I did something the other night – I sat in a circle of my friends for the first time in months. I was elated; I was emotional—I was terrified.
- What if I had the virus and didn’t know it?
- What if they did?
- What if we were all sitting in our strategically placed social-distancing circle, but a cesspool of germs was somehow leaping off our skin and infecting everyone we were with?!
I will never know if that was the right choice. I needed my community, but I was terrified.
- What if something happens?
- What if one of us is a carrier?
The biggest question of all, though: how did this become our new reality?
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Our new reality is foreign and lonely
How did spending time with those nearest and dearest to us become an Olympic-worthy event that takes more consideration and planning than a curling match?
What’s even more heartbreaking about the situation, however, is the fact that of all times, right now is when we need those people most, we don’t know if we’re comfortable seeing them.
Our families, our friends—our tribe. We need them, but we don’t want to risk harming them or ourselves.
Some of us know how we feel staunchly, but most of us are struggling to make choices.
I’m can’t speak with certainty about anyone else, but I expect many of you are craving those social interactions as much as I am.
We waiver without our support systems, and there’s only so far a text message or Zoom chat can take us.
I look back longingly at times BC (Before Covid.)
A time when blowing out birthday candles was not an incendiary action against our loved ones. When we could greet one another with a hug or wax poetic about all of life’s trials and tribulations while sitting within less than a foot of each other.
We See You
There’s no clear right or wrong way to go about life. We’re all forced to make hard choices for our families without knowing if they’re right.
I can’t help but wonder how you’re all doing.
- How are these strange and unique circumstances affecting your day-to-day lives?
- What do you miss?
- What do you need?
Please know that I see you. We, at Undefining Motherhood, see you.
To the person who’s lost their job and doesn’t know how they’ll pay their bills or find food for tomorrow night’s dinner—we see you.
To the single folks who have been cooped up alone since quarantine started–we see you.
To the couples who went under quarantine at a less than optimal time in their relationship and are now deeply struggling–we see you.
To those struggling with addiction in a culture condoning substance abuse to “survive” quarantine–we see you.
To the students unable to celebrate proms, graduations, and other huge milestones–we see you.
To our international community who have not been able to go home or see their families since this began–we see you.
To the families without access to affordable healthcare–we see you.
To our essential workers who have put their lives on the line and who are exhausted beyond belief–we see you.
To the parent who’s been forced into homeschooling their child when it was never something they felt mentally or physically prepared to handle—we see you.
To the man or woman who’s attempting to strike a balance between their essential job and finding child care for their little one(s) when everything is closed down—we see you.
To the individual or couple who’s pregnant or has delivered a baby without the presence of their family and friends around them—we see you.
To that person who’s had an infertility cycle canceled for the unforeseeable future—we see you.
To anyone struggling with mental health issues that are only being exasperated by these isolating circumstances—we see you.
To anyone else that doesn’t feel represented by this piece, we see you, too.
No person in the world has not been affected by this silent enemy in some way or another. While some people’s battles might seem more challenging than others, that does not lessen the experience of anyone else.
Stay brave, my friends.
Hold on to the belief that this “situation” is merely a blip in our historical experience.
Someday we’ll look back at our grandchildren’s history books and regale them with stories about how we were there.
Until then, all I can say is that we’re here.
We see you.
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.