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We asked 6 mums from Melbourne how they're doing right now. This is what they said.

When Melburnians were mandated to keep to the confines of their own homes - in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 - there was another epidemic looming in the shadows: the mental health crisis

The weight of the uncertainty still sits heavy on the shoulders of millions of those in metropolitan Melbourne, who have weathered eight weeks of stage four restrictions. The impact on mental health has already been significant. In fact, mental illness among children has increased substantially/  

Watch: Here's what you're like as a new mum, according to your star sign. Post continues below. 


Video via Mamamia

So, we asked five mums from Melbourne: How are you doing, really?

Here's what they told us. 

Lauren

"My parents have missed so many precious moments with their first grandchild." Image: Supplied. 

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I’m a first time mum of an almost-eight-month-old boy born on the February 13, 2020. We were lucky in a lot of ways in that he was born before it all kicked off. We had visitors in the hospital, and support from family and friends when we first came home. 

Eight long and hard months later, our beautiful boy has spent most of his life in lockdown. They say it takes a village, but what happens when your village is completely cut off from you, and it’s punishable by law to see your family?

The days are long, and lonely.

My parents have missed so many precious moments with their first grandchild. 

I have a WhatsApp mum's group which has been a lifesaver, and I can’t wait for the day that we can have a normal meet-up. The support I have received from a group of people I have never met has been invaluable. 

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a big part of me that loves the slow mornings, the lack of schedule and having nowhere to be. My husband and I have loved soaking up these moments with our son. But I never pictured motherhood being like this. I never imagined having my first baby and it being illegal to visit my mum. My in-laws live in regional Victoria and we simply don’t know when we will see them again. Meanwhile, our friends in other states are living normal lives. 

Today with 15 new cases of coronavirus announced, I am feeling particularly sad, frustrated and angry. I don’t know if this will push back our reopening or not, but it’s still incredibly hard to swallow. 

Our boy has missed out on so much. I feel ripped off that my maternity leave has been mostly spent alone in the house. Many of the parents in my mum's group agree that we deserve a do-over!

Tor

"I feel deflated that my maternity leave has been ruined by the pandemic." Image: Supplied. 

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I had my first baby on day one of stage four restrictions. All things considered, I am going well. 

Lockdown has been difficult as we have no family and friends in our five kilometre radius, so unfortunately our baby has not met anyone except for both sets of grandparents who had an exemption for caregiving. 

The hardest part for us is feeling so isolated in a time that should be really positive, and feeling unsupported in many ways. I am lucky that many of my close friends have babies, but I can imagine not all people would be in the same position. 

I am feeling hopeful for the five kilometre rule to lift so people can meet our little one before she gets too big, but I also feel deflated that my maternity leave has been ruined by the pandemic. I’m a primary school teacher and have decided not to go back next year because of how much we have been robbed this year from all the fun baby things! 

Alexandra

Image: Supplied. 

I’m currently sitting here, feeding my six month old, Remi, who was born day one of lockdown - March 25, 2020. I also have a three year old boy, Teddy. To say it has been tough is an understatement. 

I have been dealing with a new baby, no help from family and a three-year-old who’s behaviour went downhill fast with no kindergarten. He has been in and out of school all year, and is thankfully now back.

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I tried for a long time for my second child, with multiple miscarriages. I feel so robbed not being able to physically share my happiness with friends and family. 

Kate

Mostly, we are going well. I’m grateful that my 10 month old baby Sonny really doesn’t know any different. I try not to think too much about what we are missing out on and focus on how lucky we are that the three of us get to spend all of this special time together. 

I have two children Sonny, and Poppy, my first born who passed away. Losing a child makes me realise how lucky we are to have our health and each other. We missed out on so much with Poppy that we are trying to soak up all of this time we get with Sonny. 

It’s sad, though, that we have missed out on lots of activities and spending time with family and friends whilst Sonny is so young. I hope that restrictions can lift a little so we can get out of the house before my maternity leave finishes. 

I have times where I’m sad for what we are missing out on and feel anxious that my child will have issues with development and social interaction. At times, I question if certain behaviour is normal or because of isolation. I get frustrated at people doing the wrong thing, it’s hard for everyone but I’d much prefer to be in lockdown now, in the hope that we can celebrate Christmas with our family. 

Listen to Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo on Mamamia's parenting podcast, This Glorious Mess. Post continues below.

Caitlin

I'm pretty well, considering. It feels surreal that it has gone on this long and that the rest of Australia is pretty much operating as usual.  

We found the first lockdown a fantastic time. I was pregnant and my girlfriend was not working, so we had this idyllic little bubble where we spent all day, every day with our three-year-old before she became a big sister.

The, at the end of April I had my baby prematurely at 28 weeks. The next 12 weeks were challenging, with no childcare for my daughter and the restrictions on seeing our friends and family who are our support network. 

When things really tightened up, it was particularly stressful. Luckily we made it through. 

Lockdown has made us more appreciative of the small things - like playgrounds and picnics. We have discovered more of our local neighbourhood than ever before and my daughter has benefitted from the time slowing down - she loves to go to a green space and make fairy houses out of twigs and leaves. 

We are excited that things are opening up and we feel hopeful we will be able to travel interstate for Christmas, to visit my family in Queensland. I am excited to finally introduce our son to friends and family, but I am more paranoid about germs.   

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Gemma

Image: Supplied. 

I'm okay. I have a 10-month-old son who has spent most of his life in some level of lockdown. 

I'm returning to work in just over a week and feeling quite sad that we've missed out on a lot of fun maternity-leave activities like mother;s group and swimming lessons. My son will be starting childcare next week which for a baby who has barely been able to play with other kids, and has never been looked after by anyone other than his parents, will be a big change and a steep learning curve. 

There has been some positives though - my partner has been working from home since March so he's got to see a lot more of his son than he would have if he was commuting to the city each day.  

We've also connected with our neighbours a lot more, especially those with kids. At the moment I feel a bit over it, it doesn't feel like we will be coming out of lockdown anytime soon and it's starting to take its toll. Nicer weather and being able to see another household has really lifted our spirits though. We'll get through this and hopefully by Christmas we can spend time with our families again.

Feature image: Getty. 


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