Welcome to Mommy Mondays at HH. This is my one day of the week to espouse parenting thoughts.
This seems to be a time for new birth, have you noticed? My internet is filled with newborn announcements and swelling bellies. Sometimes I read the captions on these pictures and I think to myself, “how do they have the presence of mind to be so grateful? So cute? So aware of their blessedness?”
I’m hesitant to be honest on this point, because in many ways I’m not sure I’m ready, but in the (many) months following the arrival of my two children, I was a shell of myself. I felt fine in the moment. I didn’t want to stay under the covers and I didn’t feel angry. But except for a few bursts, I mainly didn’t feel anything. Nothing. Just numb. Just like a tiny little seed of Laura was trapped down a tunnel somewhere and she was fine, she was just far away.
My sister told me, after both children, after listening both times to my insistence that I was totally fine, just maybe a little “off,” that when you’re in the middle of something, it’s nearly impossible to recognize it. That I would look back and think, “Oh, maybe I wasn’t so fine then.”
And this has been true, gradually, month after month. Tunnel Laura has begun to reappear, first a glittery mirage, but becoming clearer.
Pirate turns one year old this week. Having him has been a different experience from having my daughter, my first. He’s my little love, my biggest fan. I am his, even if most of the last 300 days have been foggy.
I’m not totally sure that, twelve months later, I’m back to being me. There are too many variables this fall, big trips and enormous heart shifts, and an impossible schedule. Those things make me tired and weepy, so I can’t say what imbalance is chemical and what comes from lack of rest. It doesn’t really matter, though, does it?
I don’t want to lose any more time. I know I can’t capture it in a cold milk jug, but I can stop pretending that numbness is normal. That’s easy to say now. Earlier this year, a well-meaning friend discouraged me from talking about this in a honest way. I did not feel “bad enough” to warrant a call to the doctor, but nor did I feel good enough to maximize this precious time. I understand now (twice) that there is an in-between.
Maybe you know it?
photo by Amy Cargill