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  • Shawna Lauer, LMFT

Finding a New Normal - For New Moms Feeling Alone During Covid

Becoming a new parent can be quite isolating during the most typical times.You’ve stepped away from your career for a bit, are missing the colleagues you used to see every day and your social support and friend circle has likely shifted. While your days are spent with adorable bundles of joy - all you want is a little "me time," you feel super lonely yet ironically, you’re never alone!

During this Covid pandemic that isolation is even more real and even more stifling. This common life transition is complicated by increased anxiety, worry and fear about our baby and our family’s health and you’ve likely been cut off from your extended family. They haven’t been able to support you in the way you’d all planned and you’re feeling sad about all the people who haven’t been able to meet and hold your precious newborn.

Many moms “survive” the newborn year by seeking out support - mom groups, baby groups, mom-and-me music and yoga classes, breastfeeding support groups, weekly neighborhood meetups at local parks. But for many of you, these options are not available. You’re cut off from much needed social interaction, support, education and resources. And if you’re feeling “crazy,” “stressed,” “sad all the time,” don’t worry, there are many other new parents out there feeling exactly the same way.

Let’s talk about finding a way to get a little “normal” back, to help you get connected to those resources and people that are vitally important right now. Of course every individual and every family has their own tolerance for the risks they’re willing to take, but don’t let that stop you from taking a step back to consider those options that might be right in front of you but that are hard to see. So, let’s start here - let’s start by making a list of ALL the things that bring you joy: those things you love to do now, loved during pregnancy, two years ago or maybe even things you loved as a child or teen. Now, examine this list. What are some things you could do again today, tomorrow, this weekend. Maybe it looks a little different...maybe you’ll be wearing a mask, maybe you’ll be outside, maybe you’ll meet with a small group of friends instead of a large one, maybe you won’t share food or your coffee date will be on Zoom. No matter how you do it, connecting with the activities and people that bring you joy is so important.

It might be hard to motivate yourself, the excuses are plentiful...I’m exhausted, the baby’s schedule, I haven’t showered, I don’t have real clothes, I don’t feel like putting on makeup, the work and hassle to get out the door can feel like too much....but chances are, if you “just do it,” you won’t regret it. You’ll probably even start feeling just a little bit more like yourself again!

So, grab your stroller or strap on that baby carrier and go for it! Go do something today that brings you joy! Connect with a friend, plan a date night (in or out) with your partner, pick up an old hobby, do yoga or an exercise class EVEN IF the baby might wake up and interrupt you. You deserve it and I promise that once you’ve done it, you’ll feel better!

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