The problem with Christmas during a pandemic as an introverted new mom

pandemic Christmas introvert new mom

You won’t know this, but I haven’t written anything in a while. Most of my posts were planned and written during my pregnancy (yes, I’m organised like that). I knew that I wouldn’t have much time or energy once the baby was here. What I didn’t know is how little inspiration I would have. I mean, I would have tons if this was a mommy blog. But it isn’t and it’s not going to be. 

Global Pandemic

Somehow, lots of things seem so futile when you’re going through a global pandemic with a brand-new human to care for. Life is different now. Productivity means squeezing in work and chores during nap times. Personal development seems to revolve around the question of whether we should wear a mask or not.

I’ve seen the worst of people in these past months. It has been disillusioning to realise how selfish some can be. How easily everyone criticises the ones who try to deal with this mess while comfortably sitting on their couches doing nothing. How little understanding there is that we all deal with this differently and that there is no “one size fits all” solution.

Global Pandemic + Christmas

And now, Christmas is around the corner. The holiday we always spend at my fiancé’s house, with 16 people and way too little privacy for an introvert like me. I always struggle with the constant noise and stimulation, the very late nights (Christmas dinner literally begins at 10 pm each year). But this year, I just don’t know how I’ll cope. Or if I’ll just stay home with my son and risk everyone hating me for it.

Here in France, the government will probably allow us to celebrate with our families after being in lockdown for a month. And it’s good, it’s great – but just because it’s allowed, it doesn’t mean that I’m comfortable with it. I have a six months old baby and I don’t want him to get sick. And before anyone else tells me that Covid isn’t life-threatening to babies: I don’t care. I don’t want him to get sick, period. And getting together with 16 people, most of whom are far less cautious than I’m comfortable with, is not at the top of my list right now.

But it’s not just that. I know that I’m using the pandemic to explain why I’m wary of this holiday season. But it’s only part of the problem.

Global Pandemic + Christmas + IBS

I’m an introvert, and I have IBS, which means that I don’t have the best health and heavily rely on routine to feel okay most days. And right now, my routine includes going to bed around 9:30 pm, reading until 10:30 pm, and then trying to sleep. Because at 6 am, I have to be wide awake to take care of my son. That is unless he previously wakes me at 3 am, 4 am and 5 am.

How am I going to combine this with late-night meals and especially Christmas dinner, which, as I said, is basically in the middle of the night for me?

Anyone who doesn’t have a chronic illness will now laugh at me and say: “well, just forget your routine for a couple of days, live a little!”. Yeah, right. Like my IBS will let me “live a little”. I’m much more likely to end up sick and miserable for days because that’s what happens when I forgo my routine. And how do you think people will react if I go to bed before dinner has even been served?

Global Pandemic + Christmas + IBS + Introversion

And then, there’s the introvert thing. Having a baby is tough on me as an introverted mom. Feeling pressure to talk and entertain all day long, with two 1,5 hours breaks where I work – it doesn’t come easy to me. And even though I allow myself quiet time while my son is playing by himself, it’s still a lot. I’m exhausted by the end of the day. Happy and exhausted. But still not in a mood to join a conversation on why lockdown is dumb and we should all be allowed to go on as normal. So, how will I deal with my baby AND not having any space to myself AND being around 15 people all day long? Just thinking about it gives me so much anxiety.

It’s not just the pandemic (and the related debates that drive me positively mad). Not just my IBS, or introversion, or the fact that I’m a new mom. It’s all of it together. 2020 has been hard, even though it has been the best year ever for our little family. 

I always strive to include solutions in my posts, but I have none in this case. It’s all so very strange, and there’s no “one size fits all” advice that one could give. Except to do what you’re comfortable with, I guess.

Why celebrating Christmas with extended family is complicated this year during a global pandemic, especially as a new mom who is also an introvert with IBS. Help.

Now, does this post have any point at all? I’m not sure. Probably not. But maybe someone else out there feels the same way I do. Do you?

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