The truth about pandemic moms is that becoming a mom during a pandemic was definitely a life-changing experience.

Never in my life did I think that my motherhood journey would begin the way it did.

I planned my daughter’s birth to a T, but of course the unexpected happened and she did her own thing and came her own way.

The truth about pandemic moms

Never would I have thought that my husband would not be able to join me in the hospital, far less for the delivery room, for our first baby together (he literally had to drop me off at the hospital door).

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I never thought that he would only be able to visit us at the hospital for the grand total of one hour per day.

I never imagined that to protect myself and my baby, I wouldn’t be able to have family and friends visit to lime and “see the baby” like it would typically be in a West Indian household.

I never thought that my postpartum journey would turn out to be an extremely lonely one.

Loneliness

I was home with my daughter for a total of five months after her birth.

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Except for the video calls here and there, it was a period where socializing was at a bare minimum.

As a matter of fact, my socialization was predominantly with a newborn!

So my daily conversations more or less included discussing poop textures and colours, outfit changes due to diaper blowouts and burp ups, remixing nursery rhymes, and talking myself into doing some chores and taking a shower while baby girl slept.

Thinking about it now, I definitely understand why the rates of postpartum depression (PPD) increased exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Postpartum Depression

I read an article recently by Gluska, Shiffman et al (2022) which noted that as a result of social distancing and lockdowns, there have been “limited maternal social support networks” which has “increased the maternal risk for the development of psychological disorders”.

Their findings demonstrated that women experienced “increased rates of PPD symptoms at 6 months postpartum compared to those at 3 months postpartum”.

I’ve heard that it takes a woman an average of two years after their child is born to feel some semblance of normalcy again.

For me, although I feel physically and mentally okay, my postpartum quirk is that I find it weird to socialize with others now (those who aren’t my immediate family that is).

On the outside

Whenever I go out with friends, I feel super out-of-touch; it’s awkward and weird for me.

I mean, I will crack my jokes and try to seem normal - but I feel different. I feel like I forgot how to talk to them because I’ve been in this little bubble with my daughter for months and I forgot that life went on while I was there.

Practice, practice, practice… right?

Since I’ve recognized my awkwardness with socializing, I try to pull myself out of it by pushing myself to go out more, even go to events where I only know one person so I’m forced to meet new people and put myself out there.

Has it been working? Only time will tell.

Social anxiety

I still get a bit anxious when it’s time to leave the house.

So guys, when you see me or any other “pandemic mom” and we’re avoiding eye contact or avoiding conversations, please know it’s not intentional.

We’re not being antisocial or dismissive.

We are still adjusting to this new way of life, not only as a parent, but as a parent in a pandemic.

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