Silver linings of new parenthood during a pandemic



Although exhausting, a new baby can bring much-needed joy

Although exhausting, a new baby can bring much-needed joy


Once I ventured outside and around other people for significant periods of time in the late spring and early summer of the Covid-19 pandemic, I often saw new parents. These young couples had usually protected their infants behind see-through plastic coverings over strollers, or underneath blankets draped over Baby Bjorns or slings. Parents with toddlers in parks and outdoor spaces even attempted to keep tiny kids masked, with varying degrees of success.

My heart went out to all of them. Although my “new parent” days were two decades ago, I vividly remember the intensity, the worry, and the heightened sense of all the potential danger of the world, danger you generally don’t process if you’re not responsible for a baby. These newbies have to deal with all of that, now combined with the stress of Covid-19 protocols, the ever-evolving precaution list, the uncertainty, and the judging eye of fellow parents who might not share certain opinions about what is and is not safe. I honestly cannot imagine doing all of that – the usual worries and the pandemic worries -at the same time.

READ MORE: New moms making friends with other new moms

Yet writer and PR professional Katy Fabrie is doing just that, and she not only makes it sound doable, but occasionally enjoyable. In her PopSugar essay, Fabrie doesn’t shy away from detailing a meltdown upon realizing she can’t show her new daughter her favorite bakery – an outburst due, she says, to postpartum hormones – and she says, yes, sleep deprivation is real, and hard, especially when trying to maintain social distancing ordinances. But, according to her: “I think I was able to appreciate the little joys because the early days were so hard. The simple moments of levity were crucial reprieves from the drumbeat of responsibility.”

For Fabrie and her husband, the deprivation of the pandemic has given a lot of perspective: now, just getting a stroller opened and out the door between feeding times is a triumph; a family walk becomes an event. She even anticipates looking back on the Covid-19 pandemic with nostalgia.



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