a year ago
It started with one question.
“How are you taking care of yourself emotionally?” The question blew me away because among the many texts I’ve received since giving birth, that was the first time anyone had asked of my mental wellbeing.
And the honest to God truth was, self care was the least of my priorities. It was enough for me to take showers or remember to eat three meals a day.
It was as if she knew how many times I hid in the bathroom to cry for reasons I didn’t understand. It was as if she knew how inadequate I felt when the baby cried inconsolably in my useless hands. Or the “well-meaning” comments from loved ones that I would normally brush off, but these days felt like boulders falling from the sky.
I’m not complaining, I love our new addition. I love the quality time we share while nursing, his little coos, and the way his alert eyes take in his surroundings.
But other than handing the baby over to hubs so I can take a quick shower or nap, I haven’t done much for myself. And it has taken a toll.
Some days I am so exhausted I nod off while burping the baby but instead of napping, I convince myself I have to wash the dishes or do laundry.
My wellbeing is more important than an empty sink.
Although it is difficult to find quality time with a baby hanging on my breast, I am determined to focus on the little things that bring me joy.
Like reading again. So I bought my first non-baby related item on Amazon.
Like sunshine. Yesterday I warmed a bottle and handed it to hubby so I could walk to the store down the street. Of course I came home to a crying baby because he decided he hated the bottle, but my spirit felt just a bit lighter from my solo time.
Like napping. They say nap when the baby does and sometimes you get rewarded with almost three hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Like cooking. I forgot how much I love cooking and the simple act of chopping veggies made me feel that much closer to the woman I was before.
Like friends. I may look a mess these days but there is nothing more priceless than surrounding yourself with people who don’t care. And who will bring you cake and laughter.