The birth of your child, although beautiful, can be a particularly stressful event. And what’s more, it doesn’t end there! Parenting can be challenging, and it was no different for me. Now, when you add a pandemic to the mix, it only gets worse. Shortly after the whole world went into hibernation in the March of 2020, I gave birth to my lovely baby girl. In addition to the birth overwhelming me, I went through a myriad of emotions that were new, not just for me but almost everyone around me! I was fearful about the safety of my child. And who wouldn’t be in such turbulent times right?
There’s a full-blown virus on a mission to destroy the world, and my munchkin was so fragile and delicate! Life, as we know it, had changed, and I had to think twice before touching my own child. Yup, that was the brutal reality, and I had to live with it!
But that’s not all. I felt like I missed out on so much of life. I missed out on my baby shower. I had to look up the items for the baby room online — when I preferred going to the store. No one came to visit me when my child was born (it was all virtual). My baby didn’t get a “Welcome Home” party after my discharge. All of these made me feel left out and forgotten, even though I knew it was only because of the current situations.
There was so much I dreamed of and envisioned before the pandemic, but none of them materialized! Instead, it was just the three of us: my husband, my baby, and I. I still remember the ride back home from the hospital — the roads were empty, the streets were quiet. I probably sound like an attention seeker, but you know what? It’s okay if I do! I was a new mother, and my baby had arrived, and all I was asking was some fanfare! Jokes aside, bringing home my baby in such a crisis situation made me fear for her health and safety all the more.
It would be unfair if I didn’t talk about the upside, though. I slowly realized that the lockdown kind of helped me a little in certain ways. At least this way, I could be around my child all the time! Even my husband could be home and tend to our little one without needing to go to work. So we both never missed out on anything in matters concerning our baby. We witnessed every milestone with awe, and I must admit that this would not have been possible if he or I had to step out for work.
It made it possible for us to efficiently juggle between work and taking care of our newborn, given that the workspace was practically in the next room. There was no mad rush to finish all the chores before eight in the morning to get an early start. Time stood still for the entire world, and no one really cared if we logged in at noon as long as the job was done! Eventually, I got used to this new normal, and I might have even begun liking it!
Parenting In The Post-Pandemic World
Change is the only constant, though, isn’t it? Now, the world is slowly crawling back to a semblance of what it once was. The lockdown situation relaxed, and it was time to come out of our shells. And a new sense of fear and anxiety hit me. I was nervous. For a whole year and a half, I did all my parenting indoors. Now, it was time to face new challenges. It took a while, but I slowly learned to cope. And this is what I’d like to share with you:
1. Continue To Follow Safety Precautions: We may be going back to the way we used to be, and it may feel like the worst is over, but we must continue to follow all the safety guidelines and preventive measures. Prevention is better than cure in this pandemic situation.
2. Observe Your Child: You’ll have to see if your child is going through any distress. It’s hard enough for us to bounce back, but imagine the fear and anxiety your child will face, especially if they’ve not been outdoors or in the company of other people.
3. Start Creating A Routine: Days and nights pretty much blend into each other when you spend all your time indoors. This can cause stress, anxiety, and sleep-related issues in the long term. Make a habit of following schedules and routines and stick to these schedules. Take extra efforts at maintaining your regular sleep hours.
4. Bring Changes Gradually: You can slowly make the transition by doing small things such as going out to meet family or maybe doing an ice-cream date with your child. As you gradually bring in the changes, you and your child will not face any kind of emotional shock from it. It will give you and your child a feel of the current situation, and prepare you for more important things such as work and school.
5. Talk To Someone: Preferably, another mother who is going through the same thing. It helped me in incredible ways! When I spoke to mothers from the local mom group, I realized that I wasn’t alone in this. I also realized that most of my fears were in my head!
After a whole year and a half in the safety of my nest, my little birdie is all set to fly. No, really — we have an upcoming flight to visit family. It’s my child’s first flight, and I’m excited and scared. But I’m going to take it in my stride! Parenting in public after a year of lockdown can be challenging, but then again, what is parenting without all its challenges! How has your experience been? Let us know in the comments section below!