Whether you’re pregnant, raising a newborn, or raising multiple children, life during COVID-19 is not easy for any mother no matter the stage. Some aspects may appear different, but the sleep deprivation, frustration, worries, and appreciation are the exact same.
Being a mom is hard on its own, but when you add pandemics and viruses, you have a whole new level of difficulty. Here is a letter to a new mom in the post-COVID world, to bring you hope, encourage you along your way, and to remind you that you are doing a great job.
I’m sure your new normal seems like a never-ending circle filled with diapers, feedings, naps, and repeat. It never seems to end.
You wish you could bring yourself outside for a breath of fresh air and a change in scenery.
This won’t be your new normal forever. You will find time to get out, be with friends, and enjoy not being stuck at home.
You need to take time for yourself. Self care goes way beyond the bathtub.
Self care needs to be things you truly enjoy. While some days it seems like getting groceries by yourself is a luxury, do other activities you enjoy outside of that errand you have to do.
Learn something new, rekindle an old hobby, or simply take a nap. Some of the time, invest in yourself as self-care.
Just like you cannot pour from an empty cup, you cannot give your time and support fully to your children if you don’t take that time first.
“You need to take time for yourself. Self care goes way beyond the bathtub.”
You realize you were never truly tired even though you brought it up all your life. This exhaustion takes on a whole new level.
It won’t be like this forever. This is only temporary.
If you can, sleep while the baby sleeps. Even if you just relax your eyes while feeding your baby, it makes all the difference.
Get through it day by day and eventually your body will adjust and you won’t feel like a walking zombie all the time.
YOUR FEELINGS ARE VALID
You worry if you happen to get sick while getting diapers at the store for your baby, if you will still get to see your baby, or have to be quarantined.
These days, there is a whole new level of fear instilled in us as moms. We worry about getting sick, or if your little one will get sick and not make it. Some days your anxiety leaves you stuck isolated even longer than quarantine. Your fear gets to the point where you can’t even step outside.
Your feelings are valid. It is okay to be scared and worried. As moms, part of that worry is our jobs. Worry, to a small degree helps to prepare us for whatever will come.
MENTAL HEALTH IS A PRIORITY
However, too much worry and fear is not a good thing. When it becomes extreme or alters your daily life, it could be postpartum anxiety or depression.
“It won’t be like this forever. This is only temporary.”
These postpartum disorders are very common and need to be addressed quickly.
Make sure to know the signs of each postpartum disorder and watch during those crucial times. Have someone you trust and see regularly look for signs as well so you can get help.
Making your mental health a priority will further help you to be the best mom you can for your precious little one.
Here are a few mental health resources for moms:
- Postpartum Brain: free mental health toolkit to best prepare for postpartum
- Postpartum Support: international support line, along with ways to find local resources during your time of need
- Postpartum Depression: website dedicated to help you identify the signs of postpartum depression, along with helping you create a plan
- Postpartum Progress: a place to connect with other moms, regardless of where you live
- Postpartum Depression Treatment Online: online therapy to help moms overcome postpartum therapy in the comforts of their homes
- Boober: an online therapy platform dedicated to parents going through pregnancy, postpartum and beyond. There are also online classes and other resources available as well.
Just because your neighbor lets her kids play outside with the whole block and doesn’t care about the virus, doesn’t mean you aren’t a good mom.
Because this is a unique experience for us all, we cannot compare our journeys with anyone.
Take it one day at a time. If it helps, avoid social media.
Your baby will grow and develop at their own pace. So will you as a mom.
Every new mom makes mistakes and that’s okay.
Comparing will only make things worse.
“Making your mental health a priority will further help you to be the best mom you can for your precious little one.”
Only you know what’s best for your baby and yourself. A mother’s intuition is very real and powerful.
While advice from doctors, family and friends are all helpful, in the end, you get to decide what you will do.
In this crazy post-COVID world, we don’t know what is going to happen. So take it one day at a time. Do research and follow your gut.
YOU CAN DO THIS
You are the best mom for your little one. You can do this.
We don’t know what the world may bring, but if you’ve learned anything from this crazy last year, it is that you are a strong, capable new mom.
You got this mama!
Katlynne is a mother of two little ones. While pregnant with her first, she realized there isn’t much mental health help out there for new moms and decided to change that. Her website helps moms to work through their emotions in a healthy manner and become happier and better than ever before! You can learn more at kateable.com.★