My daughter was sent home from nursery in the middle of March and we have been in isolation since then. She developed a cough over the following days and two weeks later, I got sick as well. Our family only had mild symptoms – so we were really lucky. But while I was holding my sick baby in my arms for a few days, trying to reduce her fever, giving her water and having her rest and sleep as much as possible, I had a lot of time not to only catch up on Netflix (finally), but also to scroll through social media.
We were still in the very early days of isolation and a lot of people were worried and complained. They didn't know what to do, they were bored and scared not to be able to continue with their ‘normal lives’.
So I was very cautious about how the lockdown would affect us. I pre-made meals and stocked up on food and supplies, and even ordered new toys, knowing they'd come in handy to keep the little one busy.
I was waiting for the big bang .. but nothing happened.
Of course, nurseries are closed and I am feeling my stress levels rising quickly as I try to manage our everyday lives. But the isolation itself didn’t border me. Nothing had changed.
At first, I was thinking something might be wrong with me. Maybe I don't have a "real-life" which is what everyone else seems to be worried about losing - least temporarily. I started asking myself if maybe I was somehow isolated before the lockdown already.
So, I went on and asked myself a few questions: Am I a social person? Yes! Do I have friends? Yes! Do I enjoy going out and having a drink? Yes! So what's the problem then?
I started thinking back to the time when I was heavily pregnant and to right after my daughter was born. I was craving a night out with my friends. I was sitting on my bed with my big belly, no make-up on barely able to move, seeing all my friends wearing their sexiest dresses, enjoying a Friday night out while I was stuck at home. And this didn’t change after the baby arrived.
I was feeding her at 3 am, checking my phone, and getting so annoyed about everything and everyone - Everyone who seemed to have fun and a ‘normal life' and I felt confined in my apartment, which started to feel like my own personal prison. I didn't see my coworkers any longer, didn't meet my friends for after-work drinks, couldn't go to the gym, and had no one to give me some words of encouragement at the end of a long day taking care of my daughter.
I was stuck at home just like I am now – in baby isolation!
This must be what everyone is going through at the moment.
And I remember that it took me a long time to accept that my life had changed and to learn what that means: I am a mum now.
Once I accepted the new circumstances, I could finally start living and enjoying my life as a new mum. And this means, 7 am walks with a newborn on a Sunday morning, going to bed at 8 pm because I'm too exhausted from taking care of my little one all day. I totally dedicated myself to being a mum and to spend the time I got with my child with 100% focus.
We still see friends and do fun things – but mostly with other mums and family, right?
I am not surprised that 90% of mums feel socially isolated at some point. But how amazingly we still manage life!
So, the fact that it took a nation-wide lockdown to make me realize I had already been isolated for the past years was difficult, but on the other hand, it taught me coping mechanisms that I find so valuable right now and cannot wait to be reunited with my other mama friends on the playground :)
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xx Team MumShape