This year on Mother’s Day, some of us may be able to give mum a hug in person – a gesture we will never again take for granted.
Mothers have always had to juggle many responsibilities, but in the past year, the struggle has truly amplified with lockdowns, homeschooling, and the entire family being home all the time. New mothers in particular have had a tough time navigating the early stages of their child’s life, isolated from extended family and with limited social interaction with friends and other mums.
I had my second baby right before the pandemic hit in January 2020. The reality of that first year could not be more different to what I had imagined. Going into lockdown with a newborn and toddler to look after was not what I had planned. Those first few weeks were intense, to say the least. I soon realised I needed coping mechanisms to be able to navigate this unexpected change in lifestyle.
Now, having lived through a whole year of the global pandemic, countless mothers including myself have found our new normal and learned how to carve out some peace and sanity during these crazy times.
Make time for yourself
Daily walks became a godsend during the lockdown and have now become crucial to my routine. Being able to get half an hour to myself for fresh air every day allowed me to re-energise, think about my goals, and even enjoy music or podcasts.
Everyone’s idea of self-care is different but what is certain is that it is vital for mental health, especially when anxiety and uncertainty are at an all-time high.
Take advantage of technology
While we have been socially distant from family and friends, technology still allowed us to feel connected.
“When I gave birth, only my partner and I were allowed at the hospital. We would facetime our families every day, especially my mother who was so important for emotional support in those early days. It was definitely a surreal experience and not something I ever imagined would happen” says Priyanka, who gave birth to a baby girl in Sydney in October 2020.
“In hindsight, it was actually a nice way for us to connect as a family, with just the three of us at the hospital for the duration of our stay. We made daily vlogs to summarise events of the day, which we shared with our extended family”.
Mothers’ groups moved online, regular zoom catch-ups with friends helped us socialise and being able to attend zoom parties to celebrate major milestones was a bonus considering most new mothers are homebound anyway.
Nothing can replace meeting people in real life, but technology certainly played a big part this year in connecting new mothers with the outside world.
Outsource tasks when possible
Having the whole family at home for weeks on end meant an outrageous amount of housework and admin duties. It is tempting to try to do it all and call yourself “super-mum”, but we all know it comes at a cost.
During the course of this pandemic, many mothers have learned to outsource tasks and use online services to get admin done efficiently.
“I did all my shopping online, whether it be Coles, Bunnings or K-mart. A lot of service-based organisations were also conveniently online, such as my local yoga studio, so I could do my classes in the comfort of my own home” says Neeru, mother of an 18-month-old girl from Sydney.
These conveniences have allowed mothers to keep their head above water, and when in survival mode, anything goes!
So, this Mother’s Day, let us all take a step back and think about how far we have come and all the things we have learnt, acknowledging the sacrifices we have had to make; especially those made by our loving and caring mothers.
While the pandemic is far from over, what we can do is be grateful for the freedoms that we have and if we are lucky enough to be with our mothers in person, to hold them a little closer and appreciate all they have done for us during this roller coaster of a year.
READ ALSO: A new mum’s thank-you note to her body
Link up with us!
Indian Link News website: Save our website as a bookmark
Indian Link E-Newsletter: Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter
Indian Link Newspaper: Click here to read our e-paper