Calgary moms feel 'heavy stress' during 2nd pandemic Christmas

·1 min read
Amy More and her family, left, and Martine van Besouw and her two daughters, right. Both moms say they're working hard to make Christmas special for their kids.  (Supplied by Amy More/Martine van Besouw - image credit)
Amy More and her family, left, and Martine van Besouw and her two daughters, right. Both moms say they're working hard to make Christmas special for their kids. (Supplied by Amy More/Martine van Besouw - image credit)

It's the most wonderful time of year, but some Calgary moms facing a second pandemic Christmas say they're feeling pressure to make the holiday special.

Martine van Besouw says she recently lost her job after taking time off to care for her sick kids, ages three and six. She says that's added to the pressure to plan Christmas amid pandemic stress.

"It's a heavy, heavy stress. It's definitely something that's kept me up at night," she said.

"I think this is something that a lot of moms think about, but don't talk about.… It's emotional to admit that you're struggling, especially at Christmas time."

She's coping by surrounding her kids with family, focusing on activities they can do for free and realizing the season isn't just about giving gifts.

And she knows her kids are still having a good Christmas.

"I feel like they're understanding the meaning of Christmas now."

Amy More, who has a three-year-old and a five-month-old, says the responsibilities around the holidays are "endless."

"You just have that pressure that you put on yourself to make sure everything is perfect and that you are able to look back on all of your memories … but with the pandemic, it's definitely really halted a lot of the celebrations," she said.

"Then there's the pressures that society puts on you that you see on social media, or in the movies, or things like that where they take their kids on extravagant holidays or they buy them all these gifts."

But More has a message for other moms who are feeling the struggle around the holidays.

"You've got this. You're a great mom."

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