When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had no idea a pandemic was on the way and the day after I had her they announced we were in a global pandemic. It was quite the shocker for me seeing as I had such a normal pregnancy with baby showers full of people and a regular daily routine up until I brought my baby home from the hospital. I immediately felt like I had to of course protect her from it and basically quarantine at home as much as I could. In doing that I do feel like I have missed out on a lot of the normal things people do with their babies when they have them during normal times and so I want to talk about it.
Normally when a new mom has her beautiful baby after a few days she wants family to come over to the hospital and to her home and meet their new bundle of joy. Fortunately, I was able to do that because I was able to have visitors at the hospital, so her grandparents and her aunts and uncles were able to meet her when she was first born. For a lot of pandemic mom’s that is not the case a lot of them are only aloud to have one person in the room with them when delivering and no visitors. I have spoken to other moms about the anxiety that causes for them and how they wish it were different. A lot of pandemic moms also cannot have their significant other in the room when they go to their regular baby development checkups as well while they are pregnant. The dads have been missing a lot of this part of the process and the moms are of course wishing they could be there with them to experience it together. My significant other was only able to go to her first doctors visit and has had to wait in the car when I go inside with her for her monthly checkups.
Once I started to get the hang of being a new mom and got done enjoying that maternity leave time with my baby it started to hit me that I did not feel comfortable doing a lot of the things moms who did not have a baby during a pandemic would do. I was not eager to invite my friends over to visit my baby and meet her for the first time, I did not want to bring my baby to the office to meet my coworkers or travel to go visit family that did not live close by. I did not feel comfortable taking my baby to get her ears pierced. I was one hundred percent to nervous or afraid to be around people because of the virus. I of course had all these amazing people who were so excited to share this time with me and meet the baby that they love as well and I just could not bring myself to do it, everything felt like to big of a risk.
I decided to stay home as much as I possibly could, I would leave her home with her dad when I ran out for errands like grocery shopping or laundry. So, she has not been to a grocery store or a laundry mat or anything like that. I imagined I would have been able to point and just show her things and just have fun pushing her down the aisles while I ran errands. I also thought we would have mommy and me time and dates where I would be shopping for her, picking out cute outfits while pushing her around in the clothing store but we have not done anything like that either yet. We have not been to a restaurant, a zoo or museum as a family yet or on a mommy and me foodie date.
As much as I enjoyed doing her milestone photos, having professional photos done would have been amazing. It would have also been nice to have professional holiday pics with Santa or the Easter bunny. Due to feeling like it was safer to keep her away from as many people as possible in-home photo shoots and milestone pics just seemed the best way to go for us. I ordered milestone blankets or just cute outfits to at least get a nice pic of her each month. Amazon and online shopping have been huge for the world during this pandemic, but I think it has been even huger for us pandemic moms who cannot get out to the stores as much to get all the toys, teethers, outfits and baby essentials. Being able to have everything delivered right to our door has been the biggest help and has made me at least not have to miss out on that side of mommy hood. I cannot even imagine how many packages we have received since the pandemic started.
A huge part of this quarantine mommy life that weighs super heavy on my heart is all the family time that has been missed. We try to see family at least once or twice a month now, there was a moment where we were not leaving at all. Our families have been supper supportive and understanding during this situation, but I know it has been hard for them as well and that they would love to see her more often. I try to share as much as I can with them like pictures, videos and milestones but I know it is not preferred of course. With everyone having their own active lives with work and other things they also want to make sure not to expose her too much to stuff as well.
Being able to schedule play dates with other moms who have kids has also been something that has been difficult. One fun thing moms look forward too is being able to connect with other moms, share mom tips, talk about mom life and watch their kids play together and the pandemic has made that very awkward. A lot of us moms find ourselves saying no to a lot of stuff we really wish were not too afraid to do. If I could of, I would have been having mommy dates every day, but I was just too afraid. I would have loved to do mom and baby yoga, swimming lessons and other activities with a mom pal.
A huge debate has been birthday parties a lot of moms are so stressed out trying to figure out if they should have a party or do something virtually or just take pictures. I have seen a lot of families being super creative and coming up with whatever works best for them and their comfortability. Some parties are only for immediate family and some are for the whole family. Some parties are strictly online, and some are only outside and not indoors. Moms are doing whatever they can to capture the moments and feel like they are being as safe as they can.
A lot of the stuff I have mentioned may sound simple but to new moms those little things mean the world. I want all pandemic moms to know that whatever you are doing or not doing as far as activities and memory making, there is no right or wrong answer to any of it. Always do what your most comfortable with and what you feel is safest for you and your baby. Continue to give your very best and that is all your baby really needs. Your doing great and and I am hopeful that someday this pandemic will be a thing of the past.