Ever since the beginning of the pandemic I have been worried for the safety of my almost 2-year-old son. I never imagined that our son would grow up in the midst of a global pandemic that would drastically affect our lives. Never did I expect that I would be raising a “pandemic baby.” We were among the ones that were worried about finding baby formula due to full grown adults buying it because they believed it could replace milk (insert eyeroll emoji). Luckily, we were able to buy a few cans at a time so that we never ran out. Others living around us did not have that luxury.
We were living on base at Camp Lejeune, NC, due to my husband being in the marines. I witnessed so many others struggle to find formula. Almost every day on the “Camp Lejeune Wives” Facebook group mothers would trying to locate formula. It was tough seeing all of these people struggling, especially since we could relate. Having to worry if you are going to be able to feed your baby is one of the scariest feelings one can experience. This is on top of all of the other stress the COVID-19 situation brought along.
The Struggle with Distance when raising a pandemic baby
Distance was also a major disadvantage while being with someone in the military. While my husband and I had grown accustomed to not seeing our family and friends often, our son was definitely not. Living 7 hours from home during a global pandemic meant that the only human interactions our son had was us. Before COVID-19 hit, my son would smile at strangers and was very pleasant when going out in public. After March, 2020, the only other interactions he had, besides us, was through a phone screen. We would often FaceTime our family members so that they could still watch him grow. Once we finally moved back home and were not so restricted, he was so confused that he could see real people again.
When we were finally able to start going out in public again, he was pretty much scared of everything. He wanted nothing to do with our family or friends, and how could you blame him? All he knew was staring at people through a phone screen, his mom, and his dad. The pandemic started when he was only 5-months-old. We were not able to have him around family again until he was almost 1! I know that safety is the most important factor during a pandemic, but it was still very difficult to watch my son be scared of the ones we love and having to adjust to “real life.”
It has been a long, hard year since we moved back home and can be around family and friends again. Finally, our son, “the pandemic baby,” has adjusted and actually enjoys being around family. He waves at strangers in the grocery store. Helping our son adjust to the world where he cannot get too close to children on the playground, and can only see other people that are covered by a mask has not been an easy adjustment. In these crazy times, all I can do is hope that one day soon we can all be safe. I also hope our children will not have to keep adjusting to a world in a pandemic.