Imagine that you’re at home, wearing paint splattered mesh shorts, no shirt, a sleeping bra with leak guards, your hair is falling put of a haphazard bun, and your glasses are doing nothing to hide the new found circles under your eyes. Imagine that you walk into your living room like that, and you’re greeted by your husband who blurts out that you’re still sexy. Those are the most amazing words you can hear 5 weeks postpartum, when you feel like your body no longer belongs to you, and you barely have time to kiss your husband, and your doctor says you still have to wait another week for any sort of hanky-panky.
I’ve always conceptually known that being a single mother would be hard, but I now have a whole new appreciation for what they must go through. A few weeks ago my husband and I were marveling that there are couples who do this who don’t even like each other, and we couldn’t imagine how hard that would be either. Through the whole process, he’s been a total rock, from pregnancy to labor, and now parenthood. Times have been super stressful on occasion and trying to figure this all out with someone that I didn’t get along with seems like a terrible idea and something that I’m sure I couldn’t handle.
Anyway, the point of this rambling post is to mention the changes I’ve noticed in myself since having my son. The first, and most cliched is the overwhelming love and feeling of protection that just appeared out of nowhere. For me, love tends to be a gradual thing, but boom(!) suddenly he was in my arms and I would do anything for him. Second, my patience levels have sky rocketed. Trying to figure out what he needs during a crying fest, not wanting to move him when he’s finally found a happy spot, sitting in one spot for twenty plus minutes while he eats, walking laps around the apartment… Everyday is a bit like Groundhog’s Day, but it could only be improved upon if Bill Murray showed up. I’m also finding myself multitasking less, I can just sit and stare at his little face while I feed him for as long as he needs (unless I’m writing blog posts on my phone too!). Whereas normally, I’d be watching tv with my phone at my side, computer open, and book nearby. He captures my attention so much more fully than anything else. I’ve always prided myself on being pretty independent, but going back to the beginning of this post, suddenly I’m able to ask for help from my husband for even the smallest things. Hands full and I need a drink, or some lunch, or to put socks on, or to pump? Typically I’d struggle to do it all, but now, if he’s in my arms, my husband is my new set of arms. And the most cliched of all, the utter lack of sleep. For the most part I’m an 8 hour or grumpy girl, but yes, it’s true, parenthood will ensure you get far less than that, and certainly not all at the same time. So I’m adjusting, and learning very quickly how to not be grumpy on only a few hours of interrupted sleep.