Every day in the US, an average of 10,000 babies are born. Moms who give birth during this time are elated that they have accomplished one of life’s best milestones. In the past, this would be a time for family and friends to pitch in to help and celebrate the joys of a new family member. Instead of thanks to the challenges of social distancing, many new parents are isolated and struggling.
It’s very scary to think about delivering a new baby in the middle of a pandemic, but what about after you bring the baby home? It’s easy to focus on the negatives during this time, especially when you just want to show your baby to everyone in the world. The good news is, we can find the silver lining. Here’s seven secret benefits to raising a newborn in quarantine
Less unsolicited advice – Everyone you see when you have a new baby has advice for you, from your mother-in-law (“Don’t spoil the baby by picking him up all the time!”) to the old man at the grocery store saying your baby is too cold without a hat on….in July. When you’re stuck at home without any visitors, you only have to hear the advice you ask for, from a trusted friend or those professionals offering online newborn care.
No one is wearing real clothes – It’s more acceptable than ever to lounge around in a stained t-shirt and maternity leggings without worrying about people judging you for not being “back to normal” right away.
Fewer germs around the baby – The way everyone is acting about germs during this pandemic is the way they SHOULD act around newborns all the time. It’s important to observe these public health basics: frequent hand washing around the baby, don’t come over if you’re sick and don’t kiss the baby (no matter how much their chubby cheeks are begging for it.) Waving at family members through the window will not only keep you safer from COVID-19, but also the usual germs and bugs of life.
You don’t have to host visitors – Often new parents feel their home needs to be clean and ready for any visitors. They feel the need to “host” and feed everyone who comes to see the baby (despite the reasons that guests should be the ones helping). With no visitors, there’s no pressure to do anything but rest and recover, which is what you should be doing after birth. Get to know your new family member!
Your partner may be working from home – Everyone knows parental leave in this country leaves a lot to be desired, so you may get to have your partner home longer than the brief time that’s usually allotted by their employer. With less time commuting in traffic, your partner can be there for you to step in. This comes with its own set of challenges, but it’s nice to have someone around to make you lunch along with theirs and hold the baby so you can pee!
A generally slower pace – Normal life is so rushed and jam packed. When you have a newborn, things just HAVE to slow down, which can make you feel out of sync with the rest of the world and give you FOMO for things you can’t do because of the baby. Since everything is canceled, it’s like the world has slowed to the pace of a newborn.
More home-cooked meals available – Everyone is cooking at home now and it seems like generosity has skyrocketed as people want to pitch in and help whoever needs it. That means you, new parents! Tell those home cooks to make extra and drop it on your porch. When people ask what they can do for you, ask for food!