With the holidays in full swing now, one thing is coming up in our circles that we hear repeated by many parents of young children and pregnant people: we are very much still living in a pandemic mindset and reality...and this is manifesting in tension with our families, friends and peers as we continue to live very different lives from many of those around us.
Maybe tension has arisen with family members with different situations than us that make family gatherings stressful. Maybe people aren’t seeing our needs and all the compromises and losses we’ve suffered over the past 2 years. Maybe people aren’t thinking about our safety in the same way that we are.
This intentional invisibility can manifest in hurt feelings, resentment and anger. At its base, though, what makes it so frustrating and hurtful is that it further isolates us as parents. New parenthood can already be so incredibly isolating in our culture. Having a baby or young child in a pandemic adds a double (or quadruple) layer of isolation. We might feel left out, invisible, forgotten and perhaps even abandoned by our communities.
The holidays can be a mix of everything - deep gratitude, devastating grief, overwhelming joy, immense frustration, and so much more.
There are multiple layers in the national tradition of Thanksgiving - is it about gratitude? Or mourning? And on the individual level of our families there can be so many different dynamics as well.
I have found a few wonderful posts on instagram recently that I wanted to share with you as we enter into the holiday season - because they all say it better than I do :)
Thoughts on pregnancy, birth and motherhood.