Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy.
I was recently interviewed by a fellow therapist on Instagram about motherhood during COVID-19, and wanted to share some of my thoughts with you. There is a lot of heightened anxiety, sadness, grief and a myriad of other emotions coming up in everyday life because of COVID-19, but our normal life worries are still here too. If you’re pregnant, postpartum or in another part of your motherhood journey, you still have the normal worries at each of these stages of motherhood, plus the added COVID-19 stressors as well.
The following are examples at each of these stages of motherhood.
Normal Pregnancy Worries:
- Is baby healthy?
- What type of mom will I be?
- How will baby change my relationship?
- Baby stuff is expensive!
- What will my postpartum body look like?
- Should I be a stay-at-home mom?
- Should I work outside of the home?
- Will the birth match my birth plan?
Added COVID-19 Stressors:
- Will my partner be at the birth?
- Cancelled baby shower
- No babymoon vacation
- No pregnancy photo shoot
- No buying baby items in person
- OBGYN now in full surgical gear at appointments
- Doctor visits feeling cold and rushed
- What if I get sick?
Normal Postpartum Worries:
- How do I bond with baby?
- Should I bottle or breastfeed?
- Am I doing this right?
- How long until I feel back to myself?
- Will I ever sleep again?
- How do we navigate relationship changes?
- I can’t do it all- care for baby, work, take care of the house, etc.?
- What does this baby cry mean?
Added COVID-19 Stressors
- Feelings of loneliness and isolation without planned support system here to help out.
- Not getting the needed motherhood breaks
- No interaction when family/friends drop off food (it’s now left outside at the front door).
- Worries about baby getting sick.
- Anxiety about not being able to get needed baby supplies.
- Cancelled baby photo shoot for baby announcements.
- No family/friends traveling from afar to meet baby.
- No interactions with other new moms through baby play groups, mommy and me workout groups, etc.
Normal Motherhood Worries:
- Am I raising good kids?
- How to balance school and activities?
- How to support kids through homework struggles?
- How can we better balance work and home life?
- How to deal with relationship stresses?
- How to deal with stress from extended family?
- When do I fit in self-care?
- Where do I find time to see friends?
Added Covid-19 Stressors:
- E-learning from home- a learning curve for the whole family!
- What if we get sick?
- Figuring out the new work from home life.
- Togetherness stressors.
- Feeling disconnected from the outside world.
- Grieving the loss of fun future events.
- Grieving the loss of everyday life.
- Trying to figure out how much time online is too much- not just for the kids, but for you too!
Wow, that’s a lot of life stressors at each of these stages! And, these lists are by no means complete, as I’ve sure you’ve thought of some things you’d add from your own experiences as well. During this difficult time, remember to be gentle with yourself, be kind to yourself and show self-compassion towards yourself, each and every day!