"Motherhood Madness" Gone Pandemic

Never in a million years did I imagine that I'd be pregnant during a global pandemic, civil rights movement, and time topped with political upheaval. What was a period of joy, celebrations, and excitement during my first pregnancy soon turned to mixed emotions, over protection, and fear for the future for my second. I always dreamed of building a family, but felt like I was living a nightmare. Disappointment over not being able to have family surrounding me for my moment of joy, soon became my “new novel reality."

Restrictions to grocery shopping, walking to places as simple as my building courtyard, and seeing friends/family impromptu felt choking to me. I felt trapped in my own home that I once was wishing to spend more time in. My motherhood responsibility soon changed from one of "protecting" to "obsessing with protection." I was in constant conflict as taking certain risks not only jeopardized my own health but more importantly the health of my unborn child and first child who was only 16 months old. Moreover, I had to quickly learn to navigate unexpected adjustments to prenatal visits, my birth plan, and reduced access to support systems due to social distancing. Thankfully, as a second-time mom, my adjustment to these stressors was slightly better than my first-time mom friends that paradoxically I began to mentor given my background as a seasoned clinical psychologist and now novel "pandemic mother."

Author: Azi Ghaffari, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in Chicago


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