13 April, 2020

Painful pandemic reminders

I was “chatting” with some other No Kidding bloggers the other day. We were all, to various extents, struggling with the lockdown. In general, I’ve been finding it okay, but that is probably because I’m in NZ, where our risk has been limited by very quick movement into a lockdown. We are still in a period of uncertainty, but I’m not seeing cases of COVID19 rise exponentially around us, as some of you have been, and that has made life in lockdown much easier. On the down side, I haven’t had a coffee for three weeks! (I don’t make coffee at home because a) I make terrible coffee, b) my husband hates the smell of coffee, so it’s best NOT to make it at home, and c) I’ve always been able to use it as an excuse to pop out and get a nice flat white - until now!)

What is hard, though, and what some of the other No Kidding bloggers were also struggling with, is to turn my mind away from the pandemic that has the world in its grip, and write something here for those of us who didn’t have the choice not to have children. But even in a pandemic, reminders are still everywhere. Discussions on-line about parents struggling with home-schooling, or with bored children, or with the noise of a full house are everywhere. Fun videos families have made together are swamping social media. The Prime Minister designated the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny as essential workers in her press conference, and talked about the Teddy Bear project to put bears and soft toys in your house windows to provide amusements for children when they go on walks. Yes, even when we escape the house to go for a walk, we are constantly reminded that we don’t have children. If this is still painful for you, my heart goes out to you. It’s never easy to be reminded of what we have lost.

And even though it’s not painful for me any longer – or rarely, at least – and even though I have taken some delight in a house up the hill from me, that has posed and dressed their teddy bear in different ways over the last two weeks (so far I’ve seen their bear playing cricket, going skiing, dressed in the national soccer/football uniform, being a chef, and working on a laptop!), it still reminds me that my house is quiet, that I have no children to delight in dressing a bear or decorating trees with Easter eggs cutouts, or do some baking with me (as my niece did with my sister a day or two ago). Or, as I did yesterday, make homemade marshmallow (a NZ specialty)eggs with me. I brush these things off these days. But they still cause little pinpricks in my psyche.

And you know, that’s okay. It’s okay because everyone is feeling a little vulnerable right now. So if you’re feeling a bit more vulnerable or sensitive than you are usually, then that’s okay too. It’s one of the lessons I learned best during infertility and when recovering from it. That it’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to feel sad. Remember, we’re all with you, doing the same thing. We’ll get through this together.

Arohanui. (With love.)


  1. True that! We will all get through this. Things in India in a lockdown are so quiet. There are days I’m anxious but mostly I’m okay. The chores seem never ending and working from home full time is hard.
    I hope this gets done soon. Hope you are well, Mali!

  2. Oh my gosh, yes. You know, I wonder if part of my funk yesterday was also the horrid Facebook stream of LOOK AT US WE HAVE KIDS AND YOU DON'T NYA NYA that isn't actually exactly like a nose-thumbing, but sure feels like it. The memes. THE MEMES are killing me during this. The "blessed mommy" and "2020 Graduate Moms" and quarantine crafts and egg dyeing and all that stuff does take a subconscious toll even if you are in a place where it's not raw anymore. I'm sorry you're having a rough moment, I think all this pandemic stuff magnifies that. Although I have to say that I want pictures of your neighbor's teddy bear! That sounds amazing, like those cement porch geese people have here that get dressed for the seasons. :)

    1. I do have photos - but not of the cricket bear or skiing bear, which were my favourites!

  3. We are all in this together and this too shall pass.

    The world is awe-struck by your Prime Minister who is doing a fantastic job. So there is light at the end of the tunnel. Stay safe, and yes I can imagine life without coffee is fairly bland.

    When all this is behind us we can cherish all that we had missed and start living life afresh.
    Good luck, god speed!


  4. I just saw a(nother) article today about how NZ is on track to stamp out the virus completely. Well done!

    Like Jess above, I would love to see photos of that amazingly versatile teddy bear, lol. ;) I thought about putting my teddys in the window, but not sure anyone would see them from four floors up? We haven't done much walking to date (the weather still sucks), but on our last one, into the subdivision behind our building, we noticed a house with a child's drawing of a rainbow posted in the window, which is something else I've heard people are doing. It made me happy and also a little sad that we don't have any kids or grandkids to draw rainbows for us (and little Great-Nephew is not old enough yet, lol). Even in a pandemic, there are reminders of the life we wanted & what we don't have. And yet, I can't help but be grateful for everything I do have, especially when so many people are suffering real hardship. Thanks for another great post!