It’s one year since COVID-19 arrived and seven months into caring for and nurturing my son. Mothering, during this pandemic, is both emotionally and mentally exhausting. At first (finish reading and you will understand why I say at first), I was feeling guilty and sometimes terrible that most of our friends and family are yet to see and interact with my baby. I often wonder if people might think that I associate them with COVID, since I’m overly selective when it comes to who he shares space with, where he goes, who gets to visit our home and who is part of the village that nurtures this sweet boy.
The reality is that there really is no village when you’re caring for a baby in a global pandemic. It’s hard and lonely not being able to ask and request help from persons as I normally would; I am now overly paranoid and very careful with my interactions, I am even ensuring that 90% of my work can be done remotely. I get anxiety from the little interactions he has with us at home or individuals who visit. For a long time, I was beating myself up over the number of things COVID-19 is taking from me and my baby; playdates with my girlfriends, having a good afternoon at the cricket club, he’s yet to interact with lots of family members so unlike my first born he’s very clingy to me and knows no one really. I once felt sad, because we’ll never get this time back with him to create memories at this stage and enjoy the outdoors.
With the new spike in COVID-19 cases and confirmation of the deadlier strain here in Guyana, I am reminded of the post that was done by writer, Schemel Patrick, “You’re not stuck at home. You’re safe at home“. And it is so true! While my newborn may be missing out on socializing at an important stage of his life development, it’s really me not putting him in harm’s way and taking all precautions to keep him safe. That’s what I now remind myself of when I start feeling sad about things.
Now I am very creative with indoor activities and strategic when taking a walk around the block, as I try to minimize any interaction with neighbours. I no longer feel guilty for limiting interactions, but every now and then I feel sad that my seven- month old boy is yet to enjoy his tribe and the outdoors as his sister did at his age.