What Is Being a Mom in 2022? It's anxiety, joy and everything else.

By Caroline Tell | Photo by Valeria Harris

We talk a lot about the “before times.” Before, we didn’t wash our hands 20 times a day. Before, masks were relegated to hospital O.R.s. Before, the word Zoom meant to look at something closely. A lot’s changed in the last two years, and now that we’re in the “after times” (or as close as we’ll ever be to whatever that means), we’d be remiss not to explore what being a mother now, in 2022, looks and feels like.

“It’s more anxiety-inducing, yet there’s an odd level of peace to it,” says Nicole Whitford, a stay at home mom of two in New York. “It’s like we made it through the shit and we’re on the other side. We know we can get through a lot.

For some women, being a mother now comes with a heaping dose of anxiety. At the slightest sneeze, we’re forced into a tailspin.

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Seven more days at home with our kids? Cool. And, unlike our parents, we know what 24/7 parenting really feels like, but we also know we can handle it. Sure, our therapy bills might be through the roof, but there’s a collective “we got this” energy that didn’t exist a year ago. In this post Covid landscape, we’re on the path. We’re evolving.

“There’s a certain comfort that comes with being able to grow from what we’ve collectively experienced,” says Lital Stein, a graphic designer based in Brooklyn. “But I do wonder what trauma I still carry with me as a mom.”

At Babe, we’ve never been the types to dwell. We like to consider ourselves light, fun! We pour that second glass of wine at the playdate. We let them stay up late to watch questionably appropriate movies. (Hey, it was the 80’s!) We try not to overthink anything when it comes to parenting. But, as the dust starts to settle around Covid-19, some of us are left wondering how to move forward and shed the past – how to reconnect with that “before times” mom, if she still exists.

“I think for some moms, rediscovering that side of us will be easier than for other moms,” says Janice Song, a psychotherapist based in New Jersey. “For many women, they have to do the work to get back to that feeling they remember and enjoy.”

So what’s being a mom in 2022 really about? It’s about being OK with however you’re doing and wherever you’re at right now. It’s also about celebrating this moment and all the moments that come after. It’s celebrating the little and big things, like those late night group chats that give you life, or the people who’ve helped you through. Maybe it’s about celebrating how far you’ve come over the last two years, with the fear, the hope, the unbridled joy – all of it.

So, as we mark the beginning of Mother’s Month (sure, it’s a thing), we’re celebrating all of the things. We’re celebrating community by opening up our Babe DM’s to show you what’s keeping us inspired, and the Mom Memes that made us laugh all year. We’re celebrating the style, the fashion, and the gifts we hope to get (but probably won’t) on Mother’s Day.

We’re celebrating ourselves and the gift of being a mom, and we’re honoring who we are in this moment and in this moment only.
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Like everything that comes our way, we’ve got this, and so do you.