Mandy Moore: COVID-19 made becoming a mother isolating

Mandy Moore says the COVID-19 pandemic made becoming a mother “strangely isolating”.

The ‘This Is Us’ star welcomed her son Gus with her husband Taylor Goldsmith in February, and has said she has found it difficult to navigate parenthood for the first time during the global health crisis because she hasn’t been able to “connect” with other mothers.

She said: "It's strange because you're with someone every day and every second, and you know, I'm very lucky, I have a very supportive partner - my husband's been fantastic - but it still is so strangely isolating.

“I guess when I imagined motherhood, I sort of imagined like, you find community and there are classes, and you go to 'mommy and me' classes and baby classes.

“It's having to reframe these expectations that you've had about what it's like to be a mom and what it's like to connect with people. The isolation is something that's really hit me that I wasn't necessarily expecting.”

Mandy also revealed she experienced emotions of “not feeling good enough” to be a mother, and thought she was “ineffective” in comparison to her husband.

She added: "I had these preconceived notions of myself going into motherhood. Obviously, I knew it was going to be challenging, but I thought, 'Oh, I maybe have this sort of naturally maternal side' — whatever the heck that means.

“I think it coincided with the chaos and the energy of those early months and weeks starting to wane. Our time with extra support was coming to an end. It was really scary, and it makes me emotional to think about now. I still feel like I'm in it, but I'm finding my footing.

“I felt this rush of, 'I'm not good enough for him.' I don't know how to be his mom. I know how to feed him, but beyond that, am I suited for this?' I just felt so ineffective, and I would look at my husband, who just seemed to have a supernatural ability to take care of Gus.

"Like, he could make him smile, he could make him laugh. He would get on the floor and roll around with him. And I just felt like whatever I did just wasn't right, and I couldn't get him to sleep, and it made me feel horrible."

The 37-year-old actress now feels more confident in her abilities as a mother, and believes the hardships she’s faced so far will only add to her experience.

Speaking during an Instagram Live this week with psychologist and perinatal mental health specialist Dr. Ashurina Ream, she said: "I know nothing, but I'm still here putting myself through the paces of just stopping and breathing through it. Recognising that I'm best when I trust my own instincts, remembering that everything is a phase."