By: Kristina Dapaah
I have been quarantined with my family for about a year. Like many families, the pandemic provided us with the opportunity to spend quality time together. It’s also helped us highlight areas where we could grow. When the first lockdown hit at the height of 2020 in Ottawa, I pulled my three-year-old daughter from daycare. While navigating the effects of the pandemic, we had a second baby and she is in every way a ‘pandemic baby’, characterized by over-sheltering. She hasn’t seen many people, but has begun to adjust to the group dynamic of having extended family members around more often.
Today, our family is in a position where we can see lifelong friends again, as well as family members and new babies who were born to friends during the pandemic. But, the new question we are now grappling with is: how much liberty do we give ourselves to go and DO things? While I want my daughter to make up for all of the time we lost, which is why I have since placed her in sports, camp, and swim lessons, all this unfamiliar activity in our household makes me nervous and I can imagine that there are other moms out there who feel the same way. As I hear pockets of stories of children continuing to get the virus, even as vaccination numbers rise, I wonder whether we are doing too much.
From another angle, we have been asking ourselves as a family whether we took advantage of the opportunity to rest. We were blessed to not have our family income affected much. In part, yes, we rested physically as much as possible with children. However, I can recall the uneasiness that has come with the possibility of getting sick or having a family member catch the coronavirus. Where my hands and body may have been idle in quarantine, my spirit has fallen victim to the fear of sickness. People around the world have been affected by the virus in a variety of ways and I believe everyone’s personal experiences with the pandemic are informing their comfort ability with returning to the hustle of living. My family lost a loved one to the virus and we have also had a family member hospitalized – so this has all factored into my very real concerns of returning to a version of the life I once had.
To the moms who are unsure about what life should look like and to the moms weighing who to see and what to do, I see you. There are many other mamas grappling with the same and although life as we knew it may be fleeting or gone, there is a new life here now, with new relationships waiting for us to experience. The hope is in the data. While the cases are rising in some regions, overall they have been lower than ever and hospitalizations are also on the decline. I’m putting my hope in that and doing what I find comfortable for my family to engage in, I believe it’s all I can do , and I’m ok with it.
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