Around six months ago, I sent my husband up to the loft to bring down a load of boxes.
I didn’t go up because I hate the loft and also because I was 7-months pregnant with our second child.
I waited at the bottom of the ladder as he sent down box after box of baby things. Neatly folded bodysuits and vacuum-packed handknits.
Over the next few weeks, I unpacked each box, washed, dried and folded everything up. Organized everything in the drawers—a place for everything and everything in its place.
This pregnancy had been so different from my first and despite a lot of uncertainties, one thing I was sure of was that I was ready.
I knew what to expect from childbirth and those early postpartum days. I was more sure of my abilities as a mommy. I had the nursery prepared. I was ready. I knew what was coming.
And then came COVID-19. I did not know this was coming. I was not ready.
Every plan I had for our baby’s first year went out the window. Newborn photoshoots, family gatherings, baptism celebrations. They all disappeared overnight.
Excitement was replaced with fear. Calm was replaced by anxiety.
Instead of showing our new daughter off to the world, we were isolating and shielding her at home.
Instead of elderly ladies cooing over the stroller, we crossed to the other side of the street when we saw another soul.
Instead of curling up and binge-watching my favorite shows, I tuned in to daily government briefings and rising death rates.
And instead of dressing my little girl in hand-knitted cardigans and frilly bonnets each Sunday and walking proudly into church with my growing family, she wore a onesie while we tuned in to a live stream of the Mass on Facebook.
And so today my husband brought down some more boxes. Boxes full of the next size up. And I packed away the handknits and the bonnets that she has already outgrown but has never worn.
And, mommas, my heart was heavy. And I cried.
I cried for the clothes not worn. And I am not ashamed to say that. Not because my baby didn’t get to wear a bonnet. No. I know we are blessed. We are blessed with our health, our family, our home. And I know there are mommas with hearts much heavier than mine.
But I cried for what those outgrown clothes symbolized.
I am writing this because we are always under such pressure to be positive. To count our blessings. To remember that things could be worse.
And although this is true, it’s still OK to be sad about the little things even if just for a little moment.
So to the mommas of lockdown babies, remember it’s OK.
Because you can feel sad and still feel grateful. Because you can “give thanks to Him and praise His name” and still pray for change.
It’s OK to be sad about the cuddles not had, the playgroups not attended, the family not visited.
It’s OK to feel robbed of your maternity leave.
It’s OK to cry over the hand knits and church bonnets not worn.
It’s OK, sweet momma, it’s OK.
Previously published on the author’s Facebook page