In honor of of Mother’s Day 2020, we are highlighting 25 extraordinary Momma’s who inspire our Chasing Blueberries Community!
Meet our mom, Shari!
Shari Siadat, New York
Mom, Author & Activist
CB: Who are you in quarantine with?
SS: My three daughters: Scarlett Sage 10 1/2, Savannah “Savvy” Olivia 8 1/2 & Selene Soleil 5 1/2.
CB: What is your quarantine story?
SS: I grew up in a very small town in Massachusetts. My favorite childhood memories revolve around mud, dissecting bugs, exploring the woods behind my house & riding my BMX bike all over my neighborhood. These memories fueled so much toward my life education and no doubt played an integral part in shaping my identity. Now as a NYC mom to 3, I have at times felt guilty about the limited access my children have to nature, wondering if they will miss out on the value lessons that I learned this open-ended exploration of my surroundings.
Now that we are quarantining outside of NYC I have been able to indulge in that suburban mom fantasy. Once or twice a week we take a very long evening stroll. We stop and hug trees. We comment on the wide range of architecture on our street. We noticed for the first time (we have lived here for 6 years) that there is a tree that is shaped like a Y because there is a power line running through it. We've explored marshes & ponds. We've tried to catch tiny tree frogs with our bare hands One time we observed all the variations of moss that exist around us. But, most importantly, we realized that our eyes are wide open collectively. I felt the circle of life in these moments of discussion and exploration with them. These gift wrapped morsels have been the true silver lining of this pandemic for our girl gang.
CB: What are 3 tips you would give to other Moms to help them during this time?
1. Redefine what success means to you - I was on such a hamster wheel of constant go, go, go and needing to accomplish certain deliverables that I found myself going crazy in the beginning of quarantine with how little I felt I was able to accomplish in regards to my career. I felt behind and was holding myself accountable to a set of standards that did not fit my new quarantine life which consisted of homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, and laundry. My perfectionism side would come through and start to bully myself with how little I 'accomplished' outside of what was required to keep my family afloat. Through time and awareness of this (I really believe that zoom therapy should be included with the stimulus check), I realized that success was in the fact that I had greater connection and connectivity with my kids than ever before. The fun of seeing what our next creative meal would be together, the joy of not rushing from one after school activity to the next and using that time to simply cuddle & the comfort of knowing if we didn't want to change out of our pajamas, we didn't have to, etc. I would end my days exhausted from the homeschooling and the housework yet there was nothing more satisfying that knowing my outputs directly were poured into creating a deeper bond of love and service toward each of the girls. Quarantine allowed me the space to double down on my 'girl gang.' Now we have found ourselves closer than we have ever been. What a gift that has been.
2. We have entered a new world portal - embrace it don't erase it. I have found this particularly eye-opening regarding my own habits related to my beauty maintenance and standards. A few years ago, I grew back my unibrow in an effort to embrace myself for who I was and no longer for who I thought I needed to be for acceptance. I did it for myself but I really did it to show my three daughters, particularly the youngest who resembles me, that a brown girl who is hairy can be just as dope & fly as anyone else. So rewind to those early quarantine days, where no one had an idea of how long we would be in lockdown. I thought that I would handle the salon closures like a pro. In my mind, I slayed the proverbial dragon so to speak so nothing could rock me more than overcoming my aversion to having a unibrow. That was, until the gray hairs started coming in. In a blink, it felt like they were multiplying by the hour. I would have FaceTime conversations with my own mother and she would comment on my new appearance wondering why I wouldn't just color at home. Interestingly enough, I did the opposite. I decided to sit with these gray hairs the same way I sat with my unibrow several years ago. The same emotions were triggered: discomfort, fear & judgment. Now 2 months into isolation, I'm still not there yet with fully accepting my gray's but i'm also not reaching to order that at home hair color kit either. I'm simply sitting. Sometimes that's the best at home beauty regiment we need.
3. Don’t wish for the world to return back to 'normal' - use this time to ask for more. Collectively, we need to create a new normal; for the earth, for the values of our society and for ourselves. I've used this time to reset myself and kids on areas in our lives that needed shifting. I've really flexed my boundary police muscles in a moment in time where one could argue rules can be more relaxed. It has felt empowering to pick & choose within our home which I wanted to enforce and which I was ok with turning a blind eye to. I have evaluated what I buy and how I buy it. I have an even greater appreciation for a home cooked meal than I did before. I realized what a responsibility it is to take care of our health and to protect others that are not afforded that same freedom. That even with this restriction, we all have more agency than we realized.