I would never have imagined that 5 months ago, when I finished work to go on maternity leave, that I would be experiencing a situation so isolating while raising a baby. Arthur is nearly 5 months old and we have been in lockdown for half of his life. He met family and friends, but these past few months is when he has really started to become a proper little person. He can now roll over, blow raspberries and is babbling away. How is this fair that my loved ones cannot have a part in his life right now? They can’t watch him grow or learn new things. They can’t have him for a sleepover so I can finally get a good night’s sleep – more wishful thinking on my part!
When Arthur was 2 months old, I started a few classes, finally ready to branch out from trips to the White Rose and start meeting other Mums and their babies. We went to baby massage and baby sensory for a couple of weeks and unluckily for me, Arthur hated them both, but I persevered, knowing it would take him a while to get used to them. Then nothing. It all stopped.
To have these social meetings stripped away, as I said before, is so isolating. Maternity leave is a time to enjoy going out, have new experiences, encourage learning, do new activities, and make new memories. But now, we go out once a day on our walk and the only people Arthur sees are me and Scott, my Husband. Maternity leave is not going as I envisaged. On the other hand though, selfishly, Scott and I have got to experience everything Arthur does for the first time. No one has been able to say, ‘Arthur did this today or he did that’, which could have happened if he had been with his Grandparents, Aunties or Uncles.
A feeling that I am sure many new Mums will share, is that when lockdown eases further, our babies are not going to know anyone else other than us, their parents. They’re also not going to have been around other babies and I wonder how this situation will impact on Arthurs development. Only time will tell if this does affect him. My hope is that, this will all be a distant memory and he will flourish when he starts to see family again and go to baby groups. This can’t come soon enough.