When you have your first child at the height of a pandemic, you actually don’t know parenting outside of a pandemic. But, if I’ve learned anything from watching my friends, siblings, cousins, and acquaintances raise their children outside of pandemics, there has been a shift. And although I’m excited for one day not being so concerned about the safety of keeping my baby away from a new virus, there are a lot of things I want to keep in my parenting that I’ve acquired from this time.
Here they are…
Alone Time After Birth
If you read my Having a Baby During a Pandemic post, you know we got a lot of alone time after baby was born. About 2.5 months of alone time, to be exact. And although I’ll happily take a casserole the next time around (something we didn’t experience after our first birth), I will completely create a sacred space around future babies. Did you know many places in the world actually promote a “Lying-In” period, postpartum? That means that time is savoured – mama gets to know baby, baby gets to know mama, others in the household get to adjust, mama gets to heal, baby gets to build up that immune system, and baby’s microbiome benefits from no guests. So, I’m saying it out loud…call it quarantine, call it lying-in, I’m going to honour that time with my family, pandemic or not.
More Relaxed Holidays
Less hectic; More calm. Less running around like a chicken with my head cut off; More soaking up all the special moments. This one will require a delicate balance. A balance between seeing all the people we love (when we can), and also not over-scheduling to cause stress, overwhelm, or exhaustion. The first Christmas we had with only our immediate family of three was bitter-sweet. We missed our extended family, but we also enjoyed the calm, go-with-the-flow of the holiday. So, when we can enjoy family holidays again, we will try find that magical balance.
My daughter also celebrated her first birthday with only us three. And again, we missed our family, but I liked the minimal-ness of her celebration. Now I will constantly ask myself when celebrating to what extent I want to plan, prepare, set-up, and to what extent I want to step back and take it all in!
I loved getting outside before the pandemic. I loved hiking. I loved walking. I loved breathing in the fresh air. And now, working for Kids Who Explore, I love all those experiences with my daughter even more. But, the pandemic made getting outside an even greater part of our lives. Hangouts with people were on hikes or walks. Coffee dates or meals were in the backyard. Meets ups, and even book club, was in a field, or in our sandpit (hello, toddler fun), or on a paddle board. And I love how outdoor hangs became the norm. I don’t want that to go away, so I’m not going to let it!
Post-pandemic, I’m giving myself alone time after birth, I’m calming the holidays way down, and I’m getting outside non-stop! What are you keeping around post-pandemic?! Even if you don’t tell me, take time to decide for yourself! Think of your top three!