Photo courtesy @allisondelucaphotography

What high hopes we all had for 2020. A new decade.

My biggest 2020 let down was in September.  

Ever since I birthed my last child in June of 2017, I knew September 2020 would be the light at the end of the tunnel. All the difficult baby and toddler years would be behind us. You see, September 2020 was when my youngest was supposed to start preschool. He was going to attend a preschool program just a few days a week, but it would have been 10 hours a week I would’ve had to myself.

For a stay-at-home mom — who has been a stay-at-home mom for about a decade — this was my moment. I was so looking forward to getting stuff done without being interrupted. Cleaning the house, grocery shopping, writing for Boston Moms. I was looking forward to having some one-on-one time with my little guy without trying to juggle the other things on my to-do list. I was looking forward to him experiencing his first “school” days.

Letting go of this has been really hard. It’s not just letting go of the vision of uninterrupted cleaning. It is the letting go of the self-care. I have set aside so many things while raising three children over the last nine years, and it hurts to know I still cannot have what I have been so desperately needing — some “me time.”

I am grateful that my two older children are in school part-time. I am grateful that our family has been healthy at this time. I am grateful that my spouse has a stable job.

But I am sad that I have lost my kid-free time. I am frustrated that there is nothing I can do to change it. I am feeling guilty for not being able to let go of it. And that guilt is eating me up these days. I feel guilty and embarrassed to admit that this pandemic has been really difficult for me when so many other families are struggling more than us. 

This is the 2020 I want to let go of.

My fellow moms, if you’re in the same boat, please let go of your guilt. You’ve done nothing wrong. Your emotions are YOUR emotions, and they are valid. While we are all in this motherhood thing together, our lives, our relationships, and our needs are all very different.

So I am letting go of the guilt of what I have lost during 2020, and I am moving into 2021 with a peaceful heart.

Leah was raised in Greater Boston, where she met her husband in 2006. They moved to North Carolina for a few years before deciding their hearts were still in Massachusetts. Leah is a stay-at-home mom and has three children — boy, girl, boy — born in 2011, 2014, and 2017. Her oldest son in autistic. Children with disabilities — and the families raising them — have a special place in Leah's heart. She loves "The Office," date nights, tacos, U.S. history, and the beach. She enjoys sharing her experiences of motherhood, the good and the difficult, to encourage other moms that they are not alone. Loves: Great food (mostly made by her talented husband), playing with the kids, the beach, date nights, The Pats, The Sox, The B’s, new socks and bras, and American history, and movies. Can’t stand: Cotton balls, weeds, broken crayons, and country music