I recently heard the 6 words that no one in this pandemic-plagued world wants to hear. “You have tested positive for COVID.” Unbeknownst to my doctor, I had my suspicion of this in the form of a positive COVID-19 home test that I had taken 2 hours prior. However, just like in pregnancy, for me one test is not enough; I’m always keen on a second opinion.
Within seconds of the results being read, my mind went into straight recon. The following tasks immediately popped into my head:
- “I need to call the kids’ pediatrician as soon as I leave here. I have to get them tested too right?”
- “Place a Walmart drop off order now to be here by breakfast tomorrow.”
- “Call the daycare and email Kinslee’s teacher to get her assignments and set her up virtually.”
My mind continued to race, and I zoned out listening to my treatment plan. The only words I heard the doctor say were, “Now remember you’re sick. So, it is really important that you get a lot of rest.” Sick? Rest? A motherhood lesson I learned early is that this gig offers ZERO sick days. Shaking off any and every virus or bug is just what you do.
Do you have a cough that won’t go away for months (pre-pandemic)? The culprit is probably just “daycare germs”. Are you congested and stuffy? That’s nothing a quick steroid shot can’t fix.
I Didn’t Have Time To Be Sick!
Being only 2 weeks back at work from maternity leave with the school year just starting, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of how inconvenient this all was. How on Earth would I get all the things done that needed to be done if I had to quarantine for 10 days? Who was going to take care of my family if I had to isolate? Never once did I consider what this virus could/would do to me.
Spoiler alert! Since I was fully vaccinated, my symptoms were relatively mild. Fatigue, loss of taste/smell, headache, congestion, and a dry cough were my ailments. Though bothersome, it was bearable. Thanks to my mother who is a nurse with enough PPE and Lysol products to disinfect a third world country, a freezer stash of breastmilk, and the most ride-or-die village, we survived and BEAT COVID!
Confined to our bedroom for 10 days straight, we safely kept our family in quarantine. Both my husband and our children remained COVID-Free! I will not lie to you and tell you that this was easy. It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Although I knew I had to focus on my own healing, it was unnatural for me to be away from my babies. To not be able to hug, comfort, or kiss them for days that felt like months was pure torture. Several nights I cried as I heard my two-month-old baby crying due to my absence or as my daughter stood outside my door every day asking, “Mommy are you coming out today?”
I wish that feeling of helplessness on no one.
COVID-19 is a ravenous virus that not only infects the body but also affects the mind through isolation. It discriminates against no one, attacking both the strong and vulnerable.
Personally, COVID-19 was my worst fears personified. Based on my experience of quarantine in my own home, though morbid, I got a tiny glimpse of what life could be like for my children if I wasn’t here. With such a grim reality to face, what would you do differently to keep this virus from making a casualty of you or your loved ones? Would you be relentless enough to do whatever it took to keep you and your family safe?
I share my story to encourage you to consider what your plan will be if COVID-19 is at your doorstep. Have the conversation now and plan who will care for your children if you, your spouse, or children become sick. Are you prepared to quarantine for an extended period? If there is medical emergency, what is the plan to get you or your family member immediate care?
Take Care Of Yourself
As nurturers, comforters, and caregivers, it is vital that we mothers begin to take care of ourselves a little better, too. Don’t just encourage your kids to take their vitamins and forget yours. Make sure you hydrate daily, exercise often, and listen to your body. Rest when the need arises. Get out of your own head. Don’t be so consumed with being superwoman that you neglect your own well-being. That cape won’t beat this pandemic, mama. Take care of yourself.