COVID-19 and Motherhood

I’m sad. I’m sad that COVID-19 has hit America so hard, and has resulted in the death and illness of so many people. I’m sad that I spent my first year as a mother in a pandemic. I’m sad that my friends with small kids are having to deal with distance learning, while many also holding full time jobs and having to manage watching their kids. I’m sad that my teacher friends are having to 100% change their jobs, syllabi, and systems for teaching. I’m sad that unemployment is so high and we don’t have another economic relief bill coming to help those who are facing eviction.

I’m starting this blog with this disclaimer, because I recognize my privilege in WHAT I am sad for, personally. My life has changed under COVID-19, but in many ways, it hasn’t. I still have a job that I love, and in fact, I got a promotion to a regional communications position. Josh still has a job. We have our nanny, who has been able to help manage day-to-day life with Ava and has been amazing in social distancing when away from our house. I can wear my mask at my job when around others, and can socially distance. Josh continues to work from home. We’re extremely lucky to be in the position we are in. I say “lucky” as opposed to “blessed”, because for something like this, it’s not a matter of blessed or not blessed. It’s truly a lucky situation that we have jobs that are critical for supply chain. My friend’s fiance, who is a pilot for a major airline, was furloughed and they are facing a struggle financially. Who would have thought that being an airline pilot would be a tenuous job, five years ago?

But motherhood is much harder during COVID-19. Ava has spent most of her little life inside. She’s a big personality and not shy, and loves to watch people and get out of the house, so we’re struggling with keeping her occupied. She’s also SUPER BUSY and by the end of the day, I can see how bored she gets with the same four rooms over and over. We go on walks, and take her to the parks, but it’s still not the same as life would be had our nanny been able to take her to museums, restaurants, stores, etc., even just to get out of the house.

Still, I’m grateful that so much of this is happening when she’s so small and before she’ll really remember it. My heart goes out to the other kids – the four year olds that want to play with their playgroup friends, the eight year olds who don’t have soccer practice, the sixteen year olds facing a year without football or cheerleading… in the grand scheme, having a 6-12 month old baby during this pandemic is much better than some other ages. But I’m allowing myself this space to mourn the motherhood journey I had hoped to take with Ava – taking her out to restaurants, to indoor playgrounds, to play dates with friends. I’m trying hard to stay grateful for the time at home and lack of need to say YES to events (the ambivert in me struggles with wanting to say YES constantly, while also needing time alone!), but I also wish there was normalcy to live in with my sweet Ava.

No real end to this blog. I’m praying that the pandemic ends soon, and that my family and loved ones are protected. Hope yours are, too.

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