WHOLENESS

NEWBORN HAZING DURING COVID SEASON

10 WAYS I’M COPING

(as originally published on bibi2be.wordpress.com)

It takes a village to raise a child, but what happens when the ‘village’ is observing social distance? Motherhood in this Rona season is unprecedented, it is revealing how little is within our control.

Who would have thought that a virus would cause us to think twice, and carefully re-define normal? That it would magnify the small things, because they really are the big things in life.

A few weeks ago, the Lord added to our number and baby KK was born. She has been a joy bringer in this season. Though she’s our third born, it has almost felt like having a baby for the first time. I’ve been learning a new way of motherhood, one with limited movement and social interaction. I’ve become more cautious, and conscious of the worry and anxiety that tries to make room in my heart. The emotional, social, financial effects of Rona are hitting home, they are hard to ignore.

Some comfort has come from knowing that KK doesn’t know an alternative reality. She has no clue what she is missing out on, so as her mama, my role is show up each day, feed her, love her, play with her, pray for her and try to find joy and peace in this season.

I never thought I could be okay being home all day everyday. I love my home and family, but I enjoyed leaving the house before Covid-19. Thankfully the walls have stopped caving in, in fact if anything, I now struggle to venture out. Here’s how I’m navigating this season with a newborn (I’ll talk about her sisters in another post):

  1. Giving thanks

Gratitude is a balm to the soul. It has a way of cleansing your vision, and re-aligning your attitude.

I am being intentional about giving thanks. Circumstances may not be ideal on all fronts, but I still have so much to be grateful for.

2. Re-defining self care

During this time, I’ve had to re-define self care and make room for it in my every day life. My self care routine previously consisted of outdoor activities, it has now been replaced by indoor activities such as baking, cooking, coloring, journaling, working out, de-cluttering and silence. Yes, sweet silence.

I’m chasing sunshine now more than ever, and resisting the urge to sit with drawn blinds. The rainy season has revealed that I wouldn’t do too well in winter. Soaking up the sun is an important part of my self care routine.

3.Being gracious

At the beginning of the social distancing, I wanted life to continue as usual, but a few days in, I realized the cost of ‘normal’ was too high to bear. With our help social distancing, I pursued the role of Super woman. Hubby would tell me to take it easy but my brain struggled to chill. Until my back humbled me. One day I had a little meeting with myself and redefined normal. A normal that consisted of grace, a normal that gave me room to be kind to myself, a normal that maintained joy. A normal that understood that these are not normal times, a normal that allowed me to heal from surgery and to enjoy being a mummy and wife.

4. Maintaining social interaction (From a distance)

I had a refreshing conversation with a friend this morning. We talked about everything from insects, to milestones, to sleep regression, to CVs and cover letters, and to life in general. It was a cocktail that left me feeling encouraged.

I am making an effort to reach out to people and talk to them and pray with them. I miss coffee dates and play dates, but given the circumstances, this is working.

5. Asking for help

I struggle with this one, but I have an ‘in case of emergency’ protocol in my mind. I know that despite the distance, I shouldn’t suffer alone. Postpartum depression is real, and I would really like not to experience it this time.

6. Making memories

Babies grow so fast. You spend the first couple of weeks wondering when it will get better, then it does, but you never get the time back. I’m freezing moments by taking pictures and videos. I’m holding baby KK, gazing in to her gorgeous eyes, smelling her hair, taking her in and enjoying moments with her. I’m also writing letters to her in her journal, with prayers I’ve made for her and the sweet things that happen. These pictures, videos and letters will serve as a reminder of God’s faithfulness in the years to come.

7. Putting my trust in God

A few weeks after I gave birth, a lady told me that she felt pity for me as this is not the best to have a child. As I reflected the Lord reminded me I can trust Him. He is the One who holds our future in His hands. He knows us, our hearts, and He knows our babies. He knew them and their futures even as He knit them in our wombs. He knew that they’d be born at a time such as this. He knew that they would be a generation that would live to see His goodness and faithfulness in their lifetime.

8. Amplifying truth

I stopped actively pursuing news pertaining to Covid-19. After evenings of increased anxiety after a daily briefing, I chose joy, and I’ve felt it trickling in. I am pursuing truth and positive things. I am listening to more things that make happy, thinking about the things that I can change and control, and praying about those beyond my scope.

9. Acknowledging my feelings

Some days are hard. Between the valleys of motherhood and the realities of life, it can be hard to feel jolly all day long. I’ve learned to acknowledge my feelings, feel them and then speak the truth that I know. I cling on to it and declare my total dependence on God.

10. Protecting myself

We still have to leave from time to time, as we go to the clinic. I am minimizing movement and taking pre-cautions when I have to leave wearing my mask, walking with a spirit spray to disinfect surfaces, and maintaining social distance. I’m trying to boost my immunity through food, exercise and avoiding stress.

I pray that this season passes soon. It is hard, but we continue to look to the Lord who sustains us.

Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live;
    do not let my hopes be dashed. ~ Psalm 119:116 (NLT)

If you would like someone to talk to or pray with you, drop me a line via bibi2bee@gmail.com

About the author

Esther Mbugua-Kimemia

Esther Mbugua-Kimemia

Author, menstrual health and endometriosis ambassador, conversation-starter, trainer, wife and mom.

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