Here’s a cross section of headlines, all about mothers, published by the North American media over the last couple of months:
Do you see the common thread?
Yes, there is the fact of a pandemic. But there’s also the stark reality of how that pandemic has affected the health of mothers in particular — mothers who, on average, spend significantly more time caregiving than fathers do, even when they’re employed full-time.
To say the least, moms are struggling. So is everyone else, but it’s kind of different. It’s hard enough to raise a kid as it is, never mind while dealing with the anxieties that inevitably accompany a global pandemic.
All of this might explain the sudden popularity of a recent TikTok video, in which a mother commiserates with the myriad pressures so many moms are facing right now.
“Hi, this video is for the mother on TikTok right now. So if you are not a mother, please continue to scroll and enjoy your For You page,” the video begins. The woman in it, whose handle is @swirl_life, pauses. She waits for the non-mothers to continue scrolling. But if you stick around, what follows is a message so earnest it makes you want to tear up.
“Hi. Now that we’re alone — how are you? Did you get any sleep last night? I know you’re worried. There’s so much pressure on you right now,” she says. “I know nobody checks on you because you are so strong, but I just want you to know that I’m here. I’m here for you, Sis. Keep going. You are amazing, and I appreciate you.”
The video has already racked up more than 2.7 million views on TikTok. There are 65,000 comments underneath the clip, many of them from mothers explaining how they’ve been feeling lately, and what the video means to them.
“You have no idea how many moms’ hearts you just touched. We are never seen,” said one mother.
“So I’m two weeks postpartum… and I just burst into tears,” wrote another. “I had to tell my husband that I’m not OK today… and I need help. It’s not easy.”
Watch: How some people are coping with their COVID-19 stress and anxiety. Story continues below.
The TikTok app is mostly a place where bored teenagers with lots of time on their hands post videos of pranks, dancing or funny skits. But it seems there’s also room for clips offering love and support to those who need it.
As one mother wrote, after watching the viral video: “I wish I had someone like you in my life to ask me these things.”
Also on HuffPost Canada: