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There were maternity wards that transformed into ghost towns overnight, as visitor restrictions tightened and grandparents-to-be canceled flights. Schools closed, then reopened, only to close again, sending parents scrambling for child care, wrangling remote learners and struggling to do their own jobs. Millions of families lost income and many lost loved ones. For parents in particular, this year has meant recalibrating time and again. Yet, there was also joy — cobbled-together peaceful moments — amid a steady thrum of chaos, which isn’t letting up. We asked mothers and fathers across the country what parenting has been like for them during the pandemic and how, in their own ways, they have each learned to cope. Their stories are below.
Sonia Mehta went into labor a little over five weeks early. She hurried to the hospital for labor and delivery, and overnight, the world seemed to shift. A nurse told Mehta and her husband that the hospital was shutting down to visitors. Her parents had booked a flight as soon as her water broke; she called and told them to cancel it. After Mehta’s son was born, he was taken to the N.I.C.U. because of his premature delivery. Mehta and her husband were anxious to get him out. They left the hospital as soon as he hit the four-pound mark, “by the skin of our teeth,” Mehta’s husband Jed said…Read More