Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How Much Do You Care - About Yourself?

One of my neighbors commented on how time has flown by because my boy is already two. She said, “Gosh, it seems like yesterday that you were pregnant!” I said, “I know!” and smiled. Then, I looked down and realized that I was wearing the same “lounge” pants and hooded sweatshirt that I wore around the neighborhood when I was pregnant.

Now I don’t believe that she thought the same thing about my clothes (but if she did, I’ll beat her up), but regardless, I felt sheepish.

I have been known to schlop around the neighborhood in slippers, no bra, and sunglasses. This is not something I would have ever done before Parker. I thought it very important to wear make-up to the grocery store. Now I am outside at 10:00 am on a Sunday, pulling a wagon or supervising an obsession with the community mailboxes, looking like a loitering homeless person.

My care for what others thought around the neighborhood must have ended about 5 days after my son was born. I will never forget the details of that day.

I was dozing with Parker during a morning nap. We woke and he looked so darn cute. Look at him. Like a monkey.

I tell you now, after the flash of the camera in that very picture, Parker started crying. And screaming. And arching in pain. He wasn’t diagnosed yet, but he had The Reflux. He wouldn’t feed, and if he did, he would scream and arch in pain and choke on spit-up. My husband and I were recording his patterns of crying at the time because we weren’t sure yet what was wrong with him. I still have the journal of that day. He started crying about 11:00 am, and he DID NOT STOP until 5:00 pm.

I don’t remember where my husband was, but he came home, and I just walked. Out. Of. The. House. And. Down. The. Street. I had nowhere to go at a certain point but turn around and go back. On my way back, a different neighbor was outside and saw me. I had tears streaming down my face. I probably looked like a crazy person. Her face went all sympathetic and she said, “Oh no, are we experiencing some post partum?”

I remember standing there, shocked. I didn’t know what to say. Looking back I realize I went through some post-partum depression but I hadn’t yet dealt with that at the time. Who else wouldn’t feel absolutely depressed and insane after spending 6 hours with your own infant that you had no way of soothing, not even through breastfeeding? As if the situation couldn’t get any more awkward, she came up and hugged me. I think I sputtered out, “He’s been crying for a really long time. Something’s wrong. I have to go.”

Well, what can I say? I wear my heart on my sleeve and anyone around me probably knows how I’m feeling. When it comes down to it, I don’t care what the neighbors think. But I care what I think. And I’m tired of feeling schloppy. The incessant, horrible crying is over. The Reflux is over. It is time to pay a little more attention to myself. I’m still not going to care what I look like at the grocery store (it’s been freeing), and I might schlop around the neighborhood here and there (keep ‘em guessing), but I just need to care about myself a little more. It’s hard, but I’m going to try. Why is that so hard?


Oddyoddyo13 said...

My Mom explained that very stage to me once-she said that your life doesn't come first anymore. Kind of freaked me out, but its understandable. Taking care of yourself is possible-it just takes practice.

tinahead81 said...

i'm working on that myself. i gave myself a goal of getting dressed 3x's per week(you know, like wearing a bra and jeans instead of a huge tshirt and a pair of worn out sweat pants!) i've been doing well with it..and i'm feeling better too!! it gave me a little boost to lose those last 10 lbs(although, i'd like to choke the life out of that darn easter bunny for dropping off the candy!) :o)

Lucy said...

This is a topic so close to my heart, it really is. Just take one day at a time. But start. Just start taking some goddess grooming babysteps.

Mommy's Sippy Cup said...

I am right there with you. My son had colic for what seemed like forever at the time. I wanted to scream and cry right along with him. One day I actually screamed out the door, not exactly thinking. I'm sure the neighbors probably thought someone was being murdered in my house. I know taking care of yourself is hard, and it's kind of easy to actually forget about YOU. Start with a mani/pedi and relax :)
Stopping by from SITS and love your blog!

LambAround said...

Like a monkey. Now there's something you don't see stated on a blog every day! I love it :)

By the way, those grape vines at the top of your blog have me excited to do some gardening. Thinking that the cold weather was behind us in Albuquerque, we planted 2 grapevines last week. They froze last night!

Lamb’s Most Recent Post: Cruising, HGTV Green Home, CRAZY Sexy Nerd and LAZY Me

Theta Mom said...

I wrote about this in the beginning of the year b/c I was sick of wearing the same things and not taking as much effort in the morning. I totally related to this post - you are not alone!

Lacie @ Creative Attempts said...

I know some moms that have no problem at all puting themselves first but i struggle to take "me" time even when it's staring me in the face. I have no clue why it's so hard for me. oh and your baby is insanely adorable.

Pink Haired Momma said...

I dont even know the last time i wore a bra. I have started putting make up on and fixing my hair, most days. But honestly it is because if i catch a cute pic of me and Baby DIVA and i want to share with the word i dont want to look like a dead beat momma! LOL

Thanks for coming by the ol' blog today. I have not been making my rounds lately. I lost a dear friend and i have been sad. Trying to come back out!

WhisperingWriter said...

I know how it goes. My daughter cried a lot. She still cries a lot and she's three.

Gretchen said...

That's a great story. Sounds like you've reached a happy balance. Maybe sometimes it's neccesary for us to hit a bottom point so we can bounce back up to hit that happy medium. I'm a perfectionist and have found that a bout of depression (and losing everything) provided the insight and experience to realize that a happy balance is more rewarding and loving of myself than trying to be perfect. Thanks again for sharing, it was inspiring. :)

SweetPea said...

When I was diagnosed with PPD my doctor asked me who was the most important person to take care of in my household. Without skipping a beat I told him it was my baby to which he replied, "WRONG!" He told me that I needed to take care of myself FIRST and then take care of baby. I was in shock because I was under the impression that as a mom you needed to put everyone ahead of yourself.

It was hard at first but over the last year I have managed to put myself first a few times, even if that means sitting Emilia in front of Blues Clues so I can take an extra long shower and actually shave my legs (speaking of....it's been a while).

It is true, when you have a happy mommy, you have a happy baby. :) Remember to take some time out for yourself here and there. You won't regret it!

Cheryl said...

Been there, sister. My second and only daughter screamed for 7 1/2 months. I'm not exaggerating. It was awful and I envisioned - on numerous occasions - throwing her against the wall just so the noise. would. stop. Of course, i didn't, but that's how stressful it was. My third had The Reflux for a couple months, but he outgrew it (altho the allergist I took him to yesterday thinks perhaps not)and is much happier. Anyway - I have just recently started to take stock of my schlump, and have actually bought a couple new cute things. It's time. It's time.

kathryn said...

Oh, God...that must've been so hard for you...not being able to soothe him. (If I haven't told you before, Parker's absolutely adorable...)

Yes, going w/o makeup can be incredibly freeing. And it's nice to not be so...maniacal about clothes (I mean, we've been thrown up on).

It's all about balance...right?

kbxmas said...

I came out of what I refer to as my childrearing coma about a year ago and started wearing makeup again, lost weight, etc. In other words, rejoined the human race. It was an improvement. But I still have days where I schlop. It's a gift to be able to schlop occasionally and not care. Reflux, ack. I feel for you. We went through several weeks of colic. Unfun.

ericka @ alabaster cow said...

you had me at "pampers and pinot" lol! thanks for following!

and sweat pants, my greatest love!