The doctor said it would take six weeks for my body to heal after having a baby. My work told me that after 12 weeks (unpaid) I would be ready to return to come back full-time. The actress I follow on Instagram told me that if I wear a belly band and do a special detox my belly would be normal again after just a few months. FYI none of those things happened. I bled well after six weeks, I never went back to work, and who knows if my stomach will ever look like it did before kids.
Factual or not the one thing no one mentioned is when I would feel like ‘myself’ again. I remember the first few months after my son was born being in a foggy haze. I loved him so much, but was also filled with anxiety. Overnight I went from a super confident person to someone afraid to leave the house alone. More months passed and every new developmental stage gave me a little more freedom, but also added new challenges. I started tackling grocery stores alone, but still felt like I was somehow faking it. I thought everyone around just knew how to be a parent off of pure instinct.
The next year kinda flew by, because we found out we were expecting another child. I didn’t really have time to think about myself and was focused on preparing for a new baby. Somewhere between my sons first birthday and the time my second was born I realized I gained back my confidence. I assumed it was because I was just an awesome mom and figured adding this second baby would be easy. I. Was. So. Wrong.
My daughter was a spirited child right from the start and demanded more attention than I even thought possible. My ego was immediately squashed by a 6 lb baby. I found myself yet again wondering if I would ever feel normal again. The months ticked by and sure enough around my daughters first birth I found that anxiety started to melt away…..
So why did I tell you all this? Because I’m asking you to give yourself a year. I know it’s so hard, but I promise you will enjoy things like you used to again. You’ll do fun things with your kids, and enjoy them too! It just takes time. Creating life takes 40 weeks, but once we’re done, we just get stitched up and asked to feel totally normal about this huge change in our lives. I don’t think so.