What I’ve Learned about Motherhood during the Coronavirus Pandemic
The first in a collection of personal accounts written by Los Angeles moms at the beginning of the Pandemic.
Photos by Rachel Carrillo
ANA POMPA ALARCÓN
Beverly Hills, CA
The most surprising thing COVID-19 taught me was that I am a much better mom when my kids are around more. I was a stay-at-home mom with both kids for the first two years, so I was used to being around them 24/7. But once they started pre-K and Kindergarten, our new normal was school most of the day while I worked. I am the founder of a tech company, findSisterhood, so I never get a break from work and I used to travel a lot for business before the Coronavirus.
Now that we are all stuck inside our home, I panicked at first because I had no idea how I would get all of my work done and homeschool without going crazy. But after only a few weeks, I noticed how much calmer and patient I became. I think part of that was not having to miss them all day. Sure, things are very stressful, and I have to work half the night because nothing gets done during the day. But the day is ours.
I sit next to Leila while she is doing her Zoom classes, I help Ezra with his puzzles, and we cook and laugh together so much more. The pressure of having to “be present” and create memories after spending the day at school/work is now gone. We are creating memories and we are getting to know each other so much more. I had no idea my daughter was the first to raise her hand in class, EVERY SINGLE TIME the teacher asks a question. This is an entirely new side of her that I didn’t know. Also, I didn’t realize that when I’m working and Leila is doing homework, Ezra actually entertains himself for hours looking through every single book we have.
Both of my kids love to work with me. Leila calls herself my co-worker at findSisterhood, and every time I open our app (she recognizes the logo), she asks, “Are we working on findSisterhood Mami?” and it makes my heart burst. Ezra pretends to work by packing his backpack, putting his shoes on then saying: “I am going to work now, Mami, bye!” and when I ask where he works, he responds: “I work at findSisterhood”. Those things make me really proud since I used to feel guilty about working so much. Now I understand the kids were always watching me and are proud of the work I do, especially when they see me juggling so many things at once.
In the stress of everyday life pre-COVID, we often didn’t have the time to watch and breathe and discover all these aspects of ourselves and our children.
It’s already hard for me to imagine how life will be once schools reopen. I will miss them so much!
Don’t get me wrong; there are moments when I can’t wait for it, and I feel overwhelmed, stressed, and reaching the end with my energy. But as soon as my favorite people in the world are asleep, I lie in bed, and I miss them, and I am so proud to be their mom. ‘Togetherness’ has a whole new meaning for our little family.
Mommy in Los Angeles Magazine encourages local women to share their stories of Parenting in a Pandemic. We are gladly accepting submissions through 2021. We want to hear what you’ve experienced in Los Angeles during times of Coronavirus in your own words. Submit your essay to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay strong, L.A. mom. You matter. #EveryMomHasAStory