A Look at Parenting, Pre-COVID to Now
Many new parents know nothing else than raising kids during a pandemic. While the year brought on a very unexpected feel of what the “firsts” would look like, there are some positives to shine a light on from the perspective of a pre-COVID mom.
The term “COVID baby” has become a familiar one, referring to babies born in 2020, the year forever marked as the start of all things NOT normal.
For new parents, navigating parenthood is a ride – one that is uncharted, with a steep learning curve. Lockdown certainly provided a unique set of challenges: family and friends were unable to visit or provide physical support and mom groups and events were canceled. For many, it was an isolating time.
Advice from a Pre-COVID Mom
To all of you post-COVID moms, we want to tell you that we feel for you. And, while this pandemic has given us lemons, we’d like to focus on the lemonade! With the bad always comes the good, so we’re sharing the upside to this whole crazy mess.
After speaking with a few post-COVID new moms, I gained a new perspective. The differences between my parenting experience (as a mom of two school-age kids) and theirs highlighted a few things. Yes, a lot of firsts (for our babies, ourselves as parents) looked incredibly different; if you’re a new parent, you might feel like you missed out on some things (which we won’t list here). But, I truly believe that COVID has also provided beautiful opportunities to experience new motherhood in a different and more relaxed way.
Here are a few things you may not even realize you “missed out on”, with a little humour thrown in the mix (because we need to find reasons to laugh, right?).
Let’s Look At The Positives of Being a COVID New Mom
Unwanted or unexpected visitors
For some reason, when you have a baby, people are always willing to drop by unannounced. This doesn’t include those that you want to see, or in your circle; they are those “other” visitors. In fact, they often come at the worst times: baby just fell asleep, you are finally taking a nap yourself, or you haven’t showered in three days and thought you could get away with it for one more day. The visitors come with good intentions (to see your baby, offer some help or drop off a casserole), however, all you really want to do is sleep (and see… well, no one). It used to happen regularly but during quarantine, the unwarranted visitors were forced to stay away.
Not being the only ones who dress down
Being a new mom is hard enough without worrying about your wardrobe. Comfort is king (or, in this case, QUEEN!), so loungewear is often what new moms reach for. During the pandemic, however, it became perfectly acceptable to dress down ALL. THE. TIME. Not only that, it actually became a nationwide phenomenon to no longer dress up or feel pressure to get dolled up.
When everyone is in leggings and sweats (at least from the bottom down, if on a work video call 😉 ) it really does take the pressure off!
You aren’t a Hot Mess, everyone is a Hot Mess
If there can be another meaning for #InThisTogether, it would be that we are all a hot mess. During 2020, moms from all over the world – whether new or seasoned – felt the drudgery of zombie motherhood. With schools shut down and struggling to manage home life, kids’ schooling and job(s), many seasoned moms became a “hot mess.” It wasn’t just a phase new moms were stuck in; all moms were suddenly crying out in solidarity.
Meal delivery took off
Prior to the pandemic there seemed to be an overwhelming pressure to prepare meals. And while restaurants were closed for dining, people were cooking more. But meal delivery services also took off. To support local businesses, people were regularly ordering meals and having them delivered right to the door. As a new mom, the idea of not needing to cook *every night*, and having hot meals delivered from your favourite restaurants… well, that’s a real positive if you want to find one.
Taking time to heal
A new mom recently told me that she missed not being able to see people and have “mommy & me” dates, however, every day was a “mommy and me” day and she felt thankful that she had the time to “heal” in privacy. This is the biggest positive to focus on. Being able to take the time to mentally and physically heal is vital to a new mom’s wellbeing. Allowing your body heal at its own pace, to deal with postpartum emotions and body changes, and to do things when you feel ready – all the while having communication tools at your disposal to speak to others without needing to be there in person – has been so beneficial to many moms.
Becoming a new mom can be isolating, but connecting virtually to a wide network from the comfort of your home allows you to stay in touch with the outside world while still taking care of yourself.
No pressure to return to work – as the majority are working from home (if you have a telecommuting job)
For those that generally work in an office, returning to work may have meant just setting up a place to work from home. This was a positive for many moms that were anxious about leaving their babies. While working from home with kids is difficult, there has been a general understanding that (if it’s possible to do so) people are working from home.
For the first time ever, it was ok to have a baby crying or a toddler whining occasionally, as everyone was in the same boat.
Having your partner home longer (if they were/are able to work from home)
For those with a partner who was forced to work from home, it meant getting to share parenthood a bit more. Though they may have been working, it allowed both parents to truly see what happens over a 24-hour span. Sometimes just having someone else in the house – even if they are chained to a desk – is comforting when you’re navigating this new phase of life.
While we’ve brought to light the upside of being a new mom during these unprecedented times, we hope you’re always able to cherish the truly best part… becoming a new mom in the first place.
Congratulations! And always remember… you’ve got this, and when it comes to motherhood, we are always #InThisTogether.
Mother of two, foodie at heart, city-loving blogger, writer, marketing specialist, and overall busy-bee: that is Christina Chandra in a nutshell. Christina lives in Vancouver where she is a freelance writer & marketing specialist, and also blogs at ChristinaChandra.com. In her spare time, you can find her exploring local eateries, cafes and hot spots.