Now, being at home, I can’t wait for that Zoom call at 10:30 each morning, just to feel a little connected to people (over the age of four!). But the reality of doing that with two kids around – excited that I’m home all the time now – brings another challenge in itself. I can hardly pop them in front of the TV all day – though the temptation is strong, especially when I need to get work DONE.
I know I have it easy compared to so many. This is hard for everyone, and I believe we’ll all come out of this much stronger.
When we started thinking about having a third child, I was pretty nervous. How would I cope with three? I hardly cope with two on a daily basis and I suffered post-natal depression with both children. But then I thought, I’ll be ok. I’ll set up the right support network and we’ll go into this feeling fully prepared.
Like many families, I’m anxious about losing our support network. A few weeks ago, I thought the kindies and daycares might close their doors, but they’re still open even now, which begs another question: “Do I send my kids?” I’ve chosen not to. We’ve also decided to distance ourselves and the kids from their grandparents. We’re lucky to have them on both sides and they usually give us so much help and support on a weekly basis.
The more I’ve thought about losing that support, losing kindy and daycare, losing outings to the zoo or the library or even to the local park, the more I’ve started to freak out. I am suddenly alone, just me and my soon-to-be three kids at home on our own (my husband is still going into a remote office, they’ve divided them into small teams). I’m worried about how I’m going to get through it.
I know in the big picture my worries are not important, and as long as we’re all healthy and safe and not contributing to the community spread of COVID-19, it’s all going to be fine. I know this, but it doesn’t always calm my mind.
Mentally, are we all going to be fine? I think a lot of mums around the world will be having feelings similar to mine, which is why I wanted to share my reality. As the saying goes, we’re in this together.
Of course, there’s a silver lining: there’s something nice about slowing down and watching your kids, not always being in a rush to get them out the door, off to the next activity. So moving forward I’m going to stay positive, to try and channel the innocence and joy of children, and to live life through their eyes for the next little while.
The experience of perinatal depression and anxiety is even tougher during these uncertain global times. Gidget Foundation Australia has launched specialised support services for new and expectant parents. To find out more visit https://gidgetfoundation.org.au/get-support/covid-19-support/