Mother and Child Photographed

A Pandemic, A 9.5 Month old.. The world where our children are used to masks.

Hi, I’m Charlotte, first-time mummy to my 9.5-month-old son, Leo. I’m excited to have been invited by Victoria to write the first blog post for her website!

I’ve decided to share a little about my experience of becoming a first time mum during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Leo was born at 12:48 pm on the 27th of February 2020. If someone had told me that just 25 days later, we would be under a full national lockdown and at the start of a pandemic, where we could not see anyone or even leave the house for months, I would never in a million years have believed them!

Being a first time mum with a 3-week-old baby and not having access to any support facilities, being unable to see family or friends (we live away from our families and friends so couldn’t even wave through a window to them), or really even being able to leave the house, was more challenging than I could have ever anticipated. It was, at times, incredibly isolating and certainly not how I had imagined my first experience of motherhood would be! Before Leo was born, I had all these lovely ideas of coffee dates with other new mums, seeing my girlfriends and family, some of whom were also on maternity leave, and taking Leo to baby classes. In reality, we hardly left the house for the first four months of his life, and it was tough.

My husband works full time and is also studying for an MBA, but as of the second week of lockdown 1.0, he was told to work from home until further notice, which I think saved my sanity.

Leo wasn’t a fan of sleep until about three weeks ago, so I spent most of that time awake, with no breaks or rest until Chris had finished work or had a quick break here and there. I had no one really to hand him to when I wanted to have a shower or even when I needed a wee. Some days definitely felt utterly overwhelming, and I felt (and sometimes still feel) totally robbed of my maternity leave. I will never have that time again, and if we are lucky enough to have more children, it won’t ever be the same because I will have a Leo toddling around as well.

I do sometimes really find it sad that Leo’s “normal” is seeing people’s faces covered up, not going near each other and seeing his family on a screen.

But despite all of that, and although this isn’t the world I wanted my son to be brought into, I’m not sure I would change it if I could. I know that might sound strange to some people, but the lockdowns have meant that we have had our son all to ourselves, without interruption or having to worry about a tidy house, whether I’ve washed my hair or even gotten dressed. We have had all the time in the world to get to know him, work out what we were supposed to be doing (I’m still not really that sure…) and find our feet as new parents. It’s also meant that Chris has had so much more time with Leo than he would ever have had. Leo absolutely adores his Daddy. We’ve been able to enjoy such special times as a family of three.

So to all the new parents in 2020 and all of the parents who have had to home school or take time off work to look after their children, or even try and work from home whilst homeschooling, we did it! We’ve almost reached the end of 2020 and hopefully the end of lockdowns and isolation.

It’s been such a challenging year for so many people, but for me, it’s been the best year because it’s the year I became a mummy.