Just as with last week, it's still pretty challenging to write. My brain has certainly not come out of the baby fog and now I get to add two new things to the list of challenges: I'm "should-ing" all over myself and I have palpable guilt over not being back to myself 1,000%. Are these challenges "normal"? "Common"? I suppose I'll find out in the next couple of years but for now I'm simply documenting this chapter in my health and life.
About the "should-ing" all over myself: I tend to hold myself to a ridiculously high standard and have a very predominant perfectionist streak. I expect that I will land on my feet (with the flair of a gold medal gymnast) no matter what. And I expect myself to do it FAST. Apparently this is what I'm learning about myself because only two weeks after having my sweet baby, I'm expecting myself to be able to cook, clean, write thank you notes, keep up with the laundry, buy a house, and get a formal business plan together. Oh and be a spectacular wife and mother. The fact that I'm struggling with absolutely all of this is playing some nasty tricks on my subconscious. Am I simply your average American woman who has been deeply, deeply indoctrinated into the philosophy of "gotta get it all done"!!! Is my subconscious so attached to the importance of doing rather than being? This takes us right to my second point.
I'm pushing myself too hard. I KNOW that rest is best right now. My doula, midwife, gut, and books all tell me that rest is the best thing that I can do for my family and myself. But still.... But still I have this gnawing feeling that I need to be "productive" and that I've been resting long enough. Time to buck up, buttercup! Change my mind to feel rested already. Fake it till I make it. So what do I do? Push myself too hard then end up back in bed for a day. I'm completely torn between doing what I know is correct (resting) and what I feel (guilt-induced activity). And the thing is that I'm being active out of PURE GUILT.
And can we just discuss guilt for a moment? It's big and gross. What is it that I feel so guilty about? Resting so that my body can heal?! Eating nourishing foods so that my blood can be healthy and my milk supply ample?! Thoroughly enjoying peace, quiet, comfort, and bonding?! Yes. I am actually feeling insanely guilty for these things. Other women don't get to do this so why should I? Previous generations "bounced back" and got out of bed faster so why shouldn't I?!
But this guilt and subsequent exhaustion is pretty much how we got to this shitty place in American motherhood, right? Moms are EXPECTED to be tired all of the time. Moms are expected to be grumpy, out of shape, stressed out, waiting for "wine o'clock", resentful of their children and partners.
I so want to be an agent of change in how we perceive and practice motherhood and I simply cannot do that without walking my own talk. So, yes, I'm being really honest about my own shortcomings here. I have to be so that I can remind myself, publicly, that resting and being in love with my life is not a crime against my own culture.
Yoga Teacher. Thinker of things.
Sometimes I just need to empty the contents of my brain into words.