When I became a mom, I was unaware of how much my life was about to change. I can still remember asking my doctor, in a delirious state after giving birth to my daughter, when I could work out again. My sister tells me that I also asked when I could go back to work. I remember very little of this conversation– 19-hour labor made me loopy – but it was clear that I was in a bit of denial and shock post-delivery.
Two days after arriving at the hospital, we went back home as a family of three, and just like that everything was different. From what I ate for breakfast, to my bedtime routine, to my boobs, nothing looked the same as it did pre-baby.
My husband went back to work after three days at home, and I was on my own to figure out a new normal. It was hard not to feel somewhat resentful when he left for work as usual, and my entire routine was rocked. When will I eat? Will I sleep again? How did this house get so messy? When will I feel like myself again?
I felt reality hit when, a few weeks postpartum, I had to cancel plans to stay home with my fussy baby who needed her own bed. I cried, because, hormones, and because staying home with a newborn on a Saturday night felt lonely. Mostly, I cried because everything was changing.
Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and little by little, things got better. Hormones evened out, I began cooking and exercising again, the baby started sleeping, and I went back to work – part-time from home. The house didn’t feel quite as messy, and I learned to let some things go. Rather than get upset about having to turn down plans, I found it a relief to stay home and rest. More than anything, I enjoyed watching my baby grow and learn. From the first smile to the first steps, every day was filled with something new and exciting.
A new normal
Three years and one more baby later, I cannot remember life before kids. It’s funny how it happens, at first a shocking experience, but then so gradually that it feels like all I’ve ever known.
It’s not all about me anymore. For that, I am thankful.