I would tell her everything is not supposed to be back to normal yet…
I would tell her you are probably still waking up many times during the night, and the weight of sleep deprivation is starting to set in
4 hours of straight sleep doesn’t seem as magical as it did in the first week when you were still running on pure oxytocin and adrenaline
You are probably still feeling moments of pain and discomfort while nursing, and you aren’t quite sure if baby is getting enough milk or ingesting too much of the organic nipple cream they told you was fine to layer on.
Its gotten better and easier, but it still is really hard.
You are probably still bleeding and wearing oversized underwear and a panty liner as your body heals in places you can’t see.
You probably end up thinking sweatpants still just seem like the obvious choice most days.
You are probably worried that the house isn’t cleaner and dinners aren’t cooked even though you are spending all day at home
Sometimes you get anxiety by 10 am thinking the day already seems half over and nothing has been done besides nursing, changing diapers and helping baby fall to sleep…only to do it over.
And you are probably exhausted each day by 3pm, wondering how you are going to make it another 5 or 6 hours.
You are probably just really starting to learn this new person who has been attached to you and depending on you for the last 10 months
You know her smell and her smile and you are learning what different cries mean….you feel the need to be close to her so strongly, that when she sleeps, you look at her pictures because you miss her.
You are probably wondering why everyone thinks at 6 weeks things should be back to normal. Other moms are going back to work, other moms are working out, other moms have seamlessly transitioned to life with baby.
Or maybe they haven’t. Because, for many moms, 6 weeks can be some of the hardest days of postpartum….
You are probably starting to realize that honestly, things will never actually go back to the old normal.
But they will get significantly easier and life will take on a new rhythm full of crazy notes and off beats that will leave you utterly exhausted but incredibly happy
One day soon you will realize that these false expectations stole moments from you that belonged to you and your baby.
The “should haves”, and the “would haves”, and the “ought to’s “
If you do this again one day, you will give yourself a little more grace…As the weeks turn into months and you feel more confident with this mom thing, you look back and realize that the people who said the laundry could wait were right.
But it maybe isn’t that way yet at 6 weeks….and that’s perfectly OK.
For other moms….
This was my personal experience with the early weeks of postpartum. I know some of you had an easier time, while others may have struggled a lot longer. I know some of you dealt with postpartum depression and/or postpartum anxiety that gave you an experience I cannot relate to on a personal level. I know that many of you were back at work at 6 weeks, or possibly even sooner, and that there were adjustments and sacrifices you made for the betterment of your family.
I just want to say that no matter your experience, it is true and valid and the story that was meant for you and I appreciate it so much.
Resources for Postpartum Care
One of my favorite books for postpartum life is the First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother.
I recently wrote a review of the book if you want to check it out here.
It includes information about how new mothers are treated in ancient Chinese culture, including a period of lying in, where new moms are encouraged to rest and spend as much time with baby while the body heals.
If you are struggling with the idea of slowing down and not rushing back to the daily grind after baby, I highly recommend this book.
It will give you a new appreciation for the importance of Slowing Down
My Current Pregnancy Journey
Writing this piece was fun, because I am currently pregnant with my second child, and I hope to take some of my own advice to heart.
If you haven’t subscribed yet to my blog and emails, I would love for you to join me on this journey!
You can check out my latest post about pregnancy here 🙂 I am currently 27 weeks pregnant!
Awesome post! Keep up the great work! 🙂
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