• Genesis Hinckley

Maybe COVID-19 isn't so bad after all

I now understand what it was like for my mom to leave her three kids at home when she went to work. Well, kinda. You see, my son, Benicio Blythe was born right before everything went crazy with COVID-19. He was born on December 24th, 2019, when no one was really worried about the infamous virus that was about to put our entire lives on hold.

I don’t want to seem insensitive with everything that’s happening in the world right now, but I do want to shine light on how the coronavirus has actually blessed my life.

So I say that I kind of understand what it was like for my mom to leave her three kids at home when she went to work because instead of physically removing myself from my three month old baby, I get to work from home with him right beside me. To give you some context, I work for Google as an ads support strategist in Colorado while my husband works for a civil engineering firm called WSP. Here is what was supposed to happen…

I was due Jan 2nd, 2020, but Benicio Blythe decided to arrive as an early Christmas present. With Google's amazing benefits, I was able to take maternity leave. I left work in early December and was estimated to return in early May. My husband’s work gave him only two weeks of paternity leave and of course, like most people, he didn’t expect his work to be affected by the virus.

It all happens when we don’t expect it, doesn’t it?

On his way home from work in late February, he gave me a call. I excitedly said “hello” and received a not-so-excited “hello” in return. “My company just furloughed me,” he said. Confused, I asked, “What does that even mean?” Immediately he explained, “It means that my job has basically been put on hold for a while.” Although I was bummed to hear the news, I thought to myself, “Well, this might be a once in a lifetime thing… we can hang out and enjoy our time with our little baby…”

I was right. For the entire month of March, we did as much as we could considering the circumstance. Sure, we couldn’t travel much or even enjoy little grocery outings together anymore, but we went on hikes, walks, and drives. We enjoyed our time at home as we cuddled every morning, played with Benicio during tummy time, and witnessed his first giggles. If it hadn’t been for the virus, I would’ve done all these things by myself. But thanks to COVID-19, we did all of it together.

As time went on, I started to think that since the virus was forcing everyone to work from home, I should start working and use my maternity leave later when travel restrictions would be lifted. Genius, right? I decided to start working the second week of April, and although I’m working part-time for the first two weeks to help me transition back into my role, it hasn’t been perfect. Even the thought of leaving my little boy for most of the day puts me in tears. I can’t imagine not being able to hold my baby whenever I want, like so many mamas when they have to go back to work. Oh, how blessed am I to have a little more time with my Benicio Blythe.

If it wasn’t for the virus, I’d be going back to work and physically removing myself from my little boy. If it wasn’t for the virus, I’d be crying more than I am because of our seperation. If it wasn’t for the virus, I’d probably be struggling during my training because of my heartbreak. But thanks to COVID-19, I don’t have to be away from my Benicio just yet. I can take a break from work to be the one who feeds him. I can hear him giggling to himself as I read through slide decks on my computer. Thanks to COVID-19, I can transition smoothly into my role.

COVID-19 is an absolutely awful disease, and to some degree, I can relate to what everyone may be struggling with. Our Hawaii trip was cancelled, Benicio’s baby blessing was postponed, and my husband was furloughed. Although all of this isn’t exactly what we’d call a vacation, many people can now spend more time with their families, pick up new hobbies, and enjoy face-to-face conversations through the amazing technology that’s available. Maybe this shutdown isn’t entirely bad after all.

Treasure this time because life will go back to normal before we know it. Look on the bright side and remember, we’re all in this together.

Genesis Hinckley


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