Post-Baby Blues

I've been feeling down in the dumps lately. I've got a bit of the post-baby blues. Don't worry, I wouldn't say I am suffering from post partum depression. I have bonded nicely with my baby, I've stopped hating Andy (usually ends within the first six weeks after childbirth), and I don't cry uncontrollably. I've just hit a rough patch. Charlottte is now almost five months old and I'm back to work.

The grind is grinding on my terribly. While I'm a big planner, the amount of time and pre-planning that goes into preparing for each day is taking its toll. The days are getting longer and we start each morning before the sun rises. It's a frantic, choreographed modern dance routine where the four of us fling ourselves around one another (well, Charlotte rolls), grabbing tooth brushes, hair brushes, bananas and wake-me-up beverages (for me, still- decaf coffee) within a 60-minute span. We rush out the door, our hearts pumping, and the girls fortunately sleep or zone out while my brain transitions to work mode. This is when I make my work to-do list and contemplate how we can scrape up enough money so that I can stay home on a permanent basis. Then I could wear sweat pants every day and not wear these slacks I've sandwiched myself into. More on that in a bit.

An hour and ten minutes after leaving the house I arrive in my office, late, and with spit up either on my too-tight pants or over my shoulder. Not too late, just enough to feel frazzled. By the time I go to the bathroom, start up my computer, say hi to the colleagues and check email it is time to pump. For the next twenty minutes, three times daily, I hide in my office, try to think loving thoughts about my baby and make phone calls or type emails with my index finger. While I fully support breastfeeding and the benefits of mommy's milk for babies, I'm pretty sure that little machine is sucking the life right out of me. The rhythmic wish werr, wish werr could almost put me to sleep except that my nipples feel like they are being removed from the rest of my breasts.

It's a race to the finish line on the way out the door. I'm always the last parent to pick up the kiddos just moments before the close of the daycare. The ride home feels twice as long as the morning commute and I can barely get a meal on the table before it is bath and bed time. Piles of laundry follow me with hidden eyes, whispering "fold me. fold me." I weed through a basket looking for a clean pair of underwear and nursing bras and toss the rest back in the laundry room, shutting the door behind me.

The night is a mixture of insane dreams where I'm part of a traveling Swedish marching band (yes,that was a real dream) and 3-4 feedings. Morning is not really morning to me. It's just when everybody else decides to be awake with me. I'm 10 sleepless hours away from being cast in Zombieland 2 and not as Woody Harrelson's zombie killing side kick.

And now, let's talk about those how I look. In the few months after having a baby you get a get-out-of-jail-free card. It's ok that you still have a lumpy belly and wear your old glasses out in public. Everybody knows YOU JUST HAD A BABY. How else are you supposed to look but sleep deprived, frumpy and frazzled? Yet, somehow, four or five months later, when your little bambino is eating rice cereal and rolling onto her tummy, the masses have long forgotten that just twenty short weeks ago you gave birth. Suddenly, months faster than it grew, you wish the deflated lump would tighten back up and frankly, it'd be nice if it looked like it did when you were eighteen.

None of my pre-baby clothes fit (and maybe they never will) and I don't want to go out and buy any transitional clothes. Plus, we have no money as my entire paycheck covers two kids in daycare. I try to get away with wearing maternity pants and empire waisted tops to hide the
water bed belly. My hair is falling out in buckets and it was thin to begin with. I have the female version of a comb over. Again, Hollywood is calling me. I look all too much like our favorite Hobbit-gone-crazy as I lean over Charlotte and coo to her, "PRECIOUS."

It's ok. This too shall pass. This is what other moms tell me and what I tell myself. The post-baby blues are just a phase. I'll adjust to my life as a working mother of two children, buy some new clothes and invest in Kimora's body squeeze bra-thing that will make me look ten pounds thinner.

But, with all this said, I don't want it to pass. Come on! It was the best of times! It was the worst of times! Life after a baby is really hard and takes major mental, physical and emotional endurance but it is so worth it. In between all of the chaos I've described are joyous, peaceful moments. Every day, during these moments, I take mental snapshots of my children. I also take an abundance of actual snapshots of them, too, which is why each of them will one day be the proud owners of about 20 scrapbooks. I hug my girls close to me, feel the smoothness of their skin, smell them and kiss them and try to let these moments soak into my soul.

So, if you are looking for me you can find me down in the dumps. I'm way at the bottom, underneath a pile of stuffed animals, diapers, wipes, onsies and Barney DVDs. I'm wearing spit up sweat pants and I'm sneaking in a donut and a cup of caffeinated coffee before anyone catches me.

Comments

Awwww! I see you on Facebook and I think you look beautiful so don't sweat it. As you said, just enjoy the time with your kids and cherish every moment cuz someday you are going to look back and wish you had these times back (ok - maybe not the spit up part). And I think it's amazing that you can do all those things and still find time to write such wonderful posts!

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