In a pandemic holiday, women still do it all
Connecting the Dots – #YesThisIsAnArtsStory Repost from The 19th News
It was the morning after Thanksgiving when her body finally gave out. The layers upon crushing layers of loss — her grandmother two days prior, her job at the start of the year — tethered her to her bed. As did all the little losses, the in-between bits this year where structure dissolved, order vanished and sanity waned.
Amy Kugler had reached the point where the answer to her husband’s question — are you OK? — came out as a resounding “no.”
But Christmas was only 28 days away, and even as she said it, her mind wandered to the tree they were supposed to be picking out with their 3-year-old son and the Christmas lights. My God, she thought, she couldn’t put up the lights.
In her head it was a ping-pong between obligation and exhaustion.
Can I do this? Can I rest? Can I do this? Can I not?
Kugler had to mourn the grandmother’s death, which was not caused by COVID-19, but was still affected by it, through a funeral broadcast on a Facebook Live video. Would she mourn Christmas, too? She wondered whether for the first time, she wouldn’t be able to complete all of the tasks — the work — that needs to happen to conjure up Christmas magic. It’s work that too often falls on moms to perform, the same moms who have already endured an unmooring year that has displaced them from work, tested the reaches of their patience, and still asked them to give more and more and more.