Navigating Motherhood During COVID Era
Updated: Feb 6, 2022
As a therapist, being a mommy and a wife, I like to be transparent when I feel it may benefit my client. This pandemic has not been easy for anyone. With that being said, parents of children and parents of those that are not able to get vaccinated just yet may have been struggling. I find myself questioning whether I am doing my one-year-old daughter a justice or injustice with my decisions to protect her during this challenging time. This is all uncharted territory. Being a new mom, all while being in a pandemic, is a rollercoaster of emotions. Often, I need to take a moment to collect my thoughts and emotions to reflect on how to go about making decisions for our family. It feels like a cycle of conversations of how to protect our daughter’s health from COVID-19 and all its variants. This has been taxing on our family and my mental health.
This brings me to write this blog post, to open the platform for my open, honest, and transparent thoughts that someone reading may connect with or find helpful in knowing you are not alone! I was at the park with my daughter earlier this week and we were approached by a little girl and her grandmother. The little girl wanted to play with my daughter. My daughter lit up smiling and waving at the other little girl. Respectfully, I had to explain to her grandmother how, “unfortunately, due to the virus we are trying to keep her safe and can’t play today”. We talked across the playground. I instantly felt sad, and questioned my instinct as a mother. Am I making the best decision for her? Should I have taken a chance and let her play with a stranger, during a pandemic? This is such a challenging and tiring question I constantly ask myself. It always comes down to her safety comes first. I look forward to the day that a safe vaccine has been approved for her age. A day where I do not have to question whether it is safe for my daughter to play with other children her age. A day where I do not feel I am doing injustice to my one-year-old by denying her of her right to play and be social. Where I am not denying her smile when she sees other children. Until then, the look in my sweet one-year-old’s face, not understanding why Mommy has to keep her from being too close or playing with another child troubles me.
I left the park and applied the same effective tools I would encourage my clients to utilize in therapy. I was open and honest with my thoughts. I was honest with myself in which ways I am allowing my anxiety to take over my rationale. I needed to allot myself the time to process my thoughts and feelings. Cry it out and discuss my feelings. This pandemic brings contextual challenges. In this context, what also helps me is doing accurate research and having open discussions with my husband about our comfort level considering what the professionals say is recommended for our daughter’s safety. This does not make the challenging moments the pandemic has brought any easier, but it does help rationalize my thoughts and help me realize I am not a bad mom, and not doing an injustice to our daughter. I am doing my role as her mother, to selflessly make sacrifices to try to protect her to the best of my ability during this time. I remind myself how this will one day be behind us, and how my daughter will get to play on the playground with other children and have play dates with her friends. This is what we feel is best for her at the moment.
This blog post was meant to be a reminder of how parenting is not easy. Regardless of our comfort level or decision-making process of how to handle the pandemic for ourselves and our children. It comes with challenges and worries in everyday life. Trying to do the best for our children is a full-time job, with little to no days off. Applying the love and patience we have for our children to ourselves is essential to taking care of ourselves, in order to take care of them.
Dr. Liana Lorenzo-Echeverri, LMFT