The past year was a roller coaster of emotions, uncertainty and - dare we say it - unprecedented times because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re now all adjusting to life after COVID and if you’re a new parent, you may be facing a new challenge altogether. No parent planned to raise a newborn in pandemic times, but here we are and we’re making the best of it.
Life as a new parent and reintegrating into society is a tough job already. Then, add in some pandemic lifestyle changes and you’re probably curious. What is life after COVID like for parents? Is this the new normal?
Below, we’re going to explain what has changed for parents since the pandemic. Hint: they’re good changes! Then, we’ll talk about how to keep this positive lifestyle so we can create a better normal. Ready? Let’s go.
How parenting has changed since the pandemic
Becoming a parent is a monumental life change to anyone, but it seems now things are changing even more. Many of us are embracing the lifestyle changes that COVID-19 forced upon us and we might not plan on going back to the way things were. Here’s what’s different.
Parents got to work from home (& now they want to stay)
Did you know 7 out of 10 American employees are working from home? Newborn parents got the rare opportunity to spend extended time with their baby by staying at home after their maternity or paternity leave ended. Parents before didn’t get this opportunity before the pandemic encouraged many to begin working from home.
Although working from home with a newborn brings its own challenges, it’s a beautiful chance to connect more deeply with your baby, establish a stronger sleeping routine, and stick to a more regular feeding schedule.
Now as offices begin to reopen, many are choosing to stay working from home or only going in to work a few days per week. We’ll see what happens, but we imagine this lifestyle may be here to stay.
How to work from home with a baby
Read THIS BLOG all about the topic. We share best practices and actionable steps to help you manage your newborn and home work schedule. But first things first? Establish boundaries where you can be a parent OR be an employee and resist juggling both at once.
Parents embraced a slower lifestyle
Another way that parenting (and life in general) has changed since the pandemic is that it seems to have slowed down.
People are prioritizing the little things like neighborhood walks, spending evenings at home, and learning new hobbies or skills. We see people continuing this calmer, more patient mentality as we move forward from COVID.
How to maintain this calmer pace moving forward
How can we keep this gentler lifestyle when the world is ready to run? Find peace in any negative emotions associated with letting go of busyness. The pandemic taught us that maybe we don’t need as much activity as we thought we did. It’s okay to swap the busy social calendar for a slower, more peaceful life.
Parents had to find different support systems
New parents used to rely on grandparents, friends, and neighbors to help with a newborn, but COVID parents had to find alternative support systems. We saw many parenting classes go online, making it easier for new parents to tune in and get the expert guidance they needed. This convenience may stick.
Finally, families and friends are starting to reunite, but what now? As the world begins meeting up again, how can you continue to keep your baby safe?
How to socialize your baby during and after COVID
Health professionals are encouraging parents with babies to continue practicing social distancing and limiting your newborn’s contact with others when possible. Keep your circle of acquaintances tight and enforce good hygiene and continuous hand washing.
Since the pandemic, social norms have changed. It’s okay to decline plans with large gatherings or ask someone to admire your baby from a distance.
Instead of feeling the pressure to socialize your baby with others, work on strengthening your bond with your little one. Babies born in 2020 and beyond are going to be just fine, even if they’re a bit under-socialized compared to past generations!
As we get through this together, let’s keep the positive lifestyle changes that the pandemic inspired. You are a great and caring parent simply by being curious about these changes and wanting to learn more.
There are many ways to embrace the new normal as we figure out “what ifs.” Regardless, we’re okay with slowing down, feeling grateful for each day, and moving forward together!