A Walk in the Park During COVID-19

It’s a warm, dazzling spring day. The birds are chirping, the forsythia is yellow and cheerful, and the sun is shining. The cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and I feel as though I’m walking through a magical fairytale land.

The surrounding beauty almost leads me to believe that nothing is wrong in the world, but on a day like today, that simply isn’t the case. The vacant parks and the uncertain glances shared by people as they pass by each other quickly, wearing safety masks or quietly holding their breath, remind me that this is no ordinary day in the park.

As COVID-19 begins to spread through our country, social distancing has quickly become our new normal. I used to smile and greet people that I walked past in the park, but now the presence of anyone else feels like a threat.

I celebrated my birthday with my family over Facetime and Facebook video chat. Weddings have been postponed, stores are closing, and employees are out of work or working from home. And it all happened in the blink of an eye. One minute, everything was normal and the next, our whole world got turned upside down.

It’s at times like these that our faith truly gets put to the test. Right now, the best thing to do is to follow social distancing guidelines and find ways to stay sane during this quarantine. Don’t forget to pray — pray for your health care workers, for the government officials that make all of the decisions, for all the essential workers who are out in the thick of things, and for our world in general.

Things I Didn’t Know About Motherhood

Motherhood is an experience that is both challenging and rewarding. Despite having many friends who became mothers before me, and despite listening to them tell me about their experiences, there was absolutely nothing that could have prepared me for the reality of motherhood. There were parts that were way more difficult than I anticipated, but there are also parts that are so much better than I could ever have imagined.

On Weight Gain and Body Acceptance

Over the past few years, I’ve put on a lot of weight. It actually started with a medication that I had to take for bipolar disorder. One of the side effects was that I put on a few pounds. But it wasn’t until recently, when I got pregnant with my first child, that the weight really started to pile on. During my pregnancy, I was a bit overwhelmed at the rate at which I was gaining weight, and it was hard to prevent it from happening. I was constantly hungry, and as my pregnancy progressed, I replaced going to the gym with more leisurely walks because I was constantly winded and tired from my workouts.