I’ve been managing. Despite being always at home while on mat leave, juggling an infant, and my daily adult in-person interaction since early November being limited to just D and my son’s educators during child care pickup (you’d be proud, Dr. Bonnie Henry, with how well I’ve listened), I’ve managed. Until now.
Then this week happened.
Something snapped, and I let the loneliness and isolation “grief” finally creep in through the cracks. Despair set in, acutely and deeply.
I give up, Covid. You win.
As a deeply introverted, shy, homebody (who married someone that is the same exact way), I am profoundly lucky and privileged it took me this long to get here. I admit to that fully.
Yet, here I am now missing things I have *never* missed before in my entire life. Super busy play cafes, shopping in packed malls, full to the brim drop-in programs, over flowing movie theatres, and grocery stores with isles that have so many people in them you can hardly move. All things I would have non-jokingly told you I was allergic to a year and a half ago.
And when I remember back to the slow and simple days of park get togethers, play dates, and meeting up with mom friends to chat while our kids were being kids — it physically hurts now.
This was not the postpartum experience that I thought it would be. This is not mat leave I wanted it to be. The summer ahead of us, the first with our completed family of four, it will likely not be the experience I wish for it to be (at the rate Canada is going with the vaccinations). I hate all of this.
Perhaps next week I’ll be able to start seeing again the other things to look forward to, the silver linings in our time outside, and the positives in the small joys to keep celebrating.
But, right now? I am in mourning.
There is so much more I wanted to do this time around while I was off work. I had plans. M’s an easy enough baby that it would have worked this time, too, unlike with O. Yet, when I pulled out her diaper bag the other day prior to leaving for her sixth month vaccinations, upon it was a layer of dust. I was at a loss.
There are no thought provoking words or inspirational wisdom to end this piece, and it feels weird without it. Yet, I’m not sorry for it, for all I want and need to say is this:
This really, really sucks.