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Motherhood During The Pandemic


I have really been struggling the past week or so with mental health. Nothing crazy just feeling a bit more down than up. Having the kind of days where you want to cry or have random moments of rage. I am normally a very balanced person and not much bothers me. But I think the pandemic restrictions are finally starting to get to me.


I write this post not to complain but to share the emotions I am struggling to manage during these crazy times . Just because the world has shut down, doesn't stop babies from being born and moms from struggling. Now more than ever it's important for us to come together and support one another . Sometimes just reading other experiences can help us some sense of normalcy . We are living through crazy times and motherhood is changing drastically .


My daughter was born in January of 2020 just before all the virus nonsense hit. We were extremely lucky to have all of our Midwife visits finished before the lockdown started. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to see family and friends before getting shut in at home.


I won't go through each month in detail but rather give a general idea of the feelings I have experienced. The biggest one is robbed. I feel robbed of having a normal start to motherhood and wish so badly I could take August on a playdate or to meet friends for coffee. Robbed of mommy and me classes or simply going out in public at all.

We do go on regular walks which helps alot. Finding new places to explore can make the world of difference . We are extremely lucky to live in Niagara Falls Canada. We went on many of our walks in the tourist area while it was shut down. We were doing this even when officials were saying to walk in your own area. Our neighbourhood was packed with people using the walking trail that runs around it so going somewhere else for walks just made more sense. It was something we felt comfortable with and I think that is one of the biggest things during theses times. Do what works for your family and don't think too much about it. If you feel safe going for a walk outside your area, then do it and don't let anyone shame you. That being said don't drive over thirty minutes to go on a walk either. Choose somewhere relatively local and get creative about it.


That leads me to bring up the touchy subject of having family over. I know for some this is a strict no but for us, we deiced fairly early on to continue seeing family. Honestly I am not sure how I would have mentally handled not letting both sets of August's grandparents spend time with her. None of them were working and neither were we so I felt more than comfortable with it.

For all you moms following the guidelines strictly, my heart goes out to you. It's hard and I am so so sorry that you cannot see your family. For any moms who have chosen to break the guidelines no judgment here . We are all doing our best and what we need to do to get through each day.

There is so much judgment flying around social media and it needs to stop. At this point it's important to weigh out the options and do what is best for you. Motherhood is hard enough when you have help but even harder when help is cut off. Just know that you are not alone and whatever choice you make is ok. Maybe don't through a massive gathering but don't be afraid to open up your circle if you need to .


Know that's its ok to feel robbed of experiences you were looking forward to . Pregnancy and birth are hard enough without a pandemic going on, those little milestones and events help get us through.


A friend of mine might not get to have her twins first birthday, which makes me so sad. The first birthday is more a celebration for parents to signify that you made it! Especially with twins .

Another tough thing to miss is a baby shower. Having a shower truly helps offset some of the cost of having a baby. I was lucky to have my shower long before everything started but I can only imagine how hard it would be to miss it. We didn't go crazy with what we deemed essential for baby but would have really struggled to buy everything ourselves . Not to mention having friends and family to celebrate with is so special.


Don't feel bad if you mourn missing out on those "normal" pregnancy and baby moments. Mourn them and acknowledge the feelings you have surrounding them.


I have found allowing myself to acknowledge those feelings , while deploying extreme amounts of gratitude for that I do have, to work best. I try not to dwell, but I don't ignore how I feel.


Have patience with yourself and remember , we are living through a strange and new time in history. We are all learning to navigate each day and understand what the new normal will look like. Try not to stress over little things or get too wrapped up in the media . Focusing on you and your baby will help keep you calm.

Finding outlets for your stress can really help too. Make it a priority to carve out one hour a day for yourself to have some quiet time. Do whatever you enjoy read, write, walk, colour, draw ,listen to music, clean ,do your nails .... you get the point. Take that time for yourself to focus on something other than the pandemic or the baby . It really helps recharge you and keep your mind a bit cleaner.


Another touchy subject is to allow help from those not in your household if you need it. I know some are dead set against this but there comes a point where mental health has to matter too. If you are struggling just to get through the day and feeling like you want to have immediate family over, then do that. You know what works best for you and what helps you unwind.


The final point I will mention, is learning to accept that things will be different but that isn't a bad thing. The experiences we have as new moms will shape our babies future. Maybe all the extra time spent at home one on one with baby isn't such a bad thing. Maybe learning to be resourceful and resilient isn't a bad thing either. Maybe this will be the first generation of kids to have deep emotional intelligence. Our perspective on the world will shape how our children view the world. If we set the example of adapting to situations with positivity and gratitude maybe our children will too.


To all the new moms out there, just keep going! You are doing a great job and this is no right or wrong way to live through a pandemic. Spread the love and drown others in empathy. We are living through something our parents never did. It's going to be messy and maybe. bit scary but we are strong. Each day will be different and we will be learning as much as our children are. Take this time to grow and focus on you and your family.


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