A Single Text Message from a Friend Helped Me Survive Pandemic Life

Working from home with a toddler isn’t easy and I felt like I was failing. That’s when I got a text that made me realize I was more than enough. 

mother and daughter sitting on front steps
Photo: Courtesy of Haley Duncan

My wild and wonderful 16-month-old had just bounced her sweet head off the floor yet again, after climbing onto the low windowsill she ascends many times a day—her own precarious Everest. Chaos ensued, and I was nearing tears as I held her, applying the mommy treatment of a barrage of kisses and cuddles.

No one had prepared me for working from home while caring for a fearless toddler. I felt overwhelmed, my inner monologue telling me I wasn't good enough or strong enough, and I was failing at this motherhood thing.

As if on cue, my phone pinged, and after soothing my strong-willed child and getting her back on her feet and, naturally, watching her immediately try again to climb the windowsill, I opened the message.

"I just need to tell you that the most beautiful thing I've gotten to witness in your life is watching you be a mom. It seriously brings me so much joy! As talented as you are, as kind and funny as you are, watching you be a mommy has been my favorite."

And there, without even knowing it, my friend Megan had dissolved me into a blubbering mess. She had no idea that this was exactly what I needed to hear, at the exact moment I needed to hear it. She had bolstered my confidence and reminded me that motherhood is my calling, my joy, and my greatest achievement, even when it's hard.

My gratitude was immense. Sometimes the greatest kindnesses are the smallest votes of confidence at just the right time. So I headed back to Baby Everest, ready for the next descent.

This article originally appeared in Parents magazine's December 2020 issue as "The Act of Kindness That Touched Our Family This Year: A Text Message Cheered Me Through WFH Chaos." Want more from the magazine? Sign up for a monthly print subscription here

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