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Blessed by Coronavirus

Today is Mother's Day. And today my little girl is 8 months old!

Wow. This is not how I expected to be spending my first Mother's Day. Let me explain. My family has a pretty long standing tradition of going out to eat together on Mother's Day. The last few (11?) years, we've had to eat and run due to needing to get to work on time. This year of course, is different.

This is my first Mother's Day as a mom with baby in hand! And for that I think Estella is the one who should also be celebrated. It is of course because of her that I'm called Mom.

The last 8 months have flown by in the blink of an eye. It's crazy how much she's grown and changed in such a short time. It doesn't seem possible. I have a feeling I will be saying that every year from now on.

But let's talk about the stay at home orders. Let's talk about what a blessing it has been for us (and I'm guessing many families).

Because of things in our life, we were only financially able to have me take 8 weeks of maternity leave in September (versus the full 12 weeks). It was hard, I'm not going to lie. It was hard to bring home a newborn and have no idea what we were doing. It was hard to take a shower some days. It was hard to make dinner. It was really hard to leave my brand new baby girl, the person who's life we are completely responsible for, with someone else as I returned to work. It was all hard. But it was also all wonderful, exciting, scary, and amazing. I imagine that's how all new parents feel.

I've felt guilt for not being able to be at home with my daughter while I was working. I've felt sad that I would potentially miss her hitting some milestones while I'm away. I've felt conflicted about having her spend more of her awake time with someone else than she would with her own parents. I still feel all of these things. But here is where the blessing of coronavirus has come in.

For the past 8 weeks, I've gotten a second maternity leave (of sorts). I've been fortunate enough to be able to continue to work full time from home, while also caring for Estella daily. I get to feed her every meal, put her down and wake her up for every nap. I get to experience her joy, smiles, and laughter, as well as the occasional tear. I get to be here for it all. And I feel like I've been blessed with this extra time that I otherwise would not have had. I get all these wonderful memories and experiences of being a mom for the first time.

Don't get me wrong, some days are still really hard! But they're also wonderful. I know that Estella won't remember anything about the coronavirus, except maybe what she hears from stories, her baby book, and history classes. But I (and my husband), will remember all of it.

Recently there have been a lot of "challenges" floating around social media. I've been tagged a couple of times for the "Being a Mother Challenge". But what does it mean to be a mom? Is it doing dishes 5 or 6 times a day? Is it doing laundry every other day and then folding it the next day, so basically doing laundry daily? Is it planning all the meals, grocery shopping, and cooking every day? Is it picking up the toys every 2 or 3 hours just to turn around and do it all over again? Because I do all of those things, day in and day out. And sure, that's part of being a mom, and that could definitely be a photo series of it's own. But to me, being a mom is only possible for me because of Estella.

So, to help me remember all of this and for her to look back on, I've started to take photos of the seemingly mundane things that we get to do together every day. Today, my first Mother's Day and Estella's 8 months, I'm going to share some photos from a day in her life. These are the things that I get to be a part of every day because of coronavirus. And for that, I will always be grateful.

A Day In Her Life

And here are some profound words from people that are way smarter than me.

"Having kids - the responsibility of rearing good, kind, ethical, responsible human beings - is the biggest job anyone can embark on." -Maria Shriver

"There's no way to be a perfect mom and a million ways to be a good one." -Jill Churchill

"Babies are bits of star-dust blown from the hand of God. Lucky the woman who knows the pangs of birth for she has held a star." -Larry Barretto

"When someone else's happiness is your happiness, that is love." -Lana del Rey

Happy Mother's Day, be well, and keep on keeping on.

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