Today we are living a lifestyle that we would not have predicted when the clock struck midnight on New Years Eve 2020 and we made our new year’s wishes and resolutions. For some of us, we may have hoped for some downtime and more time at home or with our children…..but this, this was not what we would have been expecting I am sure. We are in the midst of a pandemic, the first one in my lifetime and hopefully the last too. Covid-19 has swept the world, we have also fallen victim to this virus spreading to all corners of the globe. Do we know when it will end? No, but hopefully soon. Do we know how it will end? No, but hopefully with as few lives lost as we can manage. Throughout all this though – there is some serious areas I want to address for all the Mums reading this today. I just hope you all read this and take away some key tips to help navigate your way through this crazy season we are in.
For our beautiful pregnant mama's right now, you are no doubt scared and feeling ripped off. Scared of the idea of catching Covid-19, scared of potentially birthing with only one support person, scared of going into hospital at all at this time. As a midwife and I hear these concerns from many women, I hear you and I wish it was not like this for you. I released two podcast episodes recently about the effect on pregnancy, as we know it so far, and how to navigate lockdown; both episodes have had so many people reaching out to me and everyone has the same fears right now - you are not alone. You may be feeling ripped off that your beautiful baby shower or gender reveal party was quashed, many new Mums look forward to this for months on end. Don’t strike it off all together, decorate your home, dress up, bake delicious treats, invite people to chat to you on skype or zoom. Celebrate you and your new life in whatever way you still can. Treat it not like a cancellation but instead a change in plans, a detour, and recreate the fun in different ways!
School is up in the air for many and some parents are loving the idea of home-based schooling for the next wee while and there are others (such as myself) are dreading this and hoping that school is back to normal sooner rather than later. Mothers out there are stressing themselves out about becoming a home school teacher overnight. The need to run through curriculum and keep in mind your child’s mental health, physical health and emotional health…it is all just a draining and stressful time for many of you reading this. Do you want to know my take on this? Any home-based learning needs to be based on what you, as their Mum, feel comfortable with. Yes, they have amazing online resources and websites and activities set by teachers – I know our schools for example have created the most amazing learning tools that make me appreciate them more than I ever did before! But you know what? Use those to guide you, use them as tools to pull out, but use it in addition to what lessons you have to teach your child in this stage of their lives. Teach your child to bake a cake, teach your child to weed the garden, teach your child financial lessons by paying them (fake money of course) for chores they pick to undertake and then let them ‘spend’ their cash on tv time, treats and fun games with you. You are not a teacher; you are their Mum. Let that be enough and just relish the extra time with them and you know what, let them watch movies if either of you don’t have it in you to juggle the activities one day! Release the guilt and expectation of becoming this amazing teacher overnight. You are their Mum, and that is enough.
Some of you will be grieving the loss of all the things you now can’t do. Whether it was birthday parties planned for your children, events you had booked in to take your little ones too, weddings that have now been postponed and travel you were looking forward to. Personally, I am grieving something in every single one of those categories. The only way to move forward is to know that it is out of your control and you cannot change it. Another thing you can do – create those things in a different way. I have seen videos of birthday party drive-by present drop offs, weddings still held but with family all on skype watching in and holidays taken at home by camping in the yard or decorating the house to pretend it is a luxurious overseas destination. We adapt, we make it work and we focus not on what we are losing but instead on the downtime we are now able to have.
We can’t change the pandemic, but we can try to work on changing our mindset to help guide us though. It won’t last forever; life will return to normal for us and our kids will remember this time for all of their days. This will become our “in my day…” story that we tell our own great grandchildren one day. Just do what you need to get through right now and know that you are doing your best with this crazy situation that no one was expecting to be our focus point for 2020.
Author: Natasha Sau - Registered Midwife
Natasha Sau is a Registered Midwife, podcast host of the ‘Welcome to Motherhood Podcast’, mum of four ranging from toddler to teen and online course creator based in Queensland, Australia.