"As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety having a baby in isolation was surely a disaster and it brought postnatal depression because I did not have support." Poverty and new, lone parenthood in lockdown.

Jan 14, 2021

Deb L
A Covid Realities Contributor

This took longer than I thought it would for me to write everything as my 9-month-old daughter was crying non-stop as she saw all my attention was not really drawn to her 100%.

I am a single mom who lives in Belfast with my daughter. She is a lockdown baby who only knows mommy and strangers who wear masks. When we are around new people, she cries a lot and clings to me - I mean, who can blame her? She is not used to being social. 

Being a single mom to her sure has some good points - the bond we have with each other is really strong...! But sometimes we all need that two minutes to ourselves, alone as adults, and I find it very hard to get any “me time”. 

As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety, having a baby in isolation was surely a disaster and it brought postnatal depression because I did not have the support that I was meant to get. 

When I gave birth to my daughter, I was having every single day mixed feelings as I was suicidal before. I am not ashamed of it because I was in a tough place - that's what led me to feeling suicidal. 

When my baby girl would cry a lot, I was losing my mind. I would get really angry. One time I almost felt angry towards her - I was really scared of myself, I had to call social workers on myself to get involved. It was a cry for help. 

So social services offered me a place for her in day care so that at least I can be able to get 2 minutes to myself. But that is obviously not working because of the lockdown. I don't have any other childcare or support.

Going into lockdown has really not help the situation as I cannot be seen by my mental health clinic or get visits from my Community Psychiatric Nurse.

As well as mental health, let's talk about supermarkets - everything is expensive. I hoped that the government could be considerate, to add a little bit of financial support to people who are living on low income. As an asylum seeker I am not able to claim benefits. My daughter and I have to live off just £37 pounds a week. 

The more I am indoors the more I am losing hope, especially now that we are in 2021 and still in lockdown. I hope that we all learn to appreciate the social support from friends and family if there is a possibility of ever going back to the way things used to be in the world. 

When I discovered Covid Realities at first the £20 pounds gift card voucher was what caught my attention because I knew it would help me buy my daughter some things. But after I joined in Zoom meetings and I got to listen to other people's experiences in the pandemic, it made me realise I am not alone in this plus it has helped me to write down my thoughts and experiences - and other people have read about my stories and listened to me.

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