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Challenge: Reflecting on a Year of Pandemic Parenting

To my 2020 baby, thank you for a year full of beautiful memories

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My sweet 2020 baby,

You’re turning one so I naturally went to start filling out your baby book (sorry, you’re the second baby so I’m a little behind).

Well as I was filling out the pages of your little book, I started to choke up when filling out these sections:

“Baby’s First Friends”

“Baby’s Favorite Places to Go”

“Baby’s First Birthday”

“Baby’s First Holidays”

You were born in the year 2020, so as you will later learn in life, this year did not look normal.

There were no “first friends” outside of this house. No daycare friends and no playdates with any “mommy and me” groups. You had some lawn visits with family and a few holidays with some other family members present.

For this section, I wrote “Brother, Mommy, and Daddy.” The only people you’ve ever really known.

There were no “favorite places to go” since we really never went anywhere. The only times you left this house were to go to the doctor’s office and for the occasional car ride for Mommy’s sanity. So... that’s what I wrote for that section.

For the first birthday section, well we did have a small gathering for this but there were family members missed that had to be dialed up via Facetime so they could view you smash your cake. I’m sorry baby girl, I worked with what I could do there.

For the first holidays section, those didn’t look normal either. There were no parades or church services at Easter or Christmas. There wasn’t a 4th of July barbeque or big Thanksgiving gathering. There was just us, at home, but Mommy ensured she still dressed you up and took pictures of you with Brother.

So my sweet pandemic baby, I did the best with what I could this year. Much like this baby book, there were sections that were missed to your first life. There wasn’t a whole lot of excitement.

But the section that I was able to fill out in its entirety: favorite memories.

You see my little one, I’ve been with you for every moment of your little life (like literally, Mommy hasn’t had a break). I was able to replay every beautiful memory of your life through my head and I could’ve filled more pages than this baby book could offer with my favorite memories.

And that’s what I’ll carry with me through the years.

It won’t be the fear or the masks.

It won’t be the disappointments and missed holidays.

It won’t be the isolation and missed first experiences.

No, I’m going to remember this year as the year I got to just spend with you and your brother.

I’m going to look back at this year and say, “God, thank You for giving me all that time with my little ones.”

Thank you, my sweet 2020 baby, for giving me a year full of beautiful memories.

This post originally appeared on Her Strength & Dignity.

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