I have been having an ongoing conversation with a friend of mine who was ‘due’ two days after we were meant to be ‘due’. As goes most estimated due dates neither of us hit ours dead on but actually traded dates 🙂 So she got the St. Patty’s baby and Journey entered on the 19th. We honestly hardly knew each other before we discovered we were both pregnant with our second babies so close to each other. But since then our conversations have delved into the intimate pregnancy side effects, our emotional roller coasters through pregnancy and post-partum as well even being aware of when each went into labour…even though I personally wasn’t sure at the time haha.
It has been wonderful to have someone to share these moments with as we are literally days apart from dealing with many of the same things, toddlers transitioning, husbands at work, desiring labour but trying to be patient and lately we have been talking about why we are so grumpy.
Can we be honest? The newborn stage does not suit everyone’s personality. Working around 2 hour feedings, toddler nap times and the inability to always get a bra on by bed time means it is often difficult to be spontaneous and go out into the world of the living when we have the desire. Life needs to be a little more planned and as both of us are women with free spirits and a love of popping out when we want or going on a quick trip when we get the urge, this newborn and toddler stage is hard on us. We feel a bit trapped, held down and the big parts of our personality have to be put on hold while we attend to the needs of those around us. If this is not recognized, as we both first discovered, we turn into frustrated mums, a bit resentful of those sucking away our spontaneity and overall we become grumpy. Now the emotions we are feeling are not uncommon and they are ok to feel. The difference though is recognizing why we feel that way, working through those feelings and coming to a positive conclusion that will settle our wild hearts.
This may not be your battle as a new mum. But there will be sacrifices and compromises made on your part that WILL affect you. Before giving birth take inventory of yourself. What do you love to do, what makes you feel alive, where do you like to go that rejuvenates you, who do you make time for that you would notice if not a part of your life. After you have reflected on these things, imagine these were removed from your life for a period of time. You aren’t able to shower daily and get yourself properly dressed all the time, if that is what makes you feel good. The conversations with your husband are shorter, less deep and often interrupted by wails or one of you dozing off. The food you are able to prepare for your family is not as wholesome or even delicious as you are used to, and, for a short time, you are denied the creativity you love to show in the kitchen or in keeping your home to your usual standards.
This will happen. And yes, it will end. But with raging hormones, (actually they more so creep up on you and take your company by surprise when you burst into tears or get angry over nothing…but that’s another topic), it is difficult to analyze why you are feeling a certain way and how you can rectify your emotions to best of your ability. So, take the time to know yourself now. Where do you need to make the most effort to keep normalcy? You cannot prioritize many things like you used to, so pick one, maybe two if you are feeling daring and do them.
I love blogging, writing and having a small creative outlet so I try to take care of myself during this inside time by reflecting on my life and emotions through this medium. For you, it may be making a great meal every couple days (baby wear, it will make it much easier). You may be one who needs to be outside for a short time every day, so make that your priority for self care. Or, you may be like my husband, and need some time to just spend alone. So work out 15 minutes when you can get out, go down the street and have some of your own thoughts for once 🙂
Whatever your personality, think about it beforehand. Know what you will miss, know that this is ok but make a plan to help you overcome those grumps. Change will happen but you can make it more smooth by understanding who you are. It won’t always work and you will have down days but that’s alright, it really is, because the next days will be better and if they are not, ask for help 🙂