My husband said to me the other day that he is feeling stressed. My husband is the most optimistic person I know, so if he says he’s stressed then I know something is really bugging him.
We have both been feeling the weight of the pandemic. It took a while, but it’s starting to hit us harder. I was pregnant for the beginning of it. He had just started working from home and we were busy with our toddler. I had doctor’s visits to go to. We were constantly talking about what it was going to be like when the new baby came, so even though we had begun isolating, life seemed “busy.”
At the end of May, our son was born. Going to the hospital was like a vacation. The first two months of sleep deprived nights seemed to fly by. Suddenly, it was August. As we became acquainted with our new baby and he began to fall into his routine, life seemed to slow down. Every day started to seem the same. Being a stay-at-home mom, repetitive days are something I am used to, but this is different. Every day has to be the same because we don’t feel safe leaving our “bubble.”
Here we are now in September. The weight of the unknown still lies heavily on our shoulders. The holiday season is approaching and we have no set plans because of the fear of the virus. It’s hard to have things to look forward to. As I write this, the song Into The Unknown from Frozen II sounds off in my head. Funny how certain Disney songs can ring true to current life. My daughter is obsessed with the song. She’s been singing it (well her version of ‘singing’) just about every day the last few months.
The other day, while the babies were napping, I was lost in thought. I was doing some self-reflection and I realized the way I have been feeling is similar to how I felt the year I had my miscarriages.
1.) I feel alone. We’ve been isolating from all of our friends. We see my family on occasion because they live nearby. But even when we are together we are distant. Most of my husband’s family lives far away so we haven’t seen them as often as we’d like. His parents have only seen our son twice.
2.) I feel like nobody understands. I have a toddler and a newborn in a pandemic. The last time there was an event like this was 100 years ago. There aren’t many people to ask for advice on how to do this. I feel so uncertain about the future and uncertain about how to approach the next steps.
3.) I feel helpless. There is so much out of my control. I have to try hard to focus on the things I can control.
4.) I feel afraid. We have family in the medical and social work fields who are exposed every day. We worry about them and try to visit them in the safest way possible. I just hate having to think ahead like this and be cautious with the people we love, but I have to do what I can to keep my immediate family safe.
These feelings are familiar to me and I think being familiar with them has helped me cope better as we go down this new path in life. I know I have the strength to provide a happy environment for my babies. I know I can be strong for my husband when he has his moments of sadness. And I know he can be strong for me because we have both done it before. We have faced disappointment before, and although this is a different situation, we can use the tools we’ve acquired. I am focusing my thoughts on the fact that we have a home to stay safe in, my husband is able to work, and my babies are young enough that I don’t have to worry about school.
Even though life isn’t following the path we are accustomed to right now, I know we can make it through. I never could have imagined the strength and wisdom I gained from having miscarriages could help me carry my family through a pandemic. This new path we are on is challenging, but I am grateful every day we have each other.