How can a mom feel okay about protecting her newborn in a post-pandemic world? Take advantage of warmer weather to do things outside; keep masks on if that makes you more comfortable; and don't accept the burden of Other People's Feelings About That.
How can a mom whose only parenting experience has been during Covid feel okay about protecting her newborn in a post-pandemic world?
A listener emailed us to say:
I am pregnant with my second baby, due in September. Now that we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel I don't think I know how to be a mom in a post-COVID world. I have learned how to be a parent during a pandemic and that is my family's "normal," it's all we know!
Our family and friends have already started talking about how they can't wait to be able to come to my house and hold the baby when he's born, now that COVID is "over".
We've been invited to huge family Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations (to make-up for missing last year) and I am already freaking out! Company with a newborn? Nope, not for me.
After explaining my feelings to my husband, he and I agreed we will not allow visitors to our home for [at least] the first month after I have the new baby.
Give it to me straight... am I being ridiculous and unfair? I realize my family and friends did not get to experience my first born's first months because of the pandemic, but I am feeling pretty strongly about doing it without company again.
Second question... how do I learn how to be a post-pandemic mom? Do I go back and listen to old episodes you both taped before the world turned upside down, or do you think parenting has changed forever!?
Isolated, Stubborn, and Not Sorry
We think there are only a few times in your life when what you say goes: your wedding, your big birthdays, and what happens with your newborns when they come home from the hospital. You are entirely entitled to make the decisions that feel safest for your family, and others are entitled to like those decisions or not.
But we suggest that it's too early to decide what will happen at the holidays this year. You shouldn't be receiving undue pressure to attend, but you don't have to rule it all out yet, either. We're still very much in a "still collecting information" phase. Once the calendar says November, then you can make a decision about Thanksgiving, based on the most up-to-date information– and your comfort levels– at that time.
Becoming a "post-pandemic mom" might be a very gradual process for you, and that's okay. Take advantage of warmer weather to do things outside; keep masks on if that makes you more comfortable; and don't accept the burden of Other People's Feelings About That. Better days are already here and are almost certainly in our future, and you will feel more comfortable– but on your own timeline.
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