Pandemic mama, you are not alone.
My sweet baby boy made his appearance in January of 2020, just a couple of months before the world came to a sudden halt.
My husband and I were finalizing the details of our return to the office following parental leave when both of our offices switched to remote work.
We were elated to have the opportunity to spend every moment with our son. However, we could not help but wonder what the future would look like … what his future would look like.
Pediatrician appointments were limited to just one parent. Visits with family restricted to FaceTime calls. Essential household items were hard to come by.
As if the learning curve of being a new mom was not enough, navigating the world essentially shutting down was troubling, to say the least.
If you felt alone at any point as a first-time mama during the pandemic, this post is for you.
When I look back on those initial months of the pandemic, there was a lot of fear in my heart, but there was hope there, too. Hope that things would get better. Hope that we would see our loved ones in person again. Hope that we would make it through it all without getting sick. Hope was all that we had.
Now that the world is starting to open up again, I reflect on those moments with plenty of lessons learned to carry with me.
My home must be a safe haven from the rest of the world.
If we let it, all of the negativity we consume in the news or on social media can find its way into our homes. I learned that I have the ability to adjust the atmosphere in my home. When things began to look dark in the world, including the escalation of racial tension in the news, I realized that the well-being of myself and my baby was of the utmost importance.
I am deserving of rest. I can’t do it all.
This is a lesson I am still learning, but it is crucial to our well-being as moms and people in general to quiet the noise and rest. While most people associate rest with sleep, it can show up in various ways based on the season of life you are in.
For some, rest is sitting in a coffee shop alone. For others, rest is binge-watching your favorite Netflix series or HGTV show. If you are like me, rest is a relaxing bubble bath after a hectic day. Whatever rest looks like for you, I think we can all agree that it does not include cleaning the house.
The hard times really can bring us closer.
Sometimes, the people closest to us get the worst of us. But if we take a step back, our significant others and even extended family can help us accomplish important tasks or just lend an ear when we need to vent about a rough day at work.
I can find a reason to smile every day.
Almost a year ago, I remember feeling a little sad that I could not spend my son’s first Thanksgiving with family, but taking pride in cooking a full holiday meal for my little family for the first time. It really is the little things that help get us through.
Pregnant women are sure to hear the phrase “the days are long, but the years are short” at some point during the pregnancy, but it really does ring true. This time at home has shown me the importance of perspective and living in the moment.
Now I know I have so much more to learn in this motherhood journey. After all, my son is only a few months shy of his second birthday. However, I hope these words are comforting to my fellow first-time mamas conquering this unique time in the world. We really have come so far.
Brittney Wheeler is a mom of a beautiful and fun toddler boy, Kayden. Born and raised in St. Louis, she enjoys figuring out this parenting thing in the city she grew up in with her husband, Ryan. As someone who writes in her professional life as a communications specialist, she extends her love of writing to her blog alwaysbmarie.com. She aspires to uplift other first-time moms who may not always see themselves reflected on parenting platforms. Some of her faves include listening to her long playlist of 90’s R&B songs, snacking on gummy bears or Twizzlers while watching anything that makes her laugh, and spending time making memories with her family.