How to Adapt When You Don’t Have Your Go-to Support System to Rely On
Caring for a newborn is challenging in the best of times. Doing it during a coronavirus pandemic presents a whole new set of challenges—especially when you’re separated from your parents, close relatives and friends.
They’re sheltering in place at their homes. You’re sheltering in place at yours. And everyone is missing being together to share in the joy of the new baby. The good news is there are ways to bridge the physical separation and still find a little of that comfort and company you were counting on.
FaceTime or Skype with your family and friends so you can check in on each other and marvel at that beautiful baby together. And keep the videos and pictures flowing—it’s the virtual version of sending love and can help you feel close and connected. It’s not the same as being together, but it’s the next best thing.
View This Bonding Time as a Gift
Missing your parents, relatives and friends and feeling bad that they aren’t able to spend time with your baby is normal. But there may be a silver lining in this situation.
As well intentioned as your parents and Aunt Tilly may be, sometimes they can over-advise when it comes to parenting a newborn. You know, the all too familiar ‘ Well, I never did it that way.’
“Look at this as a chance to bond with your immediate family, do things your own way, and learn from each other,” says international board-certified lactation consultant and postpartum expert Lysanne Loucel. “It can be an empowering experience that brings your family even closer.”
When you do have basic parenting questions or need help, CentraState’s new moms group, which is now being conducted via Zoom, is a great resource. And, of course, your parents, relatives and friends are just a phone call away—and more than happy to help!
Sideline the Supermom Mindset and Guilt
If ever there was a time to let go of the need to accomplish and do, it’s now. The laundry, dishes, and project that’s due are not going anywhere. You’ll get to it. But before you do, it’s okay to take a breath, sink into your most comfy chair, and cuddle with your baby.
And moms, remember: you can’t be there for your baby and family if you’re not taking care of yourself.
Ask your partner to watch the baby for a little while, or if you’re by yourself, wait until the baby goes down for a nap and take some “guilt-free” time to enjoy an extra long shower, do an exercise or yoga video (there’s plenty of free ones on You Tube), relax with a cup of tea and skim through a magazine, or watch your favorite guilty pleasure show.
Whatever it is that helps you recharge and reset. Because when you feel your best you can be your best—for yourself, your baby and your family.