Learning to give myself space and grace when life throws a curveball

Four weeks postpartum, I’m trying to find my footing with a newborn and a two-year-old. Thankfully, I have the help and support of my husband, who very fortunately has a 4-month family leave (yeah… it’s better than my leave too. Perks of working for a company headquartered in Europe) and daycare allows me an extra breath five days a week where I can focus on my recovery and my newborn while my toddler is well taken care of. I love my toddler to the ends of the Earth, but my extra hungry and sleep-deprived new-again momma self simply does not have the patience for being at the constant beck and call of two needy human beings.

My husband stays up late with the baby so that I can sleep while I get up early to ready and take my two-year-old to daycare. Those mornings are rough (my two-year-old is a master at stalling and when I wise up to one stalling technique, he always seems to have something else up his sleeve), but once my son is in daycare, I come home to a quiet, still sleepy house and can enjoy the next few hours as my much-needed me-time (even if there’s a sleeping or nursing baby attached to me). It’s bliss.

And then enter COVID. With timing that points an accusatory finger at Thanksgiving, we received a notice from daycare that there were two confirmed cases of COVID in the toddler classroom and a 14-day quarantine period starts immediately. I’m still in early recovery from birthing a baby, my body has already been giving me signs that I’d been doing too much, my husband’s less able to provide support due to a cold (not COVID), and now we’re looking at juggling two very young little ones 24/7 for two weeks straight. (Seriously, stay at home parents do NOT get enough credit for all that they do; it’s exhausting.)

As I make an effort to stretch my patience and kindness with my toddler (who is also dealing with a recent transition to big siblinghood, a major schedule shift with daycare closed, and just general two-year-old woes), I’m also trying to be more patient and kind to myself. I’m not a bad mom if my toddler’s plate is loaded with simple carbs, if he’s watching more than 2 hours of tv most days, or if I tend to get snippy towards the end of the day. We’re in survival mode. For two weeks, our life can be a little extra messy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: