A Mama and a Pandemic

Where to even start. We are a little over half way through the year and we have already dodged WWIII, mourned the death of Kobe Bryant, watched a pandemic spread through out the world and have been fighting for the justice of black lives as well as equality of basic human rights. The world we are living in today has been shaken up. It´s not that it´s not normal but that we have been shedding light on the many problems that have been happening right in our backyard. This blog post is to share what my life has been like during this time with the hope of connecting with other moms who are going through the same rollercoaster of emotions.

I gave birth to my second son at the end of February. At the time, the hospital had restrictions on visitation because we were facing one of the biggest flu seasons. My husband and I had been following the news on the corona virus but had no idea how bad it was about to get. In a matter of weeks our lives changed. I remember going to get my son circumcised and they were screening everyone at the door. Only one visitor was allowed if the patient needed. People who had symptoms of the virus were placed in a room away from everyone else. Life as we knew it was changing before our eyes. After the circumcision we came home to my mother in law who was watching our oldest son. Little did we know this would be the last time we would see her inside our home.

It´s been four months since we have been quarantined/ social distancing. The majority of our time doing this has been by choice. Having two small boys during a pandemic has been scary for me. The fact that there is a virus out there that spreads easy and we do not know much about makes me uneasy. Because of that my husband and I made the decision to stay home. It´s been a sacrifice for us and our family. We are used to having our family around all the time. We continue to see our family through our window at the front of the house and we drove by to each grandparent´s house for my son second birthday. What has made this time even more sad is that our parents and sisters have not been able to hold or interact with our sweet baby boy. He is four months now and it´s been three and a half months since they´ve been able to hold him. It literally makes my heart hurt thinking about it. I see so many parents on social media out with their kids and visiting family but our fear over our boys health and that of our own stops us from taking that risk.

My husband has been working through all of this. He has the potential risk to come in contact with someone who has the virus as he is in contact with clients every day. The fact that he may one day get COVID-19 and we won’t know it right away, keeps us from seeing our family as well. We would be devastated if he unknowingly infected one of our family members. Us being home with him also puts us at risk but it’s a risk we have to take. He takes the upmost precautions when he comes home from work or the grocery store to make sure he’s cleaned up before he sees us. That’s all we can do and hope for the best.

Having a baby at the beginning of a pandemic has not been easy. Doctor appointments are full of anxiety, hand sanitizer, masks, and baths when we get home. Only one parent can go in so my husband takes the boys so we don’t risk my health and I can continue taking care of them. It’s been hard not being there for any of my son’s shots. As his mom I want to be there to comfort him through it and make it all better after. I don’t get that this time around. Instead I wait in the car patiently and ask my husband a million questions when they return. Our days are full of texts, pictures, and FaceTime calls. I went from having family at my house almost daily to having absolutely nothing. We have been so blessed to have the most supportive family so it´s been hard to not have them a part of our daily lives.

I have days where all of this takes an emotional toll on me. I try and stay positive and up beat for my boys but just last week I broke down after my husband left to work. This feeling of loneliness overcame my body and I couldn’t help but cry. It was a quick cry because my toddler ran over to hug me. I talk about feeling alone and some might say but you’re not alone. Yes, I have my two boys with me but being postpartum during all of this is not easy. I give it my all during the day so that my boys see a happy mama and at the end of the night is when I can cry or just sit and feel numb. Maybe I’m still having symptoms of depression, it was worse in March and April. I again made the choice not to medicate even though it was suggested by my psychiatrist and it’s sitting in my medicine cabinet. What stops me from taking it is the unknown of who I will be when I take it. There’s a good chance I might get a better version of myself but I’m not willing to try. For now I’m able to care for my boys, keep a decent house, we all have clean clothes, full bellies and hearts full of love for each other and that’s enough.

Now that summer vacation is winding down I’m waiting to see what my job as a teacher will look like this school year. As of now we’re planning as if we are reopening, but with cases continuing to rise each day we have to think of everyone’s safety. Working from home would make me feel more at ease because I know me and my kids are safe. As for work, this will be the hardest route for me. I’ll be home alone with a 2 year old and 4 month old who need me every second of the day and still need to perform my job. Going back into the classroom has it’s benefits because I would have all of my teaching supplies and working face to face with my students would probably be easier than trying to do it online. But that comes with it’s risks. Not only at work but my exposure would then affect my boys and mother in law who watches them. At some point we have to realize that this is temporary and the health of everyone is important. We make small sacrifices now so we can have numbers of cases that decline in the winter.

I know a lot of people won’t understand why we’ve been taking this so serious and we don’t need them to. Until you walk a day in any ones shoes you should not judge. My hope for everyone is that we work together on slowing the spread until we have a vaccine or medication. At that point we can at least try and return to a somewhat normal life. Until then I’ll keep practicing my self care at home so that I can keep being the best mom to my boys during what will probably be the toughest time in our lives.

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