The Beginning of the Pandemic Hit Hard & Fast
Back in March, when the pandemic first hit, I was in the third trimester of my pregnancy with Cillian. As coronavirus continued to spread, they closed down schools in out area. I was in disbelief at first but figured it would only last two weeks. We hunkered down, did some crafts, baked some bread, and got through March in one piece.
At the beginning of April, they announced that the lockdown would continue and I started to get nervous. I am extremely extroverted and the complete opposite of a homebody. I like to take the kids somewhere every day: the library, museums, indoor play places. Basically anywhere they can run around and I can see other adults. The lockdown was a whole new beast for me as a mother.
I got it through April by the skin of my teeth. Listening to motivational words from @glennondoyle and commiserating with my friends. I knew if I stayed the course, eventually this would all be over.
Giving Birth Gave Me Something New to Focus My Energy On
I had my son at the end of May and that brought on new challenges. He’s my third child so navigating motherhood with a newborn, preschooler and almost kindergartner was at the forefront of my priorities. Pandemic life wasn’t really phasing me because newborn life had taken the front seat.
For the duration of the summer we just survived. Parks opened up and we extended our pod to our two closest family friends. Things were going okay. I was okay.
By mid-August I realized I was not going to send my daughters to school in person. We chose remote learning to continue to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. This is when my mental state took a steep nosedive. Homeschooling was never something I wanted to do and remote learning meant we were tied to our house even more.
All of a sudden, I realize this pandemic was probably going to last at least a year. I was going to be homebound for a year by the time it was all over. Those thoughts started closing in on me and I was getting extremely anxious over it.
Realizing I Needed to Ask for Help
I decided to discuss this with my midwife and my general practitioner. (Something I can’t recommend enough if you are feeling similarly.) I was diagnosed with “pandemic anxiety” and put on an anti-anxiety medication. I also continue therapy as I have done since the previous July.
This is something I’ve struggled with sharing publicly but I want more than anything to destigmatize medication for mental health. There is NOTHING weak or shameful about getting the help you need.
Looking for Things I Could Create For Myself
But another thing that changed my mental state was working on my mindset. I found @kaileenelise on my birthday, October 2, and her blog really resonated with me. I listened to her podcast and heard her talk about her closet office. That idea really appealed to me and I decided to do something similar.
That’s when I started the closet reno. If you want to see videos of it, check out my Instagram page. Having that space just for myself, that I could do whatever I wanted with, has given me so much peace of mind. As well as following many of Kaileen’s suggestions of meditation, listening to my inner inner voice and journaling.
A Work In Progress
And that’s where I am today. A work in progress. 2020 has put me through the ringer but it’s also brought me an incredible amount of clarity. I don’t feel lost right now. Getting through this pandemic without a mental breakdown is possible. Hopefully, my story can help you in some way. I hope shedding light on my struggles will help you feel seen and validate yours.
Now here’s my question for you. What is one thing you could create to help survive this pandemic winter? Maybe it’s a new habit. Maybe it’s a morning routine or a new hobby. Please share your idea with me in the comments below. I’d love to hear.
Taran is a self-proclaimed undomestic mom. She thrives as a stay-at-home-mom by consistently carving out time for herself and practicing realistic self-care. As a busy mom of 3, she knows that if mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy! With a focus on how SAHMs can carve out time for themselves everyday, she teaches fellow SAHMs how they can do the same.