LEIGH CAMPBELL: I cried today. And I’m one of the lucky ones.

This post deals with miscarriage and may be triggering for some readers.

I don’t cry much. I think the last time I cried was February, maybe March. I am a closed-book, deep-feeler and over-thinker. But not a crier.

But today I cried.

I cried because Sydney’s lockdown was extended by another fortnight. With, realistically, more time coming after that.

I cried because my two-year-old son has observed me carrying a mask in my pocket for trips outside the house, and so now he asks for a mask in his pocket, like mummy.

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I cried because he brought me his swimmers and asked why we can't go to lessons. Why can't we play at the park with the other kids? Why do we stay in our small living room all by ourselves? He stands at the door and says "please, mummy, go?"

I cried because I asked for a local takeaway recommendation in a community Facebook group so I could support small, and was touched by the outpouring of rave reviews from helpful strangers for little eateries who desperately needed the business. 

I cried because I saw a Facebook post from a single mother who had lost her job and had no money to care for her child who was offering to pick up groceries or other essentials for $10.

I cried for the baby I lost a few months ago, because I didn't cry about it back then. Back then I felt hopeful about the months that laid ahead, sure I’d fall pregnant with the fertility plan my doctor had put in place. Back then I felt like I’d fall pregnant soon and the worst of it would be not drinking at all the lovely social engagements I had in the diary for winter.

I most definitely cried thanks to the prescription fertility drug I took right before lockdown, which when paired with ovulation tracking would be my best shot at a baby. But ovulation tracking was cancelled as it’s not deemed an essential service. But going to IKEA is.

I cried thinking of all my smart, hard working friends with small businesses in the hospitality and service industry that are literally riddled with anxiety to the point they are physically unwell. Their business models can’t pivot and they don't know how they will pay their bills and support their family. 


I cried from both relief and guilt because I still have my income. I’m one of the lucky ones. Yes, I’m in this storm but I have no idea what it's like to be bucketing water out from my boat.

I cried because it was one of my best friends' birthdays and I wanted to give her a hug. 

I cried because I miss my mum. I think of her living alone, the first time in her life since my dad died last year. Her little frame just sitting on the couch for days on end, watching the news and waiting. She’s lonely and frightened and will only turn the heater on if it’s really really cold, as much as I tell her that’s the last thing to worry about right now. 

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I cried when an old industry colleague I haven't seen for maybe nine or 10 years sent the most heartfelt text, straight out of the blue. Despite not talking for a decade, she’s a mum and a Melbournian and she knew exactly how I’d be feeling.

I cried because I wasn't there for my Melbourne friends and family. Not really. I sent 'thinking of you' texts back when it was their turn, but I really didn't give enough thought to what they were going through and what they might need from me.

I cried because when I messaged my Mother’s Group to tell them how helpless I was feeling, one of the women came up with the most beautiful idea of doing a Secret Santa style gift game whereby we all purchase a little something from a small business who needs the help, then send it to the person from the group whose name we draw. A cheer-up treat for us and money to where it will make a difference.

I cried for my friends homeschooling while trying to be full-time lawyers, accountants, business owners who are not eating or sleeping from the stress of the juggle.

I cried because when my son moved from the 'baby' to the 'toddler' room at daycare I wasn't able to go inside with him to make sure he wasn't scared in his new surroundings. I handed him over on the street. And at the same time I cried at the relief that daycares have not been closed.

I cried for the touched-out, snacked-out, Paw Patrolled-out mums in homes everywhere trying to diffuse another meltdown with hugs and pats and vague promises of life going back to normal soon. 

I cried for a million tiny reasons, none big enough to warrant tears on their own. 

Tens of millions of tiny reasons all across Sydney. 

I cried for you.

And I’m sorry. 

Feature Image: Supplied.