Happy Mother's Day! It's a day for US - to feel celebrated, appreciated, and supported.
But many of us are finding this especially hard with stay-at-home orders and social distancing. Everyone is overwhelmed and we are doing more than we ever should on our own. We were meant to give birth and raise our babies and children in community!
Many of our conversations over the past few weeks have been about our traditional sources of support disappearing with COVID-19 - just a few of the ways we've heard your plans unravel:
-My doula can't come to the hospital to support me in labor
-I can't introduce my rainbow baby to my best friends
-My husband may miss the birth of our second child because my in-laws can't come to help
-The (relatively) quiet maternity leave I had planned to bond with my baby is now filled with toddler tantrums and homeschooling
-My sister who was supposed to come be with me can't fly in from California
-Daycare is closed and I can't get any work done with my kids at home
-I am feeling anxious and don't have anyone to reach out to
We've also heard so many creative ways to ask for (and say yes to!) support even amidst a pandemic - here are a few ideas:
First, check in with yourself: What do I need?
Sometimes we have a clear idea of what would make us feel supported - a partner taking on more housework, a gift to recognize all of our hard work, takeout arriving to the front door, being able to hand off our baby and take a walk (ALONE!), or receiving a note or a phone call expressing how much we are valued. If you're unsure or need some ideas the 5 Love Languages quizzes can be a helpful starting point. Then ASK for what you need!
Let's make our conversations more meaningful
Encouraging friends and family to ask you questions like "what can I do for you?" "how has your mood been?" "how can I help you feel supported in this challenging time?" instead of "is the baby sleeping through the night yet?" or "don't you love being pregnant?" can help give you the space to open up and ask for what you need.
Getting more out of virtual connection
Setting up phone/video calls (or asking someone to do it for you!) can help you stay connected during social distancing - here are some ideas:
-schedule weekly calls with a friend or family member to share how your pregnancy is progressing
-have someone make a "meet the baby" calendar with times to introduce your new baby to loved ones via video call (a nice compliment to a meal train!)
-set up 15 minutes a day for friends/grandparents read to older kids and give you a break
-create a group text or weekly group video call with a few moms you trust can provide space for connection (and commiserating!).
We'd love to hear your other ideas!