(WTNH) — Teaching the kids, trying to work from home, juggling a dozen roles during the pandemic? Marissa Hayes has been deep in those trenches during quarantine and has created a virtual support group to help her – and others – cope.
“To be on meetings and get their schoolwork done, it’s been really challenging,” says this mom-of-four-boys, ages three to ten. To stay sane, she’s been participating in a Zoom support group.
“It helps us feel not so alone,” she says.
“I don’t think we’re supposed to know how to work from home…how to do everything, how to be together all the time,” says Vanina Hochman, a licensed marriage and family therapist who also works with Retreat Behavioral Health in New Haven. She spearheaded the video chats called Mom’s Toolkit. The mom of seven-year-old twins – also figuring this out as she goes along – hopes to provide coping skills.
“We wanted to provide a platform for moms to get together and have a safe space to talk about things,” she explains.
Her tips include: build time in your day to let off steam, lower your standards during this challenging time, and don’t be so tough on your kids. Or yourself.
“We talked a lot about grief and what we felt about losing things like graduation and dance recitals,” says Hochman.
For many, the camaraderie has been grounding.
“It’s OK to take time for yourself and it’s OK to take a mental health break,” says Hayes.
Mom’s Toolkit sessions take place every other week. The next one is scheduled for Wednesday, May 20th.
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