Last night Jake could tell something was off, seeing as I was uncharacteristically quiet. Most evenings we sit across from each other at the dinner table and I unload every mundane detail of our day.
“And then Gwen fell down the stairs while I was nursing except that I’m not so sure she actually fell down them because she didn’t cry and got up like nothing happened.”
“Norah’s sleeping a lot today. She just eats and then sleeps. I think she’s sick. Or maybe just a newborn?”
Things like that, riveting details of a woman at home with two kids during the day.
But not last night. I just sat quietly without much to add to the conversation. Then he asked the obligatory, “how are you feeling?” question. You know the one I’ve been asked weekly by some varying person since Norah’s been born because really, we’re all waiting for the depression shoe to drop.
And last night I didn’t respond with my token, “great!” response. This time I unloaded.
It was all surrounding some guilt I was carrying around with me since naptime that afternoon. It had to do with the fact that while Norah was sleeping, I put away laundry. That’s right, I felt guilty because I opted to put away laundry instead of making Gwen a snack and preparing to nurse Norah when she woke up (get a cup of water, my phone, etc. ) And do you know what happened because I did that? Nothing. Norah cried for maybe a minute extra while I cut her sister an apple. That was really it.
And here I was, convinced that I was selfish and a terrible person for not anticipating the girls’ needs instead of my own selfish desire to put away the baskets of laundry.
Jake kindly repeated the situation back to me with an emphasis on the two words, selfish and laundry and as I heard it, I realized how ridiculous the entire situation I had created in my head was.
And so I went to bed with that heavy burden lifted off my chest, with a fresh perspective.
1.) I’m not as sane postpartum as I thought/hoped I was.
2.) This whole two kids gig is new. I’m learning and need to give myself a little leeway.
And I might add that that laundry had become a situation. Day after day the piles on the couch grew until we needed use of the couch. Then the organized and folded piles got thrown haphazardly into a basket or across the living room, if Gwyneth thought she needed something. It desperately needed to be put away and life has seemed much better since I put it away.
Furthermore, this post on how the US puts way too big of an emphasis on postpartum recovery popped up in my feed today. Interesting read that makes you scratch your head and think, holy crap! They’re so right.