Wednesday, Jan 25 2006
View LYNNABEL's food & exercise for this day
I had my last New Family Connections meeting yesterday. It was really sad - I've enjoyed the other moms so very much.
I said this to the group (I'm paraphrasing, obviously): "I thrive on and rely on hearing about other mother's experiences with childbirth and caring for their babies. Since I value this so much, I think I often over-share my own experiences in case there is someone who will benefit from hearing it. I listened for other women to describe the way I was feeling, and didn't hear it, so I wanted to share this with you. Since Christmas, I felt that there was a fog between me and my feelings for Will - between me and my sense of myself as a mother. It felt as if there was something just missing. I loved Will, and never felt bitter or angry, but there were moments that I felt more resigned to being a mother than joyful about it. These feelings didn't show up on the post partum depression evaluations that the doctors do, because it wasn't post partum depression per se (It was a pre-existing depression that now had a different focus.) So I saw my NP who prescribed some medication, and I truly feel like a new person - as if a cloud has lifted. I see Will and my feelings for Will and myself as a mother with much more clarity and joy. I'm able to marvel more in Will's amazingness and feel happiness without qualifiers. My hope is that I now have more traction under my feet to face challenges and address my own needs. I don't mean that it is all sunshine and roses - because its hard work being a mom. I think there is a lot of unacknowledged ambivilence about being a mom. There are books out now that discuss how sugar-coated our society views motherhood and how damaging this can be because it isolates women who feel less than euphoric 24 hours a day. If you feel this way or know someone who does - finding help is so worth it. Whether its medication or meditation, prayer or exercise, you are worth investing healing in."
We had a long talk about this as a group, and the conversation was much richer than what I've captured above. Many of the women acknowledged feeling similarly - its an amazing group of moms. I will miss them.
I start back to work tomorrow - a half day. I've overplanned it, of course. Its a big change. Steve and I are switching duties at night - now he'll be the one to get up with Will anytime before 5am-ish. Will actually slept from 9 to 3:30 last night - his longest stretch ever, but I, of course, didn't sleep because I kept waiting for him to wake up. So - it'll take me a while to adjust. I am looking forward to having a predictable routine. I am not looking forward to not seeing Will for 9-ish hours.
At least tomorrow, I'll be done at 1pm.