Strange thing, that amongst all the mental health and healthcare training I’ve done, 5 years at uni, countless diplomas and ongoing professional and personal development, nothing compares to what motherhood teaches me.
I’m a new mummy myself having had my second baby, Oli, in December. He’s now 3 months old. I’m blessed, well and truly.
I also have a very energetic two year old so my hands are full. As is my heart. Fit to burst.
I’m happiest being Mum, that’s the truth of it.
Motherhood makes me better. My boys bring out the best in me.
Hanging the little clothes on the line, the evening baths, the smell of talc, and the snuggles, oh my god the snuggles! I’m making the most of them these days.
Playing on the bed at night, jumping around, being a kid myself with my toddler, singing songs and planning the next day’s activities together. Reading stories and singing do-re-me.
I’m a professional colour-inner now don’t you know, can build a rad train track and cook spaghetti hoops on toast like no one else.
I was born for motherhood. I love it in every way.
But motherhood’s been something else during Covid.
I haven’t written a blog about the C word since the first lockdown, purely because I was sick of hearing about it.
But I’m writing this now because hubby’s gone back to work today for the first time since the Autumn.
For the past however many months (I stopped counting) we’ve managed to run three (3!) businesses, keep his day job, and bring up two children. And walk the dog, AND keep the house sane (aka tidy-ish) And not kill each other. Yet.
It’s taken a lot of self control, LOADS of late nights, a 15 minute run most days to clear my head fog, and even more so just being kind to each other. The four of us that is. That’s been my focus (not always what I’ve done mind you, thanks lockdown)
Loneliness has been the biggest thing for me though. I should say LONELINESS in capitals. It’s been a big fucking thing.
When you’re with young children all day and you haven’t got another grown up to talk to about anything…
I’ve sorely missed the toddler groups and baby meet ups. I’ve missed being around other women! I feel sad that my Mum hasn’t met her newest grandchild yet. All thanks to Covid.
I’ve walked out the house with the two boys just because I’ve needed to see another person. Just in case there’s someone walking on the other side of the road who’d like to stop for 5 minutes.
In all honesty there’s no words for what Covid has done to us all. No words.
We’ve all felt something pretty big here, whether it’s a loss in the family, or a loss of social support and togetherness. Loss taken to another level. Or the closure of the pubs, shops and restaurants. Also known as a severe blow to our daily lives.
The effects of social distancing/Covid will be with us for a long time yet and that’s something I’ve just accepted. I still can’t look people in the eye in the supermarket while wearing a mask. Somehow the mask makes me feel like I’m a criminal.
My best advice on this if you’re wondering is to ease back into society slowly. With the easing of lockdown in the UK we’re all thinking “eeek, how do I go back to normal?” My advice? Don’t rush it. You’ll adapt. It just takes time. Be kind to yourself first and foremost.
I’m rambling I know, but I do feel Covid’s been particularly hard on us new mums.
The loneliness, the separation and the lack of support. There’s a reason mums didn’t do motherhood alone in the generations before us. If they had help, they took it.
With Covid, not only have we faced a reality of not having help, or being with our partners for our scans and maybe even for the birth, but it’s the post birth period as well. The baby-moon phase. It just never happened for me.
The visits from family, the sharing of the baby joy. The cooing and the ooohs and aahhhhs.
People popping over to check mum and baby are doing OK. To check Mum’s sleeping. To check baby’s sleeping. Little food parcels dropped to the doorstep.
None of it happened. And that’s because of Covid.
I feel like my beautiful angel hasn’t been enjoyed as he should have been, and that makes me so sad. Thank god he knows nothing different.
And yet today feels like a real turning point. I’m not one to dwell on the negatives for too long if I can help it.
Today is the first day I’m home alone with the two of them. And it feels like we’re turning a corner. It feels… normal!
I’m feeling a buzz, literally at the reality of it all. I get those moments where I’m like “holy shit, I’m a mum!” and they’re coming in thick and fast today.
And the moments where it’s “holy shit, we’re passing through a pandemic, and we’re still standing and things are getting better!” They come in often now too.
I just want to say as well, that Covid has proven how strong I am and how strong we all are as mums. To go through all this, to be so saddened by it all but also to keep our heads high and just get on with it. Because that’s all we can do.
The thing is, often there’s no other way, and we have no choice. Covid has been… well, Covid! And we’ve had to accept that.
Again, no words.
But things are on the up, I can feel it. I’m booked onto as many toddler meets as I can be right now, and we can’t forget how much Zoom has been a positive amidst all these negatives. Though that too needs to be monitored.
I did hear something about ‘Zoomitis’ the other day. So watch your Zoom levels!
I wholeheartedly believe that things are on the up at last. Us mums will once again be able to meet and chat and share and laugh together. Just as we should be.
And I’m counting down to it.