Dear 2020 baby,

Before you were born, before you even existed, I wondered if I would stay home with you. I wondered if my career dreams would dissipate and I would be content just staying at home, raising you and making our house a haven. I also wondered if perhaps that wouldn’t be quiet enough for me, that maybe I would miss my work and want to leave the house and inhabit a different role than “Mom” for a bit.

Then I had you. I saw your little face, heard your little voice, smelled your sweet baby smell, and fell absolutely in love.

You happened to be born in 2020, a year that looked a lot different than any of us expected.

This is not how we thought your first months of life would go. We thought they would be filled with all the typical events—normal seasonal activities, birthday parties, church, etc. We thought we would be out and about with you a lot. But this year, we are all home much more. I work from home, attend church from home, and even grocery shop from home. I’m with you 24/7. We are each other’s worlds. I’ve gotten to see what it is like to be home with you all the time. 

Yes, it has been hard at times. There are days when I feel like I’m losing the parts of myself that aren’t “Mom.” There are days when I miss being involved in work and volunteering and traveling and visiting friends. There are times I wish I had more time to myself. Times when one day seems to blend into the next without much distinction. And in those days, it feels like being “Mom” is not enough.

But then, you always do something to change my perspective.

You fall asleep on my chest, your face tilted toward mine, sweet and innocent and precious. I hear your breath go in and out, watch sleep smiles flitter across your face, and wish I could hold you like this forever.

You wake up from your nap and call out for me. I come into your room, say, “Good morning, sunshine,” and peer over the crib rail. And your face lights up in a beautiful smile.

I watch you do something new for the first time. Babbling, rolling over, or kicking and cooing in delight when I come back to you after I’ve left your side for a second.

More and more, I am seeing how incredibly lucky I am to be home with you, to be a significant part of each one of your days, and to not miss a moment of them.

This year, we get to enjoy a slower pace and be very present in your early life. We get to enjoy an unprecedented amount of time as just the three of us, our new little family. I get to take on the learning curves of becoming a mom slowly and gradually. The world is filled with unrest and suffering and strife, but our home is filled with warmth and love and your sweet smiles, coos, and laughs. You bring such peace and hope into our days.

Over the past four months, you have become an essential part of my life. You’ve become like an unattached body part, and it feels foreign to leave the house without you. After just a few hours apart, I miss you. I miss you with a physical longing in the pit of my stomach and in the depths of my heart. And it’s in those moments I am reminded again how very lucky I am to still be home with you.

I don’t have a closet full of business pantsuits and heels, but I get uninterrupted one-on-one time with you. 

I may not get a whole lot of adult conversation during the day, but I get all the smiles and giggles you have to offer. 

The timing of my life seems to revolve around naps and feedings, but I get to see you learn new things and hit new milestones. 

It’s harder to go out for coffee runs or grocery trips, but now I have a little buddy who fills any lonely, quiet days at home with joy.

I don’t sightsee and travel as much as I did before, but I get to experience all the post-nap cuddles and hear all the happy playtime chatter. 

Some of my other roles in life have gone away for now, but I get to be the one who knows you best.

I know how you like to fall asleep, how do you like to be held, what soothes you, and what doesn’t. 

I get to be your constant, always there when you wake up, always there when you cry, always there on each car ride, always there for you.

I am your mama, you are my baby, and I am so thankful to be home with you.

PS – This year has been a mess, but having a 2020 baby was such a gift.

Jessica Swanda

Jessica Swanda is a freelance writer who travels the USA full time with her husband. She’s always up for a good book, board game, or a vanilla chai latte. She writes about everything from travel and faith to business and marketing at her site proofisinthewriting.com.