Clark is wonderful. He’s rarely fussy, and he frequently smiles. He’s adorable. But I’m exhausted, and I’m having a hard time adjusting to my new role. I felt fine for the first few weeks, but, now, I just feel frustrated with myself. I know it will take time for my body to get “back to normal”, but I’m impatient. And I’m too tired to really do anything about it. I’m worried that maybe I haven’t escaped the postpartum depression that plagued my mother shortly after my birth. However, the fact that I’m mindful of this and aware that it’s still possible will hopefully help me avoid it, or, at least, seek help if I feel down.
I think the biggest adjustment is that I no longer get excited about things that used to be nice. Yesterday, I took a long shower and gave myself a pedicure. I have to say, having pretty toes doesn’t seem to matter as much anymore. Mascara and makeup seem to be more of a hassle than a help. And food just feels like a future chore – like I’m constantly adding up the calories and dividing it by the exercise I (never have time to) do.
What I think I really need is a night out. But then I think about all the effort it would take to get ready, and I lose interest in the idea of a romantic evening. This is why moms get the “boring” label. And, it’s really not fair when the reason you’re so tired is because you’re taking care of everyone else.
If there’s one way motherhood has definitely changed me, it is this: I have the greatest appreciation for my own mother and everything she did for me and my siblings. I had no idea how difficult being a mom could be until I became one myself. No amount of education, reading, or research could have prepared me for how parenting can be rewarding and ridiculous. It’s a ridiculous toll on your body. Even if you’re young. But it’s worth it for every little grin and happy coo.
And being a parent makes you vulnerable. This is perhaps my least favorite part. That something so little is so precious to me, and my emotions can be easily manipulated because of a 16-pound, stinky little monster. It’s like life didn’t begin until his life began. And that’s terrifying. Because it makes you wonder: how did I define “important” before?