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2021 so far

We’re just a couple weeks into 2021, and what a doozy already!

It kicked off as unusual as all of 2020 had been. No parties for New Years’ Eve, instead we did takeout from our favorite family restaurant here in town, that had curated a special New Years’ Eve menu. We picked up after Adam went down for the night, and Aaron down for his first nap of the overnight.

But quickly, 2021 reminded us that dates are an arbitrary human invention, and don’t actually change anything about our lives. On January 6th there as an attack upon the Capitol building incited by the president while Congress worked to certify election results for his opponent. This action lead to the presidents’ subsequent impeachment, again. COVID-19 vaccines finally became available a few weeks ago, but we’re coping with botched roll-outs in many states, including California, just as a more virulent strain of the virus is becoming more widespread.

I’m hopeful though. With the new administration being sworn in on January 20th, we’ll have a president who puts his country before his ego, and can finally have intelligent discourse from the executive branch again. I’m looking forward to actually having a leader who is interested in serving the whole country, and not just playing to pockets of supporters who are “loyal” to him. Most of all, I look forward to once again being critical, but constructive, about our government. No more shocking stories every day that get in the way of actual action in the interest of the people.

The vaccine is also a real bright spot. It’ll be some time before the kids can receive it, but as soon as it’s available for the rest of the family, we’re eager to get in line. It does seem like we’re in this for the long haul though. I finally broke down and bought a little holder to put by the door for the masks, so they’re not just piled up in a big mess on our key table.

January 6th was also Adam’s second birthday! He had three little birthday parties last year, between celebrations in Philadelphia and back here in California, so I hope that makes up for doing a household-only birthday party this year where he had a little celebration of cake, balloons, and presents.

Otherwise at home, we’re still in newborn survival mode. That means both MJ and I are tired all the time as we cater to the around the clock feeding and changing needs of little Aaron for these first few months. I’m definitely looking forward to this stage being over, but I’m doing my best to enjoy those overnights with him, as we snuggle up and wait for him to burp and get sleepy again so I can return him to his crib. This will be our last child, and these newborn snuggle sessions don’t last long! Day to day, most of my awake time is spent trying to keep up with chores, and chipping away at small house projects. We’re continuing to make improvements to the family room in our attempts to stem the toy chaos, the most recent addition is some shelves with boxes to put toys in, which Adam helped me assemble.

But if I’m being honest, this newborn phase is very hard for me and not much is getting done aside from what is necessary. As much joy as I get from my children, I am definitely putting other satisfying parts of my life on hold in order to focus on them, and I struggle with what feels like a loss of that part of me during this time. I also just generally don’t handle lack of sleep well, so I struggle to even write this, and my moods haven’t been what I would like. So this week I spoke with my doctor and started a low dose of antidepressants. Postpartum anxiety and depression are shockingly common, and I knew I was at high risk for it even if I managed to avoid the medication route with Adam. This time around it was just getting to be too much, and I’m grateful that I know myself well enough to see that and take action to improve my situation, and that I have a supportive family and doctor.

With that, I’m also taking the recommendation from my doctor seriously that I carve out a few minutes to myself, and to get outside more. Postpartum recovery was tough for me, so I’ve stayed very close to home these past six weeks. Thankfully, I have finally physically recovered and I’m cleared to resume normal activities. Even if the pandemic prevents me from doing most of what I used to do, I will do my best to make sure I get some fresh air every day. And that time to myself she recommended? You’re reading it.