How can we allow hope to blossom when we are in a painful and isolated place?
As I sit and write this I am aware of two realities, the outward progress in the vaccination process and the at home struggle of so many.
We have the realisation of something positive on the horizon but it is not reaching us yet. So many families are under huge strain trying to balance work, young children, home schooling, as well as the day to day tasks of cooking, cleaning, washing and so on. A common theme that i am seeing, is within all of this a deep sense of isolation.
An area that I am consistently aware of are first time mothers. Becoming a mother for the first time brings us a new identity and add to this COVID-19, it can become complex. There may be first-time mothers reading this who had their baby during lockdown. How was it for you to give birth at this time? Were you able to have someone support you? How was the birth? If it was traumatic did you get the support you needed at the time or has the experience made it hard to bond with your baby?
What do first time mothers need particularly in the 4th trimester? Ultimately they need support. Not only from family but from other mothers who are experiencing what it is like to have a new born, as well as those crucially important support groups such as breastfeeding clinics. For so many mothers they have not had family support due to the restrictions that COVID-19 has brought. All the support groups were of course unable to run and while we could meet 1:1 outside, in winter with shorter days and the need to wrap up warm, this may have made it an impossible task.
In times like these it is important to find rewards for ourselves, can we notice what feels special to us. With life so limited, it is about seeking out the small joys in life that in the past we might not have noticed. Can we allow ourselves to put on some perfume even if we are not leaving the house? To wear something that makes us feel good, cosy, or soft against our skin. Perhaps there is a food or recipe that makes us feel really good at the moment.
Look back at what you have achieved, you have survived and it is time to celebrate your success. We need to hold onto the fact that life is every changing and we have the potential to move forward in a new way.
Written for Darling Magazine Wimbledon, March - May 2021 edition