Amidst this pandemic, birthdays and holidays still come and go. As a collective, we are adjusting how we celebrate and express our love and gratitude. This month in the United States, we will celebrate Mother’s Day in a way that is foreign to many of us.
For mothers with grown children and grandmothers, we may find that we are still in a space where visitation is limited. If you have a maternal role or are missing your mom, grandma or aunt, phone calls, video chats, intimate cards and delivered gifts are all good ways to show you care. You can always use this time to be creative, funny videos, tributes, art projects that you can send as gifts will be greatly appreciated. Being separate from family is difficult but we can all work to reframe that we have the opportunity to show our love and appreciation in a brand new way instead of repeated traditions. A woman in the UK took inspiration from the film “Love Actually” and dropped gifts at her mother’s doorstep, played music and had signs with messages of love from six feet away.
For the mothers that have adjusted their lives to homeschooling their children, you are all together but also in a high stress environment. Mothers, please do not be afraid to ask for what you need this year! If you want some alone time during the day for self-care, that is perfectly valid, and if you want to build a fort and do a movie marathon, that is great too. Even both are possible. There is not a wrong way to celebrate and during such a stressful time, be honest with those you love about what you need.
There are also new mothers this year! Whether this is your first Mother’s Day or you are pregnant, there may be extra fear surrounding parenthood during this time. It may be even more difficult not to receive visitors. One relief for those that are pregnant is that the CDC has stated that pregnancy does not appear to raise the risk of contracting Covid-19, it can be more serious once contracted but the initial risk remains the same as the general population. If one does get ill during this time, mother to child transmission during pregnancy is unlikely. If you are sick, there does seem to be a debate concerning separating mother and child to reduce risk of spreading Covid-19. Mothers are making the choices that are right for them, just be aware of your hospital protocols so you can make an informed decision. Moms with their newborns may be experiencing extra stress in order to keep your baby safe and healthy. The crucial aspect is to stay informed and to build a support system around yourself. Again, be honest about fears and needs. Keep in communication with your doctor or birth team, as they will do their best to provide support and guide you through this time. Still make sure to celebrate! It may be a smaller party, but an intimate expression of love is powerful for you both. If you are part of a support team for a new mother, listen and do your best to validate fears during such an uncertain time, and be part of the celebration to highlight the joy.
A good resource is www.everymothercounts.org.
No matter where you fall, the greatest gift you can give is safety!
By: Adalyn Wilson, MHC Intern