It’s 4 am, I’m wide awake, and as we navigate through this lockdown yet again, (and we are coming up to our 4th birthday), I’m reflecting on 4 difficult lessons I have learned in the past year about the pandemic and my mental health.
1. Parenting is hard AF
My postpartum recovery was hard and parenting during a pandemic is also hard…..AF. Yes I love them but we weren’t meant to spend this much time with each other. My patience is thin, my anxiety is the highest it’s ever been & my husband and I don’t have the physical help we used to have. But let this be a constant reminder that I need to let the little things go, be easy on them and most importantly on myself. You want ice cream for lunch, ok! You want me to push you in a stroller around the block and pretend you’re a baby (you’re almost 6!), fine whatever! You want to watch YouTube videos of another kid playing with his toys, fine! In the grand scheme of things, it’s not the be all-end all and right now we, as a family of two working parents and two kids, are just in survival mode.
2. Self-care is a must
I’m thinking back to 4 years ago, when we were getting ready to launch our business and I had just delivered a baby. So what did I do? Well, I just wrote how hard postpartum was so I rested in bed while my nipples were cracked, my stitches were healing, my hemmies were out of control and my hormones were through the roof. I wasn’t sleeping as my youngest daughter sure loved to feed every 1.5 hours but I still managed to take the time to heal because I was in physical pain. So now, while I am not in physical pain, I now have the mental pain. It’s not about when but how will I take the time to heal? This is a reminder to walk lots, take baths, whatever I need to heal from the mental struggle of pandemic parenting, constantly worrying about the safety of my family and friends, and just the energy it takes to get through this in addition to everyday life.
3. Family is everything right now
Yesterday we bought a car. Well let’s back up a bit. We’ve been wanting this for a while, we are coming out of yet again another Covid-positive class case isolation and we thought to ourselves why wait? Well the girls were excited to say the least! We drove around with nowhere to go but of course ended up at Mcdonald's. Remember my love for Mcdonald's, well my daughters have also inherited that from me. While we were eating our late night “treat nuggets”, I asked my oldest daughter what filled her bucket today and she said being together. Wow….. I mean she’s not sick of us? I can sure use a break. But she’s focused on what we have, not what we don’t have, which was a good reminder for me.
4. This too shall pass
When I called my father last night to talk about how we will be able to celebrate my daughter’s birthday since our plan of getting together next weekend has just been kibosh-ed and just in general how I’m struggling right now, he reminded me as hard as this is, remember this too shall pass. In August 2019, my dad had hip surgery and a couple months after fell. His hip got injured and the surgeon told him this type of injury has never happened before. It took him a year to walk properly and with confidence again and he said to me “because I knew I could, I didn’t let the injury beat me and this too shall pass”. Needless to say he’s walking fine again, he walks everyday and is thankful that his hip is intact. So I remind myself, this too shall pass. I will be able to see my family & friends again, I will be able to finally take that Mexico trip that was cancelled in March 2020, I will get my energy again from being an extrovert, I will do whatever I want especially with a new outlook. I look forward to it! Saying to myself this too shall pass gives me hope.
Until this is all over, stay healthy, stay safe, stay sane & love to you all. We will get through this. - Aviva