Even though lockdowns have begun lifting all around, much of the country is still left in a quarantine quandary. Should we venture out? Should we keep staying home? But for new parents, I’ve found it’s a bit more complex than that. After all, even before the pandemic gripped the world, new parents were always rightfully cautious about bringing their new babies outside of the home.
I remember feeling liberated by those vaccinations and growing more and more comfortable with showing my new babies to the world. For the new moms and dads out there with little bundles of love at home though, the pandemic is even more isolating because staying safer at home is really the only option.
So, you stay at home with the new baby, and perhaps any other young children underfoot. Maybe you’ve done this before or maybe it’s you first trip to the circus, but I can assure you, it will get a bit crazy under that big top unless you do a few things to keep your sanity while staying locked in place.
#1: Build a routine
New babies are definitely not on board with routines but that doesn’t mean they won’t start noticing your subtle cues. And believe me, these cues will bring them comfort in an uncertain world. They will for you too as you create routine that revolves around the only things you can control which are right in your own domain. See? That feels better, doesn’t it?
#2: Distract like a magician
One of my favorite things about babies is that you can distract them with ease. Ditto for small children. Find your inner goofiness and make them laugh. Read to them. Play with them. It’s distracting for you too and before you know it, you’ll feel a lot lighter inside.
#3: Let music light the way
Bob Marley famously sang, “One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain.” Music is soothing for your soul, plus is something your baby will really appreciate. Carry that sweet little one around and dance with them. Even bigger kids will get into the groove with your own dance party. Bonus: you will have a workout you’ll love that will get you looking fabulous for when you do finally leave the house.
#4: Turn off the doom and gloom of the news
Staying informed from reliable sources is a good thing. Buying into the hype from the media that tells you your city or state is going down the tubes isn’t helpful. Check the updates on COVID-19 once per day from official sources to keep your stress levels low. Babies are extremely perceptive to your stresses so keep that poker face on.
#5: Take care of you too
I’ll be the first to say it…this all stinks, big time. Remembering that you can’t control it will set you straight though and free you up to focus on what’s important. But that sweet baby and any other kids and family you have under your roof aren’t the only important things. You are too. Zoom with your best friend over some wine, take a hot bubble bath, read a book for grownups only. You know what to do.
I’ll quote another song, “Things Can Only Get Better” by Howard Jones. And really, they will. For now, capture those milestones in those first 12 months and look forward to showing your baby around the world soon.