is it still hard? 1000%, you know, I get that. Did you ever think that you would be able to get through something like this? Probably not. And you did so that right there is proof and fact alone that as [00:15:00] Glennon Doyle always says, we can do hard things, right?
I love, love, shout outs to Glennon Doyle, by the way, love you hearts. You can get through things that you've never, ever, ever imagined that you could. That alone should give you some peace of mind because that's proof, right? That's something that you can always look to when you're having a hard time when you're having a hard day and you're saying tears are flowing, oh my goodness, I can't get through this.
If one more thing goes wrong or if one more thing happens, I'm going to break. And all you have to do is take yourself back to this pandemic and say, you know what? I got through it. I remember back early on when my twins were really young, I had almost this kind of, I almost want to call, call it a downward spiraling roller coaster.
So they were really young [00:16:00] and I was at the time going through postpartum and super confused. I didn't understand what I was even feeling. I just knew I was a basket case who couldn't stop crying and a new mom I think they were about three months at the time and up all night and crying my eyes out and lost my job unexpectedly.
And I was doing my doctorate at the time and COVID hit. So it was almost this like trifecta of things happening. And at that point I remember thinking to myself, I felt like so sad, so sad because I, I really was so confused as to, you know, why this was all happening. And I was in that, you know, whole [00:17:00] victim mentality of why me, why this, why that? And I couldn't see it at the time. It was all like overwhelming and emotional and it was just hard. It was hard to get through. And I felt so sad about the whole thing, you know, sad about losing my job. Sad about COVID. I was fearful you know, with taking care of the twins, like, oh my gosh, am I doing this right? Am I doing that right? They're crying. What's wrong? Is it this, is it that, like, it was such a period of worry and fear and anxiety, especially as a new mom, right. You just want to like fix it and make them better. And you don't know what you're doing in the beginning and you're figuring it out as you go when you're up all night.
And I remember always saying this to my husband, I would say to him, but there's two of them and one of me, because he worked nights at the time and I was so nervous [00:18:00] about them waking up in the middle of the night, because I was like, what if they both cry? What do I do? Yeah. That alone was enough to make me fearful and anxious, but then add on top of it, all this other stuff.
And it was just it was so heavy, you know, it was so heavy and even just going through the postpartum was so confusing to me because I was happy. I was happy that I had my beautiful babies and I was home from the hospital after being hospitalized for three months and I was so happy that they were here, but then I couldn't stop crying and I didn't get it.
And I felt crazy. And thank goodness I had the strength to speak to someone about it. And I reached out to a professional and I can tell you right now, if you weren't going through this, or if this sounds familiar, please call someone. There's no shame in that. And it was the [00:19:00] best decision I ever made because they made me feel not crazy.
And they explained it to me and they helped me understand what I was feeling, why I was feeling it. And now, you know, fast forward to now, it just feels like a little blip in the journey. But at the moment it feels overwhelming and all encompassing and I felt like there was never going to be an end to it.
And I can tell you now that is so not true. And if you're feeling that way, please seek help because there is no need to suffer in silence alone. And there's nothing to be ashamed about and help literally is right around the corner. So reach out to a professional. I cannot share enough what a huge difference it made in my journey. So please reach out to someone asks for help. There, there [00:20:00] is no shame or guilt in that. Your journey to understanding and growing and really leaning into motherhood and everything that comes with it, you know, is first and foremost, recognizing when you need help and asking for it, because it takes a village people, it takes a village and you know, and asking for help is so, so critically important. And, you know, with COVID and everything that we've had to deal with and everything that we've had to endure, you know, finding that gratitude and finding that sense of peace among the fear and the anxiousness, right? Like, yes, there's going to be things to be afraid of.
Yes. There's going to be things that make you anxious, but you know what, at the end of the day, I have to let go of the control and have faith that everything will be okay. And, you [00:21:00] know, it may require some hard conversations with people so that they can understand your fears and your anxieties and, and help them help you, help them understand your perspective, help them understand where you're coming from, help them understand your boundaries, right?
Like this really hurts my feelings when you say this, and this is why, you know, and, and then if they don't respect it after that, then maybe it's a harder boundary you have to draw, but just slowing down in the midst of all this craziness and getting on the floor and playing with your kids and being a kid yourself. I don't care if it's building that Play-Doh or painting or coloring, whatever it is, sit on that floor, be present and enjoy the moment [00:22:00] because it is those small moments that truly bring you back to the present and what really matters. And that is that smile on your face, sitting on the floor, playing with your kids and trusting that all will be okay.
As always, I promise to be here for you and serve you and cheer you on every step of the way and spill all the secrets of motherhood and life I wish someone told me. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Real Mom Truths Nobody Tells You podcast. Until next time, keep on celebrating you because you, my friend, are so worth it. I am literally doing my happy dance with you because you just finished another episode of Real Mom Truths Nobody Tells You. I felt like that episode flew by way too fast. Right? If you want more head over to www.realmomtruths.com for show notes, and if you're looking for a new mom group [00:23:00] to uplift and encourage you, and for helpful tips, be sure to join me and my community on Facebook.
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