COVID-19 wasn’t around for my pregnancy. This was my first baby; I was really looking forward to having him, having visitors and attending those parenting classes! I couldn’t wait. I ended up having an emergency C-section and had to be really careful while I healed. It was hard enough being a first time mom and now I had to heal from a C-section too. Eeek.
Finally I was healed and able to get around comfortably and then BAM- COVID.
Changing Expectations: Maternity Leave & Covid-19
No Visitors, No Parenting Classes, and no family coming to help.
(We live away from family so we were anticipating a lot of visitors.)
And now nothing. NOTHING. I felt on my own and alone.
When they say ‘It takes a village’, it’s because it does! My village couldn’t come and help. I felt completely HELPLESS. But after realizing that now I had all of this time to bond with my child and I didn’t have to share him with anyone except my husband… I thought ‘Well... maybe this will be ok!’ And you know what, it was. Sure, some of the days I probably had more tears than my baby did but looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Activity Ideas for Maternity Leave during Covid-19
Of course I had to get a little more creative on things to do to entertain us and to prevent the walls of my house from closing in on us.
Activities with Baby:
Walks – so many walks! And when it was too cold for a walk we did ice skating. My husband would bundle our little guy up, clip him into a sled and pull him on the ice- he loved it.
Water play on the kitchen floor.
Sensory play with colorful noodles! (He LOVED it!)
We had dance parties.
We read a lot of books.
A lot of sitting on the floor and helping him play with his toys, did some of that include rolling a ball and playing fetch with my child? Yes. Yes it did.
Activities with Your Partner:
I did a lot more baking!!
I became more knowledgeable about photography and took A LOT of pictures –(Lil Helper obsessed? I think so! Did you know there is an exclusive Lil Helper group for Ambassadors who love photography? Check out the Unsnapped Group for more info!)
We started some woodworking and made toys for our son after he had gone to bed. (This benefited us by giving us something to do AND helping us to provide gifts for his first birthday).
We did as much as we could to try to stay away from the TV and entertain ourselves in other ways.
But let’s be real, I totally did binge watch Tiger King.
Finding Your Village in Isolation
It was hard being on maternity leave during COVID but there were still parenting resources available. The Lil Helper family helped me any time I had a parenting question. By anytime, I literally mean ANY time… if I was up in the middle of the night with a fussy babe and a question .. someone on Unsnapped was also awake.
It’s been a year now since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been a year no one will forget.
If you are having your maternity leave during this time you may not have that village you thought you would but you are strong and you’ve got this! Trying to find activities to entertain yourself is key. And when you need a virtual shoulder to cry on, your Lil Helper family will always be there.
About the Author
Ashley is a first time mom who lives in Saskatchewan. When she has free time she loves to bake -her go to is banana bread. She randomly stumbled across Lil Helper when looking for an AI2 style diaper and is so grateful she found them and the Unsnapped community that came with them.