I was asked how I feel inadequate during this pandemic.
Franz and I are raising a newborn entirely on our own: we’re isolated from everyone, our families are abroad, and we can’t send her to daycare or a childminder. We’re currently weaning her, and she looks happy and healthy. Franz and I split the days between working and looking after her: if I’m not working, I’m on baby duty. No time off.
We’re doing our very best to make sure she always has everything she needs. I try going the extra mile every single day.
My daughter doesn’t know what a dog looks like. The last time she touched another human being (that’s not Franz or me), it was last February. Four months ago. Two clothing size ago.
We’re pleased by her progress: “Look how nicely she interacts with her grandparents!”. They send her kisses from a computer screen, and she smiles back at them. Then she looks at me for validation. Aye, Lavinia, you’re doing great.
I wake up several times every single night. I check that my daughter and my husband are breathing. Last night I fell asleep with a thought I am ashamed of: my daughter is a lucky person because her skin is white.
I killed this filthy thought thinking of other problems living in my head, like the lack of Cholula stock at Tesco. It’s been missing for weeks now. The futile becomes essential to suffocate the anxiety.
I can’t cry: my daughter sees me and feels me. Her only examples are my husband and me. We can’t fail. Sometimes she makes me lose my patience, and I feel sorry whenever I get upset with her. She’s such a lively, chatty baby, and a real pest, luckily.
It could have gone worse. But it could also have gone better.