Covid-19 has definitely caught everyone off guard and made things a little more difficult. For parents, quarantine has been a bit more stressful because most of us have had to work from home and at the same time manage our children’s education. I am a mother to a 2 year old girl. Her routine changed drastically because of the quarantine. She was able to go outside and play with her cousins. My daughter was able to receive her speech therapy in person and enjoy playdates. The quarantine forced me to keep her inside and only see her grandparents and I. Her speech therapy suddenly became via computer. How do you explain to a child who doesn’t speak or understand why her life has suddenly changed ? I watch my daughter stare out the window with such a sad look on her face. I watch my daughter get irritable and frustrated from sitting in front of the computer for an hour to do the speech therapy. I have become more than her mom, I am now her playmate, her best friend, her therapist, her teacher and everything else she needs.
She can’t communicate with me yet how she feels and what she needs therefore I have been very anxious and worried about her mental health. I have also been very aware that my mental health is also at risk if I don't take time for myself. I know that self care is very important. If I wasn’t at my best, how could I be the best mother I can be for her? I learned to start doing things to release stress but also stimulate my mind whenever I can. I started to write poetry, articles and stories about my life and feelings. When my daughter naps I listen to music and dance around while cleaning which soothes me and calms my anxious thoughts. I take on hobbies such as painting to help my creativity flow. I have also learned that talking to other moms who share my struggles and reading inspirational quotes from pages like mommyys.breakscc on instagram helps me to not feel alone during this time. When I feel my mind wandering to dark places worrying about the future and my daughter’s well-being I always reach out to family and friends.
Quarantine has made me appreciate little things and people around me. Maybe routines have been difficult to maintain during this time but I’ve seen some people juggle two jobs and still manage to keep their child engaged in their virtual education. I may not be doing better than some mothers but I feel proud of myself because I am doing my absolute best to make sure my daughter enjoys her childhood and experiences a sense of normalcy in a time where all we feel is fear and worry. I am practicing self-care and being the best mother I can be. I can only imagine the struggles of other parents.
Guest Blog Entry by Yelisa Espinal