Yesterday was a big day around here—Bryan’s leave from work officially came to an end and I had the chance to see what it would be like as the only daytime caretaker for both Milo and Mila. The bottom line is that we all made it. I kept up with feedings—lately she’s been eating every two hours and hasn’t been going down for afternoon naps which means more baby wearing around the house so I can get things done. I am also pumping every three to four hours because I’m still struggling with getting Mila to latch. We’re lucky to have a relatively easy baby and I can’t really complain, lack of sleep notwithstanding (with the exception of one nighttime feeding, she has been mostly sleeping through the night). But there are definitely days when I wish we had the help—someone to walk Milo since he desperately needs the exercise, to do a load of laundry, to clean the bottle parts that accumulate throughout the day (seriously, why so many??).
I received a call yesterday from a mental health coordinator assigned by the hospital to help moms easing into their roles during these unprecedented times. Her sweet voice came as such a relief and I didn’t realize how much I needed to hear it until she offered me information about a new mom online support group (for moms in NJ) and zoom calls to discuss parenting during the pandemic. I immediately joined everything and wrote down dates in my calendar. Now I have something to break up the day and—more importantly—a chance to connect with women in the same boat, navigating the same uncharted waters.
Mother’s Day was rough this year. I woke up feeling unbelievably sad, despite the outpouring of love and support I received from friends and family. I missed seeing people. I was angry that Bryan didn’t do anything to mark the occasion. I couldn’t make sense of my feelings but was spiraling about not being with my mom, sharing this special time with her, too. I thought of all the Mother’s Days that came before it and how I always told myself that one day my time would come. Now that it was here and nothing like what I expected I felt robbed. One of my friends wrote to tell me the first Mother’s Day is always the most special and (bless her heart because I know she meant nothing but good by it), it didn’t feel special which made me think there was something wrong with me.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m grateful I will soon have the chance to connect with other women who feel overwhelmed, isolated, and alone since the world stopped feeling familiar in March. This is Mental Health Awareness Month and now more than ever we need to reach out, share our stories, and connect. I’m listing some resources below, and I have registered for the panel discussion if anyone is interested in joining me.
You Are Not Alone: Finding Your Village During Uncertain Times (that takes you to a link to register for the chat)
Start safe and take care of yourselves. I am always just an email away if you ever need someone to chat. Xoxo